10 Creative Classes That Will Keep You Learning In 2016

by Niki McGloster

For about 13 years of your life, you were a professional student. Then, you graduated from college and got kind of mindf*cked by the real world.

Once, you needed to pass classes and persuade your professors to give you extra credit. Now, you only have to show up at 9 am and behave for eight hours.

As adults, though, we get stalled in our daily routines.

Though we may not have professors any longer, informal education is all around us. There's no extra credit, but we don't need it anymore. We're choosing to show up.

An app like Fever, for example, can help you find ways to be a student of the world forever.

Don't give up on your education just because you've finished school.

1. If you want to be an attractive job candidate, learn new words.

What to do: Learn a new language.

Knowing how to speak Portuguese or Spanish can help you stand out from competition while climbing the professional ladder.

According to the Department of Labor, translators and interpreters are one of the 15 fastest-growing occupations in the US.

Because everyone's well-versed in social media and personal branding these days, use your standout bilingual skills to get a promotion or swing a particular project at work.

2. If you write beautiful letters and need to make extra money, pick up a pen.

What to do: Learn calligraphy.

Not many people can perfect elegant lettering, because we're more accustomed to typing than scrawling letters with a pen.

Learning how to stylize your handwriting has the added bonus of making you money on the side. Ever heard of Etsy?

Despite what your vegan cousin might say, all event invites aren't crafted online. Make calligraphy a profitable side-job during wedding and graduation seasons.

3. If you want to meet new people who love wine as much as you do, find drinking buddies.

What to do: Join a Meetup group.

Making new friends once you've already established a squad or moved to a new city is a struggle. Don't take the "you can't sit with us" attitude, though, Regina George.

Instead, link up with people in your local area and explore your common interests. Don't judge it before you try it.

4. If you want to read books you wouldn't normally finish, have friends hold you accountable.

What to do: Join a book club.

You'll have no clue how much you love murder mysteries until you put down your self-help books.

Explore new authors you could potentially love by subscribing to a book group that delves into a new sci-fi or fan fiction novel every month.

Plus, it's a chance to get drunk and talk about how quickly you'd bang Mr. Darcy.

5. If you're confused about your purpose and self-help books aren't enough, start talking.

What to do: Join a therapy group.

Life after graduation can be a time of confusion and emotional instability.

Unsure about your career path? Tired of feeling like your friends are doing better than you?

Therapy gives you the tools to manage your feelings about life. Open your mouth, and you might be surprised about what pours out.

6. If you want to care for someone else but you majored in journalism, pick up an extra shift.

What to do: Volunteer at a nursing home or hospital.

Even if you skipped nursing school to become the next Soledad O'Brien, you can still learn how to care for the sick.

Learn how to take a temperature or wrap a sprain just by clocking in a few hours every weekend at a local rest home or clinic.

7. If you want to see your life a new way, grab a paintbrush.

What to do: Take an art class at a university.

Even if you suck at painting a mountain or drawing stick figures, making mistakes can become a part of the bigger picture.

That's a lesson you can apply to any part of your life, whether you've made an error at work or didn't get admitted to grad school.

Bonus? You can take classes on campus or online.

Bonus to the bonus? Impress everyone else with your newfound skills.

8. If you want to speak up, learn how to talk on command.

What to do: Try an improv class.

The "yes, and" approach of improv teaches you to open up and think quickly.

Though you probably won't win an Academy Award this year (it's Leo's, sorry), creativity and brainstorming are inarguably positive additions to your everyday life.

Improv will prepare you for work events, such as public speaking. It will also work wonders for your first date jitters.

9. If you want to learn about the world but can't afford a big Euro trip, take a day-cation.

What to do: Visit a museum.

Remember your elementary school days, hop in the car and take a trip to a museum.

Whether you want to learn more about your hometown or your boyfriend's culture, there's plenty of knowledge to be consumed at an historical exhibit.

Bonus point if you selfie with all the dinosaur skeletons. That counts as learning, right?

10. If you want to learn how to finally budget.

What to do: Sit in on a free financial planning class.

We all could use a lesson or two on how to manage our money.

Even if you have sound financial health, a true expert can help you plan for buying home or let you know it's time to buy stocks.

Or, really, the expert can just help you avoid surviving on $20 for the last week before pay day.