Back to School

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Do you ever feel like you're getting a bit dim? Like you aren't using your brain enough? Over the years I’ve taken classes in order to spur those little grey cells, mainly in areas of personal interest – wine tasting, dancing, improv – but I had been out of a formal education system for almost as long as I was in it.

Last fall I decided it was high time to change that. I felt the desire to learn, to challenge myself and to add to my professional toolbox.

Social media as a marketing and communication tool is of great interest to me. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest… I’d been on them for years. But I knew I wasn’t using these platforms to their full potential and wanted to know more.

I enrolled at UBC’s Continuing Studies program, taking night classes in their social media program.

First Day 

20 or so students, most of them professionals, looking all intelligent and scholarly. The teacher explains the homework process and grading system. WHAATT? Neither of these things had entered my mind.  Reality check.  Even though this was continuing eduction, it was offered through a university, and nothing like the Italian classes I had taken at the local high.  (No disrespect to them, they were challenging too!)

By the end of class I was invigorated, excited, downright high! I’d spent three hours scribbling like mad.  (Still kicking it old school, with my notebook and pen.) I had been focused and, to use a favourite social media term, completely and absolutely engaged. 

After class I went home and had to unwind with TV and a beer. There was no way I was going to sleep right away, not with my synapses firing.  My brain had a long overdue workout and it felt GREAT!

Matisic DL  2

The last time I went to UBC 

Four Months Later 

The social media strategy class turned into content marketing, which then turned into a monetization class, and now, I’m knee-deep in metrics.  A couple more classes and I’ll have my Award of Achievement in social media.  I’m already perusing the calendar to see what I can take after that.   Something to do with SEO, most likely.

It helps that the teachers in the program are excellent – personable and incredibly knowledgeable about the constantly evolving world of social media. I also made some friends who have ended up being in all four classes with me. We’ve helped each other with homework and outside projects.  Not to mention that we crack jokes under our breath in class.  Some things never change. (Thanks Shirley and Sabrina, you’re the best!)

There has been something about this experience that has infused the rest of my life with renewed energy. I’m more upbeat, positive and as a result, clichéd I know, better things are coming my way.

Considering beefing up your education, or simply interested in learning some new? I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s good to think.


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  • Tim Edwards

    You look as beautiful now as you did the first time. 😉 It might be time for me to go back to school too.

  • tiger_lily_2

    For people who find it hard to make friends outside of work, going back to school as an adult might be helpful. You’re in a class for something you’re interested in with a bunch of other people with a least one similar interest. Automatic thing-in-common.

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      I totally agree. I also love that I’m crossing paths with people I may not ordinarily meet. As one of my classmate pointed out, she was born the year of my UBC Library card above, 1989!

  • Amy McGeachy

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I needed a little post secondary pick me up 4 years ago and also went to UBC Continuing Studies. I went in blindly, taking a course that interested me. I credit the production courses and my internship with World Wide Bag Media through that course for my interest in TV production, thus adding another branch to my career. 🙂

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Good to hear! Thanks for sharing Amy.

  • April

    I just went back to school to update myself on office software and it has been tough but I know in 2 years the rewards will outweigh the struggles

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      It will. Hang in there! If it was easy, everyone would do it.

  • http://www.NICHEmagazine.ca Tracey Drake

    Great article, Kristina! I went back to school in my 40s and took my MBA. Terrifying at first, but after I got back into the groove of homework and assignments, I found as you did, that I was also more engaged in many other aspects of my life. Learning is good for so many reasons 🙂

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Thanks Tracey! An MBA (at any age) is big accomplishment!

  • Mir Gibb

    Thanks Kristina! I keep looking at that course and wondering if I should do it!

  • Denise Cooney

    Great read! After almost 10 years out of post secondary, I took the leap, quit a full time job, and returned to school for one year in a Human Resources Management program. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m loving it, and wishing I had done this earlier! Not only am I learning new things academically, I’m learning I’m capable of so many other things 🙂 I can’t help but be a life long student.