Though admittedly I’m a little less broke, I’d still consider myself a student in many ways. Not only because it all happened so fast, either – though there was little to no down time between finishing my four-year degree and starting a 9-5 job with DDE Media, that’s not exactly why I’d still consider myself so. I think it’s more because I need to learn new things each and every day, and especially things I likely wouldn’t have learned in school.
From working on textbooks to writing SEO (search engine optimization) for any one of DDE Media’s various clients, I find myself flexing my research muscles each and every day. My English literature degree certainly comes in handy for these purposes, and, if anything, I left school with the valuable ability to compile research into a cohesive and concise piece of writing.
But that’s not always enough – sometimes you need a distinctly creative edge to do what you do, and that’s something I’ll always be working on, either inside and outside of a school or work setting. I feel this is where I really get to shine as a writer, thinker, and person – my education doesn’t simply begin and end when work and/or school ends, and I feel that any writer needs this drive to really succeed.
So, if DDE is my day job (and a great one, at that), I essentially moonlight as a poet, fiction writer, and music/literary blogger. When I am not researching topics to write about for clients during the day, I am reading novels, stories, critical articles, poetry, literary journals, and following up with currents in contemporary writing (especially Canadian writing). If that’s not being a perpetual student, I don’t know what is!
But I love doing it. Learning new concepts, practices, and themes to apply to my own writing style and approach, in both a fiction and nonfiction sense, is important to my career and myself personally. That’s why I try and engage myself with reading and writing as much as I can – the only way to get better at something, especially in writing, is just doing it, and doing it as much as you possibly can.
When you set bars for yourself and you finally reach them, you might find that the bar’s suddenly higher than where you originally set it. Whether you set that bar actively or subconsciously, reaching higher is the best way to rise to the top.
In the midst of 20-something ennui, there’s something to be said for having a passion. A little bit of passion, for anything, can go a long way. It makes work feel a little less like work, and makes play a little more playful and exciting. For a university student and/or graduate, especially, striking that balance between doing what you like to do and finding something you make a living off of is crucial.
Long story short, I may not be in school anymore, but actually learning will never stop for me.