mentioned that I was worried about my intellectual deterioration.
Now, as I am trying to figure out where I stand professionally, I have been thinking more about what I could be doing differently. Sometimes, I feel as though I've taken the wrong path and need to do some (slow) back-tracking. Other times, I feel as though I've already sealed my fate.
"Oh, you're so young... you'll be fine," I am often told. Really? Can I suddenly learn how to handle finance work... do I even want to??
Until I sort things out, I've taken to (free!) online learning. The most alluring option was Coursera.org, which provides online courses of varying length (4-15 weeks, from what I've seen) with instructors from good universities. There are so many interesting courses on there, topics ranging from nutrition to machines... but given work, I had to stop myself from signing up for too many.
The "class" I'm in right now... well, you can see it in the screenshot above. I definitely wasn't expecting to need to draw back on my undergrad forays into programming, but I guess it's healthy??? Yes, once upon a time, I took classes in C++/data structures, Perl, and web programming... and although I was often scrambling/panicking, my grades were good. I'm not sure what learning more will do for me, but I figure it's better to know something than not.
The assignments and quizzes are quite tough and time-consuming, and I think my ability to learn in an academic fashion has already gotten a little rusty. I'm just hoping to get the 70 points I need to "pass" the class and earn a certificate. Even if not, I have learned a lot already -- and will remember to take "easier" courses next time!!
These courses are low-pressure ways to learn, but you have to be very self-motivated to watch lectures and then do the work. It helps to pick something very interesting to you... and it also helps during times of transition or when nobody seems available to hang out.
At the very least, I feel pretty good knowing I'm using the Internet for positive things...