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WhatIlearnedfromtakingaclassoutsideofuniversity

Chrissy Sharma
3mo Story
What I learned from taking a class outside of university

In October, I signed up for an acting class with The Second City in Toronto. I had just left a contract job that wasn't in my field, I was looking for work, and I needed a fun and creative outlet. I wasn't sure what I wanted out of the class besides just that: fun and creativity. 

I knew I was interested in acting. My sister had dabbled in it, and much of my high school career was devoted to it. I had been to an improv show a few years back and it had always been in the back of my mind to sign up for an acting class ever since - I'll admit, improv intimidates me. So, one day, I packed up the courage and I did.

The majority of the 15 or so people that were in the class wanted to become actors. By the end of the six weeks, many of them had taken professional headshots, signed up for casting websites, been background actors, or were looking for an agent. 

And then there was me. 

I was looking for work in marketing. A full-time, stable, career-kickstarter type of job, pretty much fresh out of university. I was freelance writing in the meantime and taking the introductory level acting course with no further intentions of becoming an actor. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to continue with the classes; most of them took place on weekdays, when I planned to be working.

Little did I know I would sign up for the second level acting class last month when a weekend class opened up. And I plan to sign up for the third and fourth levels over the course of this year. 

I love acting and I'm glad I'm taking another chance on it. The classes filled me with adrenaline, gave me something to look forward to, introduced me to new people, and taught me a new skill. 

The introductory level class covered some basic acting exercises and - gasp - incorporated improv. I learned about thinking on my feet, finding my inner truth, and putting myself out there. I had no idea when I signed up how valuable taking that chance would be. 

In the second level class, I have the opportunity to perform a monologue, meet even more awesome people, and delve further into acting as a hobby. While I don't know where these classes will take me, they're something I enjoy doing and they teach me a million little things every week. 

I'm building my skill set, broadening my interests, and networking along the way. 

So, take a class that really interests you. There are literally introductory classes on everything, both online and in-person, free and paid. Coding, acting, screenwriting, woodworking, beauty, fitness, motivational speaking, you name it, and I'm sure there's a class for it. 

Take a class that really interests you to give yourself an outlet.

Take a class that really interests you to learn something new.

Take a class that really interests you because you never know where it might lead you.

And take a class that really interests you to take a chance on yourself.

How you spend your time is up to you, why not try something you might love?

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I write for Tangerine Bank, Thought Catalog, Observatory Media, and my own personal blog at sipswithchrissy.com. I'm a recent UofT grad with a background in writing, event planning, marketing, and mentorship. I've helped build a road in a rural community in Thailand, planned an orientation week for [...]

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