How You Can Begin to DIY Your Education

September 23, 2013 | 5 comments

Student loans, lack of hard and soft skills, and a crappy job market. As a Millennial I keep wondering what the future will hold for our generation. I see a huge gap between what is being taught in schools and what people are actually using to make a living.

DIY Degree



It looks bleak doesn’t it? At first glance


But let’s look at something a little closer. Because I don’t want to sound like the broken record of mainstream media. In the 2 years I have been at a community college I have learned so much and experienced some of the most life changing events I ever had. WIthout student loans and tons of debt.

What did I do?

  • Worked with an ed-tech startup
  • Interned at a PBS Station and helped with a Chicago Production
  • Helped in the creation of an NGO getting volunteers to teach in China
  • Self-Published, Sold, and Distributed my own zines
  • Made a presentation to a multi-million dollar corporation for a startup
  • Consulted with international entrepreneurs on social media presence

How in the world did I get to do these things and more?

DIYing my education and surrounding myself with change makers. 

I followed what I needed in my life at the moment.  I blogged since the end of high school but wanted to take it to the next level, what did I do? I read lots of books and jumped from Blogger to WordPress.

I thought changing platforms is not enough I should really learn more about business and social media – BOOM – registered for the Life and Biz Academy taking it from a holistic approach.

I followed the practical needs for the moment and learned as I went. At the same time, I was taking my community college classes for film but decided that DIYing that as well would be better. I still am grateful for the connections and lessons I learned going to community college – and it’s still one of the best community resources!

How can you start DIYing your education?

  1. Ask yourself what you would love to know or learn right now.
  2. Ask yourself what is a sustainable way I could learn that?
  3. Check out the resources available for you right now – library, meetup group, community college, scholarships, online programs?

Let me know what you want to learn about!

  • Smallbiz Hub

    Great post! With the Internet, it is so much easier for people to be able to find resources and other people who they can learn with. Set yourself a challenge or find a question, and go!

    • Isabelle Rizo

      Absolutely and there are so many startups and spaces for DIY learners to meet up and collaborate.

  • Nela Dunato

    I’m totally for the DIY approach because I did it too. I started learning design and programming while still in high school, and in the end dropped out of college because I didn’t find I was learning anything I’d use in my career. I’m continuing to invest in my education from the specialists in their fields via online courses and it’s much more useful and rewarding.

    • Isabelle Rizo

      Awesome Nela!

  • Daniel Waters

    Very inspiring and I totally agree – you have to take responsibility for your own success. Higher education is fine if you’re chasing a profession that demands it, but I’ve learned a lot more about business from the internet than I ever learned studying business at university.