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A Lifetime of Lifelong Learning

October 31, 2013

Given my extended stay in college (six-plus years), it seemed as if I had the concept of “lifelong learning” down. At least, that’s what my parents must have thought.

In my defense, I changed my major after two years at the Ohio State University. (I’ll gloss over the part about freshman year that relates to being out much too late on school nights.) I always wanted to go to college, though I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to study once I arrived there. 

Anyway, to my good fortune, I found something that I was passionate about: journalism. This wasn’t completely unexpected. After all, I served as co-editor of my high school newspaper, The Cavalier Crier, and once even wrote an article where I quoted myself.

So while working as an editor for the university’s daily newspaper, The Lantern, I pared my class schedule down to part time. (I was also employed at an off-campus restaurant on weekends.)

I learned that I just wasn’t going to make it to a lot of afternoon classes while spending so many hours in the newsroom. I loved the clickety-clack of the typewriters (dating myself ) and the spirited collegiality of, say, writing headlines, deciding on our Page 1 articles and daring to eat some of the sandwiches out of the J-school vending machines.

Unfortunately, at the time, attending an Astronomy 161 lecture with 300 of my fellow Buckeyes in between all of this didn’t offer the same amount of stimulation. I knew that I needed to broaden my horizons, though did it need to include learning about the celestial sphere?

Eventually, I graduated. And I haven’t stopped learning since then.

John Elsasser John Elsasser is the editor-in-chief of PR Tactics and The Strategist. He joined PRSA in 1994. Email:


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