When I was a junior in high school trying to manage the crushing pressure of what to do with my future, I made a list of things I wanted to learn. The list had about fifteen items, including all school subjects outside of P.E., every branch of science I could think of, fashion, politics, computer coding, graphic design and art.

In the years since, I’ve started crossing items off the list. I hated physics, stopped math after Calculus, lost interest in fashion, etc, etc. And at some point, if I hadn’t tried something on the list, it was crossed off. After all, it was too late for me to get really good at anything, right? And if you can’t make a career out of it, why learn it? My list eventually narrowed to two: biology and English.

ENTITY Academy gave me a chance to revisit my list. And on top of that, it gave me a chance to understand why I needed the items I crossed off, even if I wasn’t majoring in them or making a career out of those skills.

Here are three skills I wanted to have but never realized I needed to have until ENTITY.

1 Graphic Design (Adobe InDesign)

One ENTITY writer describes her journey during the ENTITY Academy

I had a dreadful lack of understanding of Adobe applications before I came to ENTITY. I had only known the minimal basics of Photoshop, and even those skills were at least five years out of date.

One of my favorite Adobe applications ended up being Adobe InDesign. Basically, the app allows you to make templates for documents and web pages. It’s essential for graphic design. After all these years, I finally got a chance to learn about one of the last items on my list, and I also realized I needed it.

I need to know graphic design in order to control how I look. I want to have a website, write online articles and make posters for any events I’m working for. The appearances of these web pages, articles and posters directly reflect me and my events. If I want to perfect the way I look without paying someone else, I need to know graphic design myself.

And now I do!

2 Art (Adobe Illustrator)

I also wasn’t aware that Adobe Illustrator was an application that existed until I came to ENTITY. I was excited about learning it until I actually got to work.

Art is hard. Or, at the very least, Adobe Illustrator is hard. After a few minutes, I had a newfound appreciation for every digital drawing I saw on Instagram and Tumblr.

But I needed to learn it. If I want to illustrate any articles or pieces of writing, this is the application I should learn to use. And if I want to really write for any television or animation studios, I should learn how to visualize it and create a storyboard.

And also: as frustrating as it is, it’s also therapeutic. 10/10 for late night angst sessions.

3 SEO (Computers)

One ENTITY writer describes her journey during the ENTITY Academy

I had worked with WordPress before, and I had seen the words “SEO keywords” before, but I never realized that this was a label for a whole world of Google strategies.

And I definitely hadn’t thought of the Google search engine as a business, let alone a business I had to work with.

After merely two days at ENTITY, this mindset completely changed. The Internet isn’t just a tool; it’s a game you need to analyze, understand and win. And you have to do it without cheating because the game’s growing each year.

Everyone should learn the basics of SEO, or at the very least understand what it is. If you want to use the Internet to reach a wide number of people, SEO optimizes your chances.

Over the years, I’ve slowly started to understand that while the world of the Internet and computers would always be a hobby of mine, it will also always be necessary in the workplace. As technology moves forward, it drags companies with it. Being on top of technology will allow you to be on top of your career.

So thank you, ENTITY Academy, for letting me explore my other interests. And thank you again for giving me a reason to continue to do so.

To join the ENTITY team, apply here!

Edited by Nicole Sazegar

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