I am the old dog.
I would have disputed that statement two weeks ago when I enrolled in the Social Media program at Algonquin College. I was excited! I was eager! I was going to be a student again! I babbled with my teenage daughters like I was one of their peers. “Look at me”, I exclaimed. “I have a student number … and a teacher … and classmates!”
I had met with my boss the week prior to discuss the organization’s plan for incorporating social media into our marketing and communications. After presenting a convincing case, he agreed that I would be a suitable candidate to take the lead on this initiative. He also agreed that the certificate program would provide me with the competencies to get me started. With my enthusiasm brimming, I registered immediately!
Yes, looking back, there was a definite pep in my step that week. I had been given a new-found purpose to pull me from the doldrums of my seemingly comfortable daytime job. I was about to embark on a new adventure! I proudly pictured myself at the top of a mountain precipice with my bindle stick slung over my shoulder, staring wide-eyed at the vastness surrounding me.
But as the next two weeks unfolded, and I became immersed in required readings, introductions, course calendars and assignments, my enthusiasm dwindled. I stumbled over terms I had never heard, and ideas I had never probed. I read articles a second and third time in the hopes of grasping some sort of understanding of what the author was writing about. I was quickly becoming overwhelmed. My tail stopped wagging.
And that’s when it hit me.
I am the old dog. And social media is the new trick.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The idiom repeated in my head several times.
But I didn’t buy it.
Sure, it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew that. But it wasn’t going to be impossible either.
I remembered how I had pictured myself at the top of the mountain, embarking on a new journey. I thought of the bindle stick slung over my shoulder, and became aware of the contents that I had brought with me:
- A Sense of Adventure
- An Appreciation for Lifelong Learning
I was fearful, yes, but I was well-equipped. And with that in mind, I stepped to the edge, and took a leap of faith.