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Bucket List For 2016


By Mary Vlahos

Everyone has something they’ve always wanted to do, learn, or experience at least once in their lives. It’s time to check one of those off in 2016, and just do it. There are a lot of local resources in our area to help you accomplish your goal, and most of them are very affordable. New Year’s resolutions are often focused on fitness and health, which is always good goal. It’s also important to focus on the quality of your life and what would make it better. In 2016 make one of your resolutions to finish your degree or continue your education, take up the hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or learn a new skill. Here are some resources to help you on your way.

One of the biggest regrets of most adults is that they never finished their college education. There are college credits floating out there waiting for a lot of us. Guess what, your college credits generally don’t expire. Although the criteria for your selected degree may have changed, the credits you’ve achieved in the past are, for the most part, still applicable. Kent State Stark University right here in our area is the largest satellite college campus of Kent State University. They have many associate, bachelors, and even master’s degrees you can achieve, and most of your previous college credits will probably transfer. For those of us that work long hours there are many online classes you can take without stepping foot in a classroom. Kent State Stark is also far more affordable than the main campus of Kent. Check out their list of degree options at

We also have two colleges that offer accelerated degree programs that will even take into account life experience. For more information, see the website for Malone University at and Walsh University at If you have the necessary credits already, it may only take you 12 to 18 months to finish your degree.

Winter is the perfect time to take up the hobby you’ve always wanted to try. It occupies our time in a productive way, and it keeps us away from the TV and the fridge! Are you artistic? The Canton Museum of Art has many affordable classes such as drawing, jewelry making, painting, pottery, textiles, and printmaking. The skill range for these classes is beginning to intermediate. If you just want to do something fun with your friends, try CMA’s uncorked. It combines painting, music and wine. What more could you ask for? Check out the details at

Perhaps crafting is more your skill level. JoAnn Fabric Stores offer a long list of classes that you can take right in their stores. You can of course learn to sew but did you know you can also learn to knit, embroider, quilt, weave, and there are even photography classes. These are just a few on their long list You can also try something unique like making stained glass at Studio Arts and Glass Dance lessons have always been on my list of to do’s. There are many dance studios in the area (too many to list) that offer everything from Ballroom, to Hip Hop, to Belly Dancing. This is a hobby that will also get you in shape.
For every hobby and every area of Northeast Ohio there is a Meet-Up. It’s a group of individuals who all like doing the same thing whether it’s yoga, hiking, biking, wine tasting, beer tasting or even speaking Spanish. It’s people getting together to learn something, do something, or share something. Check out for more information.

The third thing on our list is learning a new skill. This involves more education than a hobby but not quite as much as a degree. Stark State College has a list of Career Enhancement Certifications such as Web Design, American Sign Language, Massage Therapy, Basic Accounting, Grant Writing, or Digital Photography to name just a few. These certifications are generally a year long program of education to advance you in your current career or get you ready for a new one.

The New Year is here and when you look at how you’d like your year to go, contemplate what you can accomplish that will enhance your life. Take that “I’ve always wanted to learn to…..” phrase off the shelf, dust it off, and just do it. You’ll be glad you did

Bucket List For 2016

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