When I started my blog, I figured all it would take was a little knowledge of HTML and a passion for writing. I quickly learned that it was also very visual. Since my creative expression has been pretty much exclusively writing-focused since middle school art class, I decided to spend my first Verlocal experience learning Photoshop.

I met Cherry, Photoshop pro, at one of my favorite coffee shops in the Loop after work. She walked me through the features of Photoshop and some shortcuts, as well as best practices that would help me keep my images organized. We then practiced by removing the nose hairs on a not-so-flattering picture of boyfriend (who will now find out we did that when he reads this article…). Afterwards, I went home and got to work editing the photos of some of my previously posts.

A few of my post-Cherry Photoshop attempts.

While the technical skills I gained from my Verlocal experience are no doubt valuable, the experience of meeting up with a relative stranger in order to learn from them carried its own value. I’m not naturally inclined to put myself out there, introduce myself to the random person standing next to me in a room or strike up conversation every time I get in a rideshare.

However, after starting business school in September, it became apparent to me that being able to do so was an amazing asset. It also became apparent that, luckily, being more comfortable doing so is something that one gets better at with practice. I made the decision to start “going for it” more often, and my lesson with Cherry was one of the first of these endeavors.

I left our lesson feeling fulfilled both by learning something new and by connecting with someone new. For those attempting to make the same transformation, Verlocal experiences provide the perfect platform for doing so (and they didn’t tell me to say that).

For one, you’re guaranteed to have something to do or talk about. Secondly, while I rarely find experiences of meeting new people disappointing — rather, I usually find the opposite — at the very least you come out of the experience with new knowledge about some topic or skill you wanted to know more about.

Get out there, make some friends, and remember that everyone, Verlocal host or not, can teach you something.

Pick up some designing skills with Cheryl by checking out her classes here!

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I started Three Times Per Day because I wanted to share my love of food and help people (including myself) find balance between work, play, and relaxation. Since moving to Chicago in 2011, I’ve never run out of things to do and am constantly meeting interesting people with diverse skills and passions — which is exactly why I love the city so much! It naturally follows that I was drawn to Verlocal’s mission of allowing people from all walks of life to exchange their unique talents in order to create a more balanced society. As recent college graduates, my friends and I are always looking for ways to meet people, learn something new, or have an out-of-the-ordinary experience, and Verlocal delivers on that end, too!”