Every time I check the Praxis Workplace page, I feel like I’m doing something naughty.
I grew up thinking my life had a blueprint that I didn’t draft: Go to school. Go to college. Get a corporate job. Get married. Have children. Invest sensibly in an IRA. Retire. Have an open-casket funeral.
It only makes sense, then, that I should feel naughty when I visit the Praxis community online. Praxis says no to all that; no to rules, formality, authority, no to every damn person, from your cousin Chester to the President, who asks, “Would you please just live the way we want you to like everyone else?”
But they say yes also. Yes to you, to your hopes, goals, and dreams—yes to your blueprint.
I wouldn’t call myself a rebel—that label requires a certain amount of courage—but I am a guy who has a disdain for “The Rules” and those who write them. Until a few months ago, I thought I was going to have to stay a quiet rules-disdainer for my whole life.
When I was added to the Praxis Facebook group, I was at a low-point in my life. Nothing is quite so remedial as inspiration when you’re experiencing a trough in personal productivity. And my fellow Praxians inspired me.
They were creating, learning, building. They were getting shit done.
That’s all well and good, but how’s the community organized?
From Facebook to Workplace
The Praxis group has migrated onto Facebook’s business platform, Workplace, since I joined. But the interface looks the same, and we Praxians are just as active as ever.
One of the many tenets of Praxis is efficiency. Hence the switch. Facebook is full of fluff. Workplace is fluffless.
All we see when we go on Workplace is Praxis; no cat videos, or pictures of food. (Though we do have a Dank Meme group.)
Here’s what the News Feed looks like:
Much the same as Facebook, no?
There are dozens of groups in the Praxis community. Here are just a few:
- Daily Blog Posts
- Tech Help
- Praxis Christians
- Writers’ Group
- Placement (for when you get placed with a business partner)
- Praxis Philosophy Discussions
- Praxis Personal Place
- PDPs, Accountability, and Motivation
- Books, blogs, podcast, and resources
- Praxis Europe
We’ve got it all, baby!
The structure sets up for inclusivity, for togetherness. We cheer each other, challenge each other, change each other. But above all, we help each other.
My personal website crashed once, and I posted in the Tech Help group looking for a solution. Thanks to the quick and useful responses of my fellow Praxians, I had the problem fixed within minutes.
The Praxis Workplace is less than half of the Praxis support system, though.
Praxis Group Discussions
Seldom a day goes by at Praxis without at least one group discussion. The scope of these discussions is as wide as our collective areas of interest and expertise—seemingly infinite.
During these video calls, we get the chance not only to grow professionally but to interact with other Praxians, to put names to faces.
Praxis promises to be an alternative to college for a fraction of the time and cost. That’s a tall order. They deliver on that promise with these group discussions. They’re an indispensable resource for Praxians looking to learn and grow.
Unlike most college classes, our group discussions are recorded for your convenience.
The Workplace page and the group discussions would be worth the price of admission, but there’s a third level of support at Praxis.
I’m talking about advisors.
Advisors at Praxis
I went to three colleges and could not tell you the name of any of the supposed advisors I had. This is not so at Praxis. I know my Praxis advisor’s name, where he lives, his phone number, his age, where he works. And he knows me. He knows my goals and insecurities. Shout-out, Declan!
Like so many things at Praxis, the advising system is in transition. Where before we could only meet with our assigned advisor, now we can meet with any advisor. We have cohort advising meetings twice a month with our assigned advisor as well.
Cohorts are grouped by start date. All of us in a cohort are experiencing a lot of the same worries and challenges. This new system lets us not only voice our experiences to our advisor but also to people who understand what we’re going through.
And if there’s an advisor whose knowledge on a subject outshines our assigned advisor’s, we just set a meeting.
See how simple that is, College?
What a Time to Be in Praxis
The Praxis community is one of beautiful contradiction.
There are no classes—no physical campus—but Praxis feels more real to me than college ever did.
The synergistic Praxis Workplace engenders in us the importance of both individualism and fellowship.
People have accused Praxis of having a culture of cultism. Fair enough. If we’re a cult, we’re one that believes there’s lots of waste in the collegiate system. Does that make us radicals?
We’re an ambitious bunch, a resourceful bunch, an industrious bunch.
Each Praxian has his or her own ideology. We don’t agree on everything, but we all believe in ourselves and each other.
The people who comprise the Praxis community is what makes its support system superlative. It isn’t the move to Workplace, the revamped advising system, nor the group discussions. If you replaced our advisors with random professors and the current participants with random college students, Praxis would be dead in a week.
Thankfully, we’re not gonna do that. We’re gonna keep expanding and refining and improving.
It’s an exciting time to be in Praxis.