Graduating from high school or university may seem like a lifetime ago, but just because you’ve raised a family, retired from your career job or resigned from the idea of ever opening a textbook again, it doesn’t mean you can’t rediscover a love for learning.
Here are five reasons why studying as an adult could enrich your life:
There’s a reason why most university courses always feature a token ‘mature age student’. It’s because learning is a joy and as you get older this becomes clearer. Beyond sheer pleasure, research shows that learning new content is good for the brain on a physiological level. Enrolling as an adult learner can boost the brain’s plasticity to learn new information, strengthen memory, enhance processing abilities and slow the brain ageing process.
Nurture something you love
While choosing a university, college or training course is usually a personal choice, the reality is that many young people feel pressured to set themselves up for a career or meet academic expectations. In comparison, mature and financially established students enjoy the freedom to enrol in courses based purely on their interests and passions.
Support a career change
At 50 years young you’re probably much closer to retirement age than you were when you started working. While late life career changes were once a taboo, today switching careers is completely normal. Whether you’re looking to change careers or come out of retirement, building on your existing skillset can be a powerful way to augment your CV and give yourself a competitive edge in the talent pool.
Spoilt for choice
The world of modern education is amazingly diverse which means you’ll be spoilt for choice as a an adult learner. Basically, you have the luxury to keep things as simple or as complex as you like. For example, downloading the Duolingo app may be a great way to learn Spanish for some people, while others might prefer to make things more official and enrol in a Spanish Studies major at a local university. There are free online courses for prospective students on a budget, short courses if you’re pressed for time, hands-on courses if you need extra support and so on.
Make new friends
Enrolling in studies that feature a campus, school or classroom environment can be a great way to make new friends and expand your social circle. Remember, don’t box yourself in according to age. There’s no reason why you can’t have engaging conversations and even coffee dates with a twenty-something-year-old, or someone in their seventies.
Are you thinking of becoming an adult learner? Maybe you have experience topping up your skillset in your later years? We’d love to hear about your experiences so go ahead and share in the comments below.