Why Older Citizens Are Heading Back Into Education
- October 21, 2017
- Gemma Callaghan
Older people make fantastic students. With The Balance claiming that people change careers an average of 3 to 7 times throughout their working life, it’s no surprise that there is an influx of more mature students opting to go back to university to retrain.
Our 20s are spent trying to work out what we want to do. Our 30s, we hope, will be dedicated to a specific careers – but who says that in our 40s our tastes and interests can’t change again? Times have changed and moving into a new industry is more acceptable than it was in our grandparent’s era when a job was considered for life. Everyone accepts that careers are no longer linear.
With retirement ages steadily creeping up, older people shouldn’t be afraid to retrain and reskill themselves. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider becoming a mature postgraduate student.
Keeping the interest
What you’re interested in at the age or 20 will be vastly different to your interests at the age of 50. So why not branch out?
Focus on what you enjoy and what you’re good at. University offers a real range of courses and flexibility in where you learn; it could be online, full-time or part-time to suit your needs.
Studying to boost the brain
It’s often said that we should keep our minds active. Learning in your longer years has been linked to a delay in the onset of several forms of dementia.
What’s more, new experiences help your brain to continue growing, as well as taking in and storing information more easily. Apply for a course which will spark your interest and enthusiasm.
Going back to university can help older students tackle the modern age and get to grips with new technology. Kids these days are more used to texting and working a computer then their grandparents, and sometimes this can be a daunting fact.
Don’t fear the unknown. University will teach students to embrace new technology in whichever field that they choose and mature students will get the chance to develop modern skills. You may feel like a fish out of water at first, but with confidence and help from a tutor you’ll soon be a wizz on the computer.
Have your friends and family gone off in different directions? Often our friendship groups change over the years, so getting back into the university lifestyle can boost our social life. Most universities have specialist social groups for the mature student which can all tackle the isolation and loneliness which can accompany older age.
University might put you in a situation or group that is totally out of your comfort zone, but you could also find yourself developing friendships with people who you never otherwise have met. Humans are social creatures, and a more fulfilled social life is bound to be
Many people return to study to develop themselves or reinvent who they are. Typically mature students may worry they’re not up to it, but fear not: it will actually dramatically increase your confidence and your life skills. University will give you a goal to work towards.
Whatever your age, don’t be discouraged from trying something new. It’s brave to embark on learning something new. After all, it’s never too late to change your direction in life. So stop procrastinating, heed the reasons above and make that decision today.
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