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Further education for the over 50s



Further education for the over 50s can be a rewarding experience. Many times, as young adults, people jump straight into the working world, lacking the funds and/or motivation for higher education. It is becoming more and more popular for older adults to take a second shot at college. More often than not, if you walk into a college classroom, there will be at least one student in his or her 50s, 60ís, even 70ís, and sometimes 80ís. By this age, you have gained life experience, and you can better appreciate the education than all of the twenty-something students. College is an especially great way to spend time during retirement. It provides a way to stay mentally stimulated, and active in society, without long hours away from home and physical labor. Attaining a college degree may have been a goal of yours that you were never before able to reach. It is never too late to further your mind. Whether or not you aim to achieve a degree, further education is a great way to exercise the brain, and keep you stimulated and purposeful.

However, professors sometimes have little regard for their studentsí outside activities. If you have a part time or full time job while attending classes, you may find assignment deadlines quite strenuous. The majority of young college students treat classes as a full time job, with a small part time job or no job at all competing for their time. Twenty-something college students also have the willingness and ability to pull frequent ďall-nightersĒ to finish demanding essays, or to study for difficult exams. As older adults, further education for the over 50s may prove problematic. It is difficult to go back to school after a 30 or 40 year hiatus. Your classmates may be fresh out of high school, therefore retaining a great deal of information. This can be intimidating to you as an older student who hasnít done basic algebra in years.

Do not let the college experience be intimidating. Further education for the over 50s is a fulfilling experience. Start out taking one or two classes, and ease yourself back into the learning atmosphere gradually. Maybe this will be all you will ever want to take at one time, but do what is comfortable for you. If you stretch yourself too thinly, the experience will be less enjoyable. You are not in a rush to graduate and enter the working world like your fellow classmates will be. This is not a race to a diploma or a competition among your peers. So take your time, and have fun expanding your knowledge; thatís what college is about regardless of age.




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