Adult continuing education is very practical and easy going. Seniors students have several advantages over children: better memory (truly!), experience and fewer distractions
1. Better memory
Doctors thought that you could not grow new brain cells, so as old cells died you became more stupid? –Wrong. They now know that the more adult continuing the education, the more new brain cells you get. You can even delay Alzheimer’s disease by keeping your brain active and continue learning.
But then you will say – old people keep forgetting things! That is a fact, because what you remember best are startling, new, shocking and thrilling things. To an old person it is a case of “been there, done that” – so there is nothing new or shocking.
It is true that you often have to learn boring things, and just here you have an advantage. Seniors scored better than the kids in a test of memorizing meaningless words.
You learn from the known to the unknown, so it is logical that the more experience you have, the more you can think “right… that’s right… it’s just like…” I am 43 years old now and I can say that my continuing education keeps getting easier, because there are always relevant things in my experience.
You might have distractions at work, but let’s face it, are they really as obsessive as your teenage interests? You are not going to have to choose between going out on a date and doing some study. Your distraction might be having a walk, going out with friends or taking care about your child.
Just as your three advantages apply to study, they all apply to exams. Were you sick with nerves during your school exams? Your life-career depended on your performance. Now it would be nice to pass, but your experience tells you that you will survive failure, and land on your feet again…so less nerves will be “ wasted”.
There are ways to become a lightning calculator and ways to develop a super memory, all if you can afford them all. If you want to learn a language you can probably even afford to get a “super-learning” course, which teaches you the language in only fifteen hours.
Why do adult continue education?
All right, you have read about the advantages, but why should you bother with adult continuing education?
Here are 3 important factors in one’s well being if continuing learning: prevents brain deterioration, retrain for a new job or self-employment.
I’ve already covered the effect of study on the brain – you get new brain cells.
In modern times, you can only expect to keep one job for a short time and you are going to need to retrain for your next job.
Self-employment: You can not be sacked if you are self-employed. You can go broke, therefore it is best to develop your home business part-time until it is earning you twice as much as your job. Then, if you are retrenched from your job you will not care.
Then you will need to worry about adult continuing education any more, will you? Oops…right, you will need to keep learning even more when you have your own business. For instance, you are going to have to learn book-keeping, unless you can afford an accountant to do the work for you. If you have to employ people, you will need to learn the laws that apply and the hiring procedures with them.
How should you learn?
I prefer to use online courses for my continuing education, as the big advantage of attending classes is that you can get your questions answered instantly. You will probably also find lots of e-books about what you want to learn as there are so many things to be learned about the world.
Take a library for example and think about how many different subjects there are to be studied and learned through the books on the library shelves. You could start reading a book today and still be reading months from now. Or consider how much you could learn about something as simple as your favorite place to visit. Many books have been written and hundreds of websites have been created about this. There is a complexity to your favorite flower that makes learning about it take longer than you would first think. Whether you are eight or seventy-eight, continuing education is important for you.
Continuing education does not just mean that you move on to college after high school, or that you pursue a graduate degree after completing college – it means continuing learning. Continuing education happens as we become curious people who care about ourselves, others, and the world. When we are curious about something it will inspire us to learn about it, therefore continuing education is simply about becoming a lifelong learner, it is about never being satisfied with the amount of knowledge we have but always pursuing something new.
Think about the possible ways to make continuing education a consistent part of your life. Consider the things that you are curious about… Are there things you have always wondered about? Perhaps, you would like to know more about the history of the world or about the person who invented the electrical power. Allow yourself to wonder things like this, but do not let yourself stop with just wondering. Continuing education means taking the time to study and learning about these and other things.
Continuing education can be as simple as committing to read one book per month, for the rest of your life. Think about how much you could learn by reading books on different subjects for the rest of your life or how continuing education can be just fun. Have you always wanted to learn about European history? Enroll in an online class about it just for your own benefit.
Whatever the continuing education means for your life, just do it. You will be glad that you made it a priority to keep learning, and will be surprised about how little you already know. Once you begin continuing education you will never be able to stop, and that is exactly what it is about.