When most people think of school, they think of childhood. Memories of running around at recess, trying to figure out the day’s Mystery Meat, or that teacher they loved (or hated). The reality of school is that it is appropriate for all ages. While youngsters learn valuable new skills in school and young adults train for a career, older adults can befit from school at least as much as their younger counterparts. Older students have a better idea of what they want to get out of the experience, they have more to contribute to classroom discussions and going to school does not require physical stamina. Going to school when older also improves a person’s quality of life.
Quality of life
Staying mentally active in senior years has been demonstrated to significantly improve cognitive function and memory. Just as exercising a muscle keeps it stronger and healthier, using your mind does the same thing. Even if coursework taken it simply for entertainment, the benefits of an improved mind make school an excellent idea for seniors. Also, the social interactions and physical activity will work to improve other aspects of life.
More to contribute
Unlike younger students, seniors have a lifetime of experience from which to make classroom contributions. They also have better skills at working in groups, providing a valuable resource to teachers and fellow students. The ensuing recognition and appreciation make life more worthwhile at any age. The school environment is the perfect place for seniors to really strut their stuff.
More realistic goals
Older students have more realistic goals when attending school. Most seniors are not looking to start a new career, although it is certainly possible. Instead, many older students are looking to improve on what they already know, learn a new hobby, or simply get out of the house and meet new people. The more realistic outlook of older students reduces or eliminates much of the drama experienced by younger college students.
The physical, mental and social benefits of returning to school later in life are made even easier with reduced tuition fees or tuition that is waived altogether for seniors. Some colleges are recognizing the mutual benefits of seniors in the classroom and have developed specific classes that take advantage of all the experience and perspective held by seniors.
Attending school later in life can make you healthier and happier, without spending much money. You will also be appreciated for your life experiences and perspective. Too old to go back to school? Never!