Choosing to Study as an Adult
In the past, education was often seen as something children did at school, then you got a bit older and you went to college, then may be on to university, and some people continued at university with higher degrees. Today, most people still go to school, many go to college, some go to university, but education does not stop there. With more and more educational opportunities, people can continue to learn throughout their life time. This may be in formal educational settings, such as colleges, universities, training organisations and in other forms of education, such as distance education, distance learning, correspondence courses and online training. As the world has become more global with the internet, then so has education.
Distance learning has become more and more popular.
Many early retirees will tell you that at 50 they have only just realised how much there is to learn on any subject and after 50 years feel they are just on the starting blocks, even though they may have a number of degrees and have forty or more years of work experience behind them. At retiring learning is great fun as you can follow any hobby or path you want without the pressures of deciding whether it will bring in enough income.
“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something”.
Making the choice to study
Whatever education a person has undertaken as an adult, they have often made the choice to study. When we are children, we have little choice in terms of attending education; it is a legal requirement that children receive some form of education.
For adults, deciding to take another course is a ‘choice’. As a result this, taking a course as an adult can be a more positive experience for some people than schooling was in childhood.
People also learn better when they study things they are interested in or see relevance in. If there is a lack of interest or perceived relevance; the student should either have their attitude changed before moving forward on a course; or else change to a different course. There is little point in studying a course that you will not be successful in no matter how many other reasons you might have for doing that course. So you decide to study a course in psychology, but find it boring. You will do not do so well in your studies as if you found it interesting. So if you then decided to take a course in landscaping, you may find you thoroughly enjoy it and therefore make more effort in your learning.
When making the decision to start a course or to learn something new, it is essential that you consider –Do I really WANT to do this course?
- Do I want to study for the right reasons?
- Do I need to study this course? (How will it benefit me?)
- Do I have the time to study the course?
- When will I study it?
- Am I interested in the topic?
- Is it something I really want to learn?
- Does it build on the background material and interests I already have?
- Will it take my life in the direction I want?