Updated: May 8
In the year 2000, I made a decision to head back to education after taking an 8-year break. You might think that's pretty commonplace today, but back then it was still a big decision to make. At 28 years of age, I knew I wanted to get my degree, but I had to figure out how to make it work with my other commitments. Luckily, I found out that Queens were offering a part-time degree that could be done over five years. I took some time to consider my options and ultimately decided to go for it. When I enrolled, I was considered a mature student, but that didn't bother me one bit!
On my first day in October 2000, I was in for a big surprise. I thought I'd be one of the oldest in the class, but I ended up sitting next to Henry, who was 65 years old and retired. It was such a pleasure to get to know him over the years we studied together. He was full of fascinating stories and always had a wealth of knowledge to share on our subjects. I couldn't help but ask him why he had decided to study at this stage in his life. He told me that he had always loved history but had to go into his family's tailoring business at the age of 16. After running it successfully for over forty years, he finally sold it and found himself with a void in his life. He knew he had always wanted to go to university, and at the age of 65, he decided it was finally his time to do it!
For the next two years, I learned so much from Henry, and he continued to be an inspiration to me. Eventually, I started exploring other areas of study and didn't see him as much, but I was thrilled to hear that he had graduated a couple of years earlier than me! His achievement goes to show that it's never too late to pursue your goals, no matter your age.
Nowadays, I don't see myself as a mature student, but more as a lifelong learner. Every day is an opportunity to discover something new and grow in knowledge and experience. I encourage anyone who has a desire to learn something new to take action. Do your research, make a plan, and go for it! You never know where it might lead you.
Why it is important to keep on learning?
Continuing to learn is not only essential for personal growth but can also lead to career growth. In today's fast-paced world, where new technologies and trends are constantly emerging, it's more important than ever to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. By continuously learning, you can stay relevant in your field and remain competitive in the job market.
Learning also offers a range of personal benefits, such as improved cognitive function, increased confidence, and a greater sense of fulfilment. It can even improve your mental health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that lifelong learning can help prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia.
Moreover, the world we live in is constantly evolving, and we need to adapt to the changes that come our way. Learning provides us with the tools to adapt to new situations, handle challenges, and navigate complex problems. It can help us become more resilient, more flexible, and more creative in our thinking.
For those in the workforce, continuous learning can be crucial for career advancement. Employers value individuals who demonstrate a willingness to learn and adapt to new situations. By taking courses, attending conferences, or pursuing advanced degrees, you can develop new skills and knowledge that can help you stand out from the crowd.
In conclusion, whether you're pursuing education for personal or professional reasons, continuing to learn is essential. It can help you stay relevant, improve cognitive function, and offer a sense of fulfilment. It can also be crucial for career growth and advancement. So don't let age or other barriers hold you back from pursuing your dreams and continue to learn and grow throughout your life.
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