“Education is a lifelong journey whose destination expands as you travel’ Jim Stovall.
Many of us agree that education is a privilege that should not be restricted to only children and adolescents. It should be a lifelong process that can, and should, continue far into maturity and beyond, allowing everyone to achieve their own personal and professional goals.
Young people at school do not often know what they want to do or be when they are an adult or the path that they will take to get there.
It is a massive decision for anyone to make, let alone someone at such a young age. That is without taking any other factors into account; perhaps they have become a parent at a young age, financial circumstances mean that they need to leave school and enter employment as soon as possible, or a lack of resources.
There may be other factors involved; becoming a parent at a young age, a need to leave and get a job as soon as possible, or a lack of resources.
This is why it is so important that education is accessible to adults as well so that they can carry on learning when the time is right for them.
If you are thinking about going back to school but are not entirely convinced of the benefits yet, read the rest of this article and find out why we believe it is an excellent idea.
It helps us to keep up with the changes in society.
Since the emergence of technology, the world has experienced rapid change, with things changing almost daily.
How we work, interact, travel, and even learn has been changed in ways that no one ever dreamed or expected. If we are to continue living lives that are autonomous, productive, and satisfying, it is essential to keep up with these changes.
This is where adult education is useful.
Keeping up with the developments in the world and having a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding such things as culture, race, gender, sexuality, politics, and religion will help to make society stronger and more cohesive.
Those who have left their opinions and beliefs in the past can often be seen to prevent progress.
It helps us keep up with the changes to ourselves
Our bodies, minds, and circumstances change continually throughout our lives.
Very few of us resemble the person we did when we were 16 years old. For many individuals, this means that their desires and interests are entirely different.
For some, it may mean that their financial situation has changed; and for others, it may mean a disability or shift in health. It is always good to be one or more steps ahead of any changes.
Someone who got their start in one sector may be looking for a change, while another, who grew up with much money, might find that they need additional income due to a change in their situation. Thanks to access to adult education, this is possible.
The availability of this kind of education makes it much easier for us to pursue our dreams and accomplish our goals.
Previously, schooling meant going to a physical classroom and studying there, but we are fortunate enough to have access to information practically at the tips of our fingers.
Distance or online courses, such as online social work degree programs, means that education for adults is now readily accessible and, for many, is the difference between being able to follow their dreams or not.
It is essential for career development.
As the world evolves and technology progresses, many of the roles that used to exist are unfortunately no longer required.
For many sectors and professions, this shows no sign of stopping down; in fact, jobs such as retail assistants are already on their way out with self-service machines. Thankfully, adult education brings these individuals other options.
The ability to retrain quickly and efficiently would improve the lives of many people in the future.
Adult learning courses are also valuable for people who really do not like their present job and want to take a new direction or feel that they need something else to fit their new realities.
It keeps your mind active and engaged
Multiple studies have shown that maintaining an active mind will help your wellbeing.
Those who frequently use their brain find that they benefit from improved memory, quicker responses, and greater attention spans in their old age.
Keeping the mind active does not have to be hard work, either. Activities such as learning a new language, acquiring new skills, or something simple such as crossword will have plenty of benefits to mental health.
The fitness and wellbeing of the mind are just as important as the fitness and wellbeing of the body.
It keeps you socially engaged
People who allow themselves to experience new learning opportunities also find themselves participating in more social experiences, which are important for preventing isolation and loneliness, particularly as we get older.
This is related to the above point of keeping our minds active-isolation and loneliness are linked to a significant range of mental health conditions, and taking action to prevent this is definitely going to be a positive thing.
Developing new skills also adds a further aspect of interest to a person’s life. People with similar passions and interests are likely to flock towards others with similar interests, establishing positive and long-lasting connections.
It sets an excellent example to younger generations
Far too often, youngsters in the Western world see learning as a finite obligation that ends when they leave school and graduate, rather than a privilege.
However if they were to see their parents, caregivers or role models embarking on ongoing educational ventures, they would soon begin to see education as a normal part of life that helps them in many ways.
It improves creativity
The more a person knows, the more creative they can be. If a person has more skills and knowledge in particular areas, it is probable that they will be able to come up with creative solutions to problems in those areas. It is, therefore, only reasonable to assume that continuing education in adulthood enables people to think more creatively.
It gives people a second chance
As we discussed above, many people have not been able to complete their school or college education to the degree they might have liked for a number of reasons.
They may have chosen to concentrate on starting a family, dealt with sickness, or had financial issues that prevented them from reaching their educational goals.
However, just because some people have to interrupt their schooling in the past, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the opportunity to restart it in the future.
Going back into education should be facilitated for anyone who wants to, regardless of their financial or other limitations, which is why online and distance learning is a positive development.
They enable people not to be excluded from education because of childcare or other caring obligations or other factors that may prohibit them from attending a physical location. It usually offers more versatility than traditional college courses.
We are all living longer lives
These days, we are living a lot longer than we’ve been in the past.
It means that people will continue to work longer as the retirement age rises, particularly as old-age benefits are reduced or cut entirely.
People now spend a significant proportion of their life at work. This means that if someone doesn’t enjoy their job, they may feel miserable at work for a long time–well into their 70’s or even 80’s.
It could lead to mental health issues such as stress, frustration, anxiety, and depression, so it is important for adults to know that they have other choices.
Easy to access adult education ensures that people in this position can go to classes and training to help them create the life they want for themselves.
It benefits the economy
Of course, we will always need a multitude of unskilled workers, but as technology develops, many of these positions will become redundant, as we described above. If our workforce is made up of people with a spectrum of specialized skills, we will be better equipped to deal with the country’s problems and abilities.
So, if you are not quite sure whether to go back to the world of education, remember these points. Not only will this benefit you, but it will benefit future generations and our culture as a whole. What are you waiting for?