Too old to study? Not quite

¿Demasiado mayor para estudiar? No te creas - Sociedad, Emprendimiento

What comes to your mind when you think of college students? Young people looking to start a new path towards their future? While these certainly represent part of the university experience, you will be surprised to learn that the demographics of the university are changing in many ways.

While high school students still make up a large part of college goers, older adults also find their way to campuses. You're never too old to learn something new. There are many classes and courses where you can improve specific skills or learn something new, many of which are free. Classes are no longer limited only at night, there are also day, weekend, online and distance learning classes to choose from.

Schools, universities, community centers and libraries are responding to the rapid growth of the elderly population, offering retirees the opportunity to develop a second career, seeing in them an enormous potential.

These entities recognize the value of offering educational opportunities for seniors and, as such, offer reduced rates, tax credits, scholarships and, in some cases, even free classes for seniors.

In addition to "traditional" careers, there are programs specially designed to help older people acquire skills or knowledge for a new stage, or to obtain credits for a degree. Classes, as in other cases, are carried out on campus, online or through a combination of both.

Many of these programs are aimed at helping older people have a social impact on their "second acts". But not only that. Older adults who perform difficult tasks and learn new skills show better memory than those who participate in less demanding mental activities.

Do not forget that learning at any age is extremely beneficial for the brain. When you learn something new, your brain develops new cells and builds new connections that have proven benefits for problem solving and memory skills. Learning can help improve cognitive ability and memory function and can help prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

In addition, learning is a social effort that can help build social connections and avoid isolation, an important factor in keeping older people healthy and happy. Half of college students 50 years of age or older attend universities or apprenticeship centers to connect with others, have fun and reorganize for a new stage in their lives.

New access to education

Thanks to the increase in technology, students of all ages have many options when it comes to taking a course or obtaining a certification. It seems that the new generation of retirees or those who hope to retire within the next few years, is among those who want to take advantage of online courses and new learning paths.

Stay busy, connected and healthy

Having new interests and goals keeps us active and committed and will present us with new ideas. Like volunteering, studying is an excellent way to bring a new meaning and purpose to our lifestyle at the time of retirement. New structures can be created for our days and weeks, something that is usually lost after the routine of working life. With face-to-face learning, we will also have more opportunities to meet people who share our interests and, as a result, establish new social connections.

Now if you ask yourself the reasons to study after 50 you already know: a sense of achievement, better job prospects, personal growth, an excellent way to keep busy and a different way of contributing to society.