Going Back To College After An Empty Nest

Going back to college at 50 would have seemed ridiculous to me when I was younger. I had already been through college once and I remember being so happy when I was finished. Why go back to college when I was entering this prime of life?

How Going Back To College Keeps You Young

going back to college

  • You surround yourself with younger people – Interacting with the younger generation has a way of making you feel young yourself. It gives you a fresh perspective on thinking. Although at times I felt so much older and wiser, there were other times that I was reminded of the ambition of being younger. Also, if you now have an empty nest, this is a good way to stay current with young people.
  • Keeps the brain active – It is good for the brain to keep learning! Before going back to school, I was worried that I may not be able to learn new things easily. However, each time I understood a new concept, I would think ‘oh yeah I’ve still got this!’ It was a definite boost to my psyche.
  • Helps with competing for jobs with younger generation – If you took time off from work to raise a family, you have to become current with job qualifications. You feel younger when you have learned fresh material and are able to compete with the younger generation. If you are already working, you will be able to keep your skills fresh.

Three Surprising Benefits Of Going Back To College

  1. You’ll make new friends – Probably the biggest surprise to me was how many other older women were also going back to college. I felt an immediate rapport with these women and even made some new friends.
  2. You’ll become more disciplined – It can be easy to get set in your ways and even a little bit lazy as you age. College makes that pretty much impossible! You have to get up early, meet deadlines, and schedule your time well to get everything else done. This discipline helps you with all aspects of life.
  3. You’ll increase your confidence – Mastering a new subject works to increase your confidence. I had gone back to school for Web Design and didn’t know how I would do with this new subject. When I was able to learn it and actually did very well, my confidence increased significantly.

Steps To Go Back To College

Figure out where your interest is – When I first considered going back to college it was to take refresher courses for my original Accounting degree. The more I thought about this, the more bored I felt with the idea. My interest had changed over the years. I wanted to do something more creative and what I considered to be fun. That is one benefit of going back to school when you are older. You have a better idea what you want to do. If you have a passion for something, you will enjoy learning it so much more!

Find a college best suited for your interest – Research colleges in your area, or even online programs, to determine where you want to attend with the most benefit.

Apply and decide on the degree or certificate you want to obtain – Whether you are taking some refresher classes or going back for a new degree, you will want to commit to the time it will take for each program.

Figure out how to fund your education – Sometimes it can be easier to fund your own education after all the kids are out of college. However, if it seems like it would be a struggle, there are ways to get assistance. Check out this guide for where to get grants and scholarships.


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