It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. Whether you just graduated from school or if you’re as old as dirt, it’s important to keep your mental synapses firing and keep learning. Besides improving your employment possibilities, studies have shown that continuous learning can also slow down or prevent dementia.
I’m going back to school!
In Canada, September has always been synonymous with the start of the school year for most students. My heart swells with pride as I remember my daughter’s first day of school in North York, Ontario. New dress, new shoes, new backpack, snacks packed, kisses given, tears streaming down my face as I left her at the school and walked away. I think it was harder for me than it was for her. Was she having a good time? Were the other children nice to her? Was she making friends? Was the teacher patient? Would the teacher recognize what a special gem she had in her class?
Every year brought more challenges. New schools, new friends, sometimes drama with friends, sometimes drama with teachers (hint: they’re not all nice!), new goals set, new expectations. I didn’t like school. I loved education though. Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”? Life is just one big school – lots to learn out there.
Secondary education (high school) was better than primary education (elementary school), and college was even better. I’ve always been like a bit of a sponge, constantly looking for things to learn. Even when I worked two jobs in my 20s, I found time to go to night school so I could learn more about accounting and improve my French.
I didn’t take any courses for several years after my daughter was born. The company I worked for though believed in career development, so I was kept busy taking company sponsored courses – sometimes about their products, sometimes about time management and management development. In my current job, I’ve taken courses to learn more about mortgages and finances, but I haven’t taken any formal courses for the past couple of years. I kept myself busy with Toastmasters though, which in a sense is still a learning environment.
But now I’m going back to school.
Online. I’m taking a course called “The Science of Happiness” at Berkeley University, through edX. Through all those years of taking courses, I’ve become a very serious person and if you asked me today if I was truly happy, I don’t know how I’d answer you.
For anyone who’s interested, you can just google edX and browse through their courses. Or you can follow this blog as I share with you how the course is going.
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