It's Never too late to Study! I Oxford Open Learning

It’s Never too late to Study!

Girl_in_the_Library_(3638661587)‘It’s too late for me to go back to school,’ can be a common misconception as soon as we’ve finished full time education. So, why should you study as a mature student?

If your memories of education are set in a climate of fear that you couldn’t wait to escape, no one would blame you for feeling daunted at the idea of starting again. However, there are several compelling reasons to go back to college or sign up for a distance learning course. Better qualifications could help propel you up the career ladder; or you might even find a new specialism that provides job fulfilment. If you’re approaching pensionable age, study for its own sake can provide immense satisfaction and help to keep your brain active as you age. Whatever your age or stage in life, it really is never too late to go back to school.

Have you watched with envy as some of your friends and family achieve the careers they’ve dreamed of? There is no reason why you can’t use a distance learning education to help yourself get a job you really love. For example, many vocational courses like childcare, hairdressing, plumbing and building require a basic standard of literacy and numeracy. In a shorter time than you might think, you could have those certificates in Maths and English and be enrolling for that other course you’ve always dreamed of.

If you regretted not having a university education, either because it would enhance your career prospects or because it’s an achievement you always coveted, distance learning can help you to get the certificates you need to apply for an undergraduate course of study. It’s often easier for more mature students to be more focused on and dedicated to their work, so you might even find you end up outperforming the younger students!

Being a parent is a reason in itself to consider a return to education via distance learning. You can study in the comfort of your own home, with no need for the childcare that attending college would necessitate. Not only that, but you’ll be setting your children a fantastic example. Children learn most not from what their parents say, but from their behaviour. If they see you knuckling down to study and making an effort to better yourself and your career, your children will adopt these habits and attitudes themselves. In addition, if you’re brushing up on your knowledge of, for example, English or Maths via distance learning, you’ll be in a much better position to help your children with their homework. They’ll benefit from your new knowledge and skills, and the time spent together will improve your relationship.

If you’re approaching or past pensionable age, distance learning can be a fantastic opportunity to explore all those subjects you wished you had more of a go at in your younger days. Maybe you’ve always enjoyed reading, and studying English Literature would be like delving into a treasure trove of delights? Perhaps you’re a history buff, and would gleefully snatch at the opportunity to extend your knowledge? Distance learning provides a great opportunity for the more mature student to explore the merits of education for its own sake. Like physical fitness, mental agility can be maintained and even improved on as we age; provided we keep challenging ourselves and applying ourselves to learning new things. Mental fulfilment can also make us feel happier, whatever age we are, and there’s not much to dislike about that!

It’s never too late to go back to school, and the benefits for people of all ages improving or extending their education can be significant. Distance learning can be paid for over a manageable period of time, so you can enjoy the advantages of studying while maintaining control of your finances. Many say; ‘I’m too old’,  ‘I don’t have the confidence’, or ‘I don’t think I could do it’, but you’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain by adding to your education through distance learning!

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I'm a former English teacher and private tutor who is passionate about education. I've been writing professionally for the past three years and have written educational worksheets for use in schools as well as contributing to an educational journal. I've also written on every other topic under the sun!

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