I was watching the film “Life of the Party” starring Melissa McCarthy who plays a mom (Deanna) that is sending her daughter to college. As she leaves the school after dropping her daughter off, Deanna’s husband lays a bomb that he’s been having an affair and wants a divorce. Deanna decides to go back to college at the same school her daughter attends, which freaks out her daughter. After some shenanigans take place, everyone in her daughter’s sorority, including her daughter, discover they love having Deanna there. It’s a perfect testament to the fact that you’re never too old for life-long learning.
Melissa is still fairly young but it’s not unusual these days to see students as old as 90 attending college. There are student loans available that make college available to anyone. Life-long learning keeps us young, engaged, and relevant. If you don’t want to register and attend college physically, there are plenty of online sites where you can learn from the comfort of your own home.
You may not attend sorority parties (like Melissa did in the film), but you can add to your career credentials, learn a new skill, or gain knowledge to start a new business. There are many Baby Boomers who refuse to resign to a traditional retirement scenario for one reason or the other. And, for some of us, it’s impossible if we want to survive. Life-long-learning brings new opportunities, fun, and keeps our brains engaged and active.
Here are 6 ways to make a habit of life-long learning
Take online college classes to enhance your credentials
edX is a site that connects you to online courses given by top-tier universities such as Harvard, Berkeley, University of Texas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Sorbonne, and Boston University. You can earn MicroMaster’s Certificates, Professional Certificates, XSeries Programs, and University credits in a huge array of subjects. Their most popular course is called “The Science of Happiness.” Some classes follow a fixed schedule and others are self-paced so you can complete them at your leisure. There are 1900+ courses and the site serves 14 Million + learners worldwide.
The Edx mission:
At edX, we take our mission of increasing global access to quality education seriously. We connect learners to the best universities and institutions from around the world. Join us!
Expand your interests beyond what you know
If an online course isn’t your thing, you can purchase DVD sets and books on The Great Courses site that covers all sorts of interests. I bought their “Art of Travel Photography,” “Writing Creative Nonfiction,” and “Great Tours: Experiencing Medieval Europe” courses. They are given by university professors other professionals in their fields. Courses run the gamut of knowledge and include Better Living, Science, History, Fine Arts, Economics, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Music, Math, High School and Professional. I was happy with what I received and believe it’s worth the investment.
Learn from masters in their field
Can you imagine taking a photography class from Annie Leibovitz or learn to direct with Ron Howard? Masterclass offers classes by some of the world’s greatest minds. How about a cooking class from Gordon Ramsay, Screenwriting by Aaron Sorkin or Comedy with Steve Martin? This is the caliber of classes that are offered. You can get an all-access pass for $180 per year.
Learn technical and other practical skills
Baby Boomers are reinventing themselves into all sorts of post-retirement businesses and many are working online. You can learn tech skills such as website design, social media, IT, computer software, business skills, as well as photography, health, self-improvement, languages, music, test prep and just about anything on Udemy They have a library of over 65,000 online learning courses at reasonable prices. Work at your own pace. You can even learn using their fabulous phone app.
Learn to be a writer or blogger and get paid
If you have a desire to become a freelance writer I recommend you take a course from Great Escape Publishing. I attended their travel writer’s workshop in Denver and not only learned valuable skills but met amazing people, some of whom have written posts on this blog and have become online friends. I decided to stick with blogging but my writing has improved immensely because of it. Many of my classmates are now award-winning writers who have bylines in a variety of publications both print and online. Great Escape’s courses are not cheap, but certainly worth it in both content and contacts.
I’ve been blogging since 2008 and taught myself how to set up sites on WordPress. I started a business helping other people blog in 2010. Now, I not only set up WordPress websites but also tutor those who want to learn how to use the platform to fit their individual needs. For more information, click here.
Do it Yourself (DIY) and crafts
If you are more the creative type, Bluprint offers online craft and art classes that include sewing, knitting, cake decorating, baking, crochet, embroidery, photography, paper crafts, woodworking, weaving, spinning, dance, fitness, yoga, art, and home decorating. It’s a paradise for life-long learning if you’re a do-it-yourselfer who loves to work with your hands. You can also purchase craft kits, supplies, and patterns.
Choose an individual class or sign up to subscribe to their unlimited program with a 7-day free trial.
Enlighten your consciousness
The Chopra Center offers classes and teaching opportunities in meditation, Ayurveda, and coaching. You can learn online or attend one of their retreats. The Chopra Center is located at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California near San Diego.
If you are a seeker, dreamer, or interested in the evolution of your consciousness you will love Gaia. It’s an online site that provides video programming for spiritual growth, alternative health, personal development, and expanded consciousness. Develop your intuition, learn about ancient civilizations and cultures, relieve stress and even delve into the occult.
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