Dear Auntie Em,
I just got a flyer in the mail about college classes for non-traditional students. (This probably means 'older.') Some of the classes look really interesting, and a lot of them are held in the evenings, after work. I dropped out of college to get married (my husband was in the military) and I always thought I should have finished. These classes won't earn me a degree (I'd have to quit my job to do that), but they might be fun. Do you think it's stupid to try to go back to school?
Old, But Not Dead
Dear Not Dead,
I think you've answered your own question...so why do you need me?
The way I see it, stepping outside of your comfort zone will afford you a few things: you will be engaging your brain in ways that are not typically utilized (your brain needs to mix it up on occasion!);
you will meet new people, which is always good and interesting and fun;
and you will be an inspiration to others.
No, really...you will. There are thousands of people out there just like you--wondering if it's too late. If there's one thing I've learned since becoming menopausal, it's that it's NEVER TOO LATE if you are still vertical. And one of the best ways to combat the effects of aging is to try something new.
I say, "Go for it!" Figure out which class will (a) interest you the most, and (b) fit your schedule the best. Start with a list of your preferences, in order, and hopefully one of your top three choices will fit into your life. (Make sure you consider cost, as well. Sometimes there are extra fees for supplies or whatever.) If you like to read, a survey of literature course would be fun, because you'll actually discuss the novels (instead of like book club, where you mostly drink wine and complain about husbands). If you want to do something hands-on, maybe there are some art classes. We have a great facility here where adults can take classes in pottery or watercolor or jewelry making or whatever. Most of the classes are during the day, but they offer a few at night and on weekends. Start by choosing something that's linked to what you already like to do, or jump into something completely different. (But stay away from Quantum Physics, unless you've taken the prerequisite calculus classes.)
Most of all...have fun! Ask questions! Get your money's worth! Maybe you'll fall in love with something new, which is always exciting.