6 Ideas for Lifelong Learning

You’ve raised your family, accomplished your career goals, and retirement (or almost retirement) is finally here. If you’re like many active adults, you may be wondering what’s next. The transition from full-time work can create challenges as you are faced for the first time with days where your time is your own. So what can you do in retirement?  Fortunately, there are many ideas for lifelong learning that you can explore and engage in, to keep you active in body and mind.

 

You may want to apply your knowledge and job experience to a new challenge in the same field. You may want to learn to do something entirely different from your former career. You may want to learn on your own or you may find it more fun to learn with your friends and neighbors. Whatever you choose, there are exciting opportunities available all around you and every day is a new chance to learn and grow.

Learning Opportunities In Your Area

Whether you’re an active adult looking for something to do that keeps you challenged every day or want an occasional growth opportunity that fits into an already-busy schedule of volunteering and travel, there are many potential activities to keep you moving forward and learning something new every day. Whether you want something close to home or want to go out and explore your local community, there are a variety of ways to have a busy and engaged senior lifestyle.

 

Book Club

If you’re an avid reader -- or would like to be -- a book club is a great way to keep exploring new ideas with friends and neighbors in your community. Check out your local library for an existing club, or start your own. You may want to explore a specific niche with your club -- like novels, historical writing, or current events -- or branch out with a wide variety of books. Make it even more fun when you add food -- a potluck lunch or dinner is a great way to socialize as you learn. Perhaps you can even couple discussion in literature with a wine and dine evening.

 

Local Colleges and Universities

In many areas, you need look no further than the local college or university for a wide variety of lifelong learning opportunities. Check out free classes at your local college or consider going back and getting another degree. Take advantage of free or low-cost concerts, plays, museums, and botanical gardens, or become a big booster for your local college’s sports team. You may even want to volunteer on campus, perhaps as a docent in the museum or as an usher at on-campus events.

 

Guest Speakers

In your local area there are many authors, politicians, artists, teachers and more who would welcome the opportunity to come to your clubhouse or home and talk about their area of expertise. Join with others to host a monthly Lunch and Learn, inviting local speakers to teach you something new as you socialize with friends and neighbors.

 

Expert-Next-Door

You may find that some of those notable experts live in your very own community. Reach out to your fellow residents and find out what unusual skills, hobbies, or areas of expertise they would like to discuss. You may find that one neighbor has a knack for gardening and would be happy to share her tips with your group. Another may be a fabulous amateur artist who would gladly offer a fun sketch or painting class. The possibilities are endless.

 

Active Learning

Learning doesn’t have to take place in a classroom or even in a chair. Get up, get out, and consider some opportunities for active learning. Have a Tai Chi instructor come to your neighborhood and teach in the community greenspace. Learn home improvement skills from a particularly handy neighbor. Who’s the best cook in the neighborhood? Have him or her conduct a monthly cooking class in your home or clubhouse kitchen.

 

Second Acts

What have you always wanted to do? Perhaps your dream was to write, but it was more practical to become a nurse. Maybe after a career sitting behind a desk, you really want to dance. It could be that you spent your career working for someone else, but what you really want is to start your own business. This is the perfect time to explore your options and begin a new chapter in your life and career. Revisit some of those old dreams and find ways to make them new again!

 

 

As long as you have curiosity and an open mind, you have the opportunity to learn something new. And when you do the learning with your friends and neighbors, you create a 55+ community where growth, engagement, and fun happens naturally. Consider what you’d like to explore then go online or work with your Del Webb lifestyle director to make it happen.

 

 

Contributed to The 55+ Society by Christy Murdock Edgar

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