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Higher Education after 60

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Photo by Pixabay

I recently enrolled in a local community college as a full time student. Initially the reason I did it was to take advantage of some GI Bill benefits that were close to expiring. Therefore, the field of study was not that important to me, I chose a Digital Media program as it sounded interesting and much different than anything I had done before.

Same as it ever a good way

Hitting the books after 40 years Photo by Pixabay

Almost 40 years ago I received a Bachelor of Science. 20 years ago I received a Masters Degree. So I had done this before. The first step was simply enrolling at the college. I did this online. The only requirement was a high school diploma. Registration was free and after being accepted i had to take proficiency tests in English and Math. Not sure I did well on either, but that was not important. I next made an appointment with a counselor and registered for classes. Although I was enrolled in Digital Media, like any full time community college student, I had to take the core classes required at an institute of higher education. This included, yes, English 100 and a remedial Math class (I must have done worse than I thought). I filled out the core classes with History, Social Studies, Geography etc. Yes, I am talking real college stuff here. I am also taking the Digital Media classes of course, that include a lot of foundation in art, photography and film.

Feed your head

Brain synapses appreciate the workout
Brain synapses appreciate the workout Photo by Pixabay

Some classes are online these days, but I spend a lot of time going to class. I am usually three times older than anyone else. Despite my initial reasons for going back to college, I have found it extremely enjoyable. I am learning new things. I am improving old skills. I am interacting with younger people. I will probably never work again, but have discovered new passions for writing, photography, art. Most importantly, however, is that I am challenging the brain.

Coffee at the quad

Library Books
Libraries are so comfortable now Photo by Pixabay

Anyone with a high school diploma can attend a community college in this country. There is no age limit. I have talked to some of my contemporaries that have said they may take a college language or art course. I say if you have the time and inclination, don't limit yourself. Also, most community colleges are very affordable, and provide a sound education. The instructors often also teach at the affiliated university here. In Hawaii you can be a full time community college student for around 1500.00 per semester. It is not for everyone I know, but worth adding to the list of potential uses of your time after 60.

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