The Brain Says No!
I'm old. There, I said it. The person staring back at me in the mirror has to be my Mother, not me. My joints do an impersonation of the Snap! Crackle! And Pop! cereal characters when I stand up. I can't count the number of times I’ve had to retrace my steps to remember what I came into the room for. And, um, what was I saying? Oh yeah - does all of that mean I'm too old to go back to school? Hmmm... not so fast there.
The jury is still out on whether mental exercises magically stave off old age in the brain, but some studies at least show promise (http://www.nia.nih.gov/newsroom/2014/01/cognitive-training-shows-staying-power). I think it is just common sense that the brain should be exercised every bit as much as the body to keep them both in shape. And nothing exercises the brain like going to school – whether to complete a degree, get a certification, or just gain knowledge and skills that help with your job and/or life. Researching and memorizing facts and creating designs and applying knowledge and... the list goes on and on. All that mental exercise can only do you good!.
It can be scary to go back to school if you haven't been there in a while, but rather than sit there and tell yourself “I can't do that,” get up and say “That sounds like fun!” Do some research, find the school/program that fits your goals, and get started. Ana Dinescu's blog post “I'm Too Old. It's Too Expensive.” discusses five issues returning students should consider, including the question of age. Check it out at http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/im-too-old-its-too-expensive.
Now excuse me while I peruse this college course catalog. If only I could remember what for. **sigh**
For valuable education resources, check out the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Web site http://www.dantes.doded.mil/index.html.
Nancy Hamilton, DANTES Editor