As summer winds down, college students are packing up, moving back to the dorms and starting a new semester of classes. Even if it's been several decades since you were college-aged, you can still take fun classes this fall or any time of the year. Your advantage as an older adult is that you can choose the courses that sound interesting to you rather than taking a set curriculum to get a certain degree. Consider some of these types of classes if you're ready to head back to the classroom.
If you're looking for something fun and creative, consider artistic classes. You can find classes to learn all types of visual art techniques, including pottery, painting, drawing and sculpting. These classes offer a sensory experience and engage fine motor skills, which can help older adults retain those movements. Dramatic classes let you test out your acting skills if you prefer that type of creativity. Music classes, either singing or playing musical instruments, offer another way to get creative. Explore different types of creative classes to find a type of art that matches your preferences.
The recommended amount of exercise for people 65 and older is a minimum of 150 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity exercise. You should also do muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week and balance activities at least three times per week. Being physically active can prevent certain health problems later in life. If you don't like to exercise alone, taking a group exercise class can make it more enjoyable to reach your recommended exercise amounts. Group fitness classes also give you a regular socialization opportunity to help prevent loneliness. Look for a senior-specific class to join others your age, or try something that sounds fun like a Zumba class.
If you haven't retired yet or are newly retired, you might have some questions about managing your finances once you leave the working world. Taking classes on retirement or investments can help you make better financial decisions. You can learn the best ways to pay off debt, maximize your retirement money or build your investment portfolio in retirement depending on your financial situation.
Older adults didn't grow up with a smartphone in their hands or a computer in their homes. Taking technology classes can make you feel more comfortable with using technology and reduce your anxiety. This can help you do all types of new things, and it can make it easier to keep in touch with your family and friends through things like video chat. You can often find general technology training for older adults as well as classes on specific types of technology.
Having hobbies as an adult can help you keep your brain sharp and fight off boredom. Many hobbies are things you can start on your own or teach yourself. However, taking a class can help you learn the hobby faster. It's also more enjoyable to learn with other people, as the class can be a form of socialization for you. Some examples of hobbies you might take classes for include:
It's never too late to start a new career path, even later in life. If you're still working, taking classes that can help you change careers can make the rest of your working years more fulfilling. If you've already retired, you might take classes to learn a new career skill. This allows you to start a business in retirement or take on freelance work. For example, you might take classes on interior design, graphic design or marketing and turn your newfound knowledge into a side business.
If there's a particular topic you've always been interested in, take a class on the subject. As you get older, you might realize some of the things you had to learn in school are a lot more interesting to you now. Taking a class on those topics can satisfy your curiosity. You don't have to take educational classes to apply that knowledge in a career. You can take them simply to gain the knowledge and learn more about an interesting topic.
When you start searching for adult learning classes, you'll likely find lots of resources that offer free or low-cost options. Here are some places to look:
Most states have at least one college or university that offers free or greatly reduced classes to older adults, with the minimum age requirement varying by college. You might get free tuition but still have to pay fees. There might also be other restrictions. For example, some colleges don't let you earn credit toward a degree with the free classes, and many allow older adults to enroll in classes only if there's room after paying students enroll.
Hickory Villa offers life-enriching activities and cultural outings that also provide learning opportunities. You can also take online classes from the comfort of your home at Hickory Villa.