Going Back to School after Disability or Retirement
You’re retired, or disabled, but know that life is not over for you. You’re bored, and everybody thinks you should just sit back, and enjoy yourself. You smile nicely while you cringe inside when people tell you how lucky you are. All you can think about is how terrible life is now that you’re not working an 8 to 5. You wonder why people don’t realize that you have more to give. You feel like you’re wasting time, and if you have to spend one more day in front of the boob tube, or listening to the elders complain about their ailments you’ll go crazy. You have fixed everything that needed fixing around the house. You have read all the books that you intended to catch up on, and watched all the movies that have waited on the shelf. Now what? Your friends tell you to indulge in your hobby, but that has even lost its luster. I went through this too. I was wallowing in the self-pity of nothingness too. At least until I decided to go back to school.
Going back to school is a liberating move to make when all else has been taken away. Your self-esteem will grow and when you look at yourself in the mirror you will like what you see. Don’t worry about all the people who will tell you that you’re foolish to do such a thing. Most people look at school as if it is hard work, but when you reach a certain point in life when you are in need of stimulation school can be your savior. Many people have decided to go back to school when a change in their life was needed. I am not only talking about people needing a new profession. I am concerned mainly here with the person who has been placed on disability, or has retired from their profession. There are many avenues that can be pursued through our colleges, and they all lead to a sense of contentment, self-satisfaction, and happiness.
The happiness you will experience while enriching your life will be the proof you need that this has been a good move for you to make. There is art, astrology, geology, history, sciences, writing, and politics just to name a few classes that are available. The list off classes offered is lengthy, and the colleges are full of older students taking courses to improve a hobby, or to earn a degree in general studies. Some older students are even furthering existing degrees to earn their Masters, or Doctorate for self-gratification. I never knew I could write until I went back to school at the age of 51, and ended up taking 2nd place in the universities writing competition in creative non-fiction short stories. Today, five years later I write daily, taking much pleasure in my endeavor, and I am still enrolling every semester for one class or another.
Taking a class or two every semester allows you to engage with other people on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. You will talk with people who are different from the normal everyday people who you talk to now, because its’ a different life from your normal everyday existence. People who are attending school are going places in their mind, and you will go with them. Some are going on to new lives as young adults, where some are furthering their life in a new way at a new point in their life, such as the disabled, or retired. They’re taking a different fork in the road. They have made the decision not to sit, vegetate, and be unfulfilled. Instead they are choosing to grow, and its easier than you think to go back to school.
Taking a class, or a full semester is easy to carry out. If you are below a certain income level, on disability, or retired there are all kinds of financial aid that the staff in the offices at the colleges will help you get. If you are a disabled veteran the monies may be paid for by the Veterans Administration. Auditing a class may be a consideration for you. You pay a lower rate per credit hour, or only student fees if you take a class this way. There is also refreshment classes offered that can help you brush up on your skills. It is possible to go back to school without being rich, and once the financing is taken care of you get to choose which classes you want to take.
Choice is what you have now. Being in a place to choose what your life will be will empower yourself, so that you may flourish no matter what class you decide to take. You will sleep better for being up, and moving. Nobody will be doing this for you, because you will have the independence you want, and need. You will smile, and be happy. The motivation you will give yourself, in your own endeavor will come easy. You are not done with life, and you do have more to give.