How I rediscovered a love of learning in retirement

Over60 native article for AustralianSuper

As the life expectancy of Australians continues to grow, many find themselves working longer than they expected – or even hoped. As such, a growing number of over-60s are choosing to give themselves a competitive edge by taking community classes, completing online courses and even going to university. Over60 community member, 72-year-old Geraldine Luker, is one of them.

“Many years ago, I was married to a man that wouldn’t let me develop my interests,” she tells Over60. “Having said that, he allowed me to undergo my EN training [enrolled nurse]. I was privileged to be one of the first groups of ENs trained at Flinders Medical Centre 1975 to 76.

“After many years of working as an EN in acute care, with a change of marriage status and with my daughter’s encouragement, I commenced my degree  (it means you are trained on the job (explained above) but don’t have a degree) at Flinders University in 2006. The experience was so exciting, I felt I was where I always wanted to be. At the age of 62, yes indeed I was the oldest student in nursing at Flinders.

[…]

“I finally completed my degree in 2009. It was an epic journey and I loved every minute of it. It just goes to show, when you fail at school it’s not the end of the road. I have had many people in their 50s say, ‘I would like to study but I’m too old.’ I will always encourage people to further their learning.”

Of course, the prospect of returning to education can be a daunting one, especially if it’s been a while since you were last at school or completed a course. That’s why we’ve put together this easy guide so no matter your situation, budget or schedule, you can dive back into the world of learning.

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