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Further Education For Senior Citizens 2 - Obstacles You Face

Dr. Bill is a retired University Professor who adheres to the philosophy of being a lifelong learner. He can help you be one too! ;-)

We each need to find the best way to further our education

How will you further your education?

How will you further your education?

What Is Holding You Back?

Obstacles to change are always with us. To overcome obstacles we must first understand them. For discussion purposes, let’s categorize possible obstacles to further education as related to: 1) time, 2) money, or 3) pre-qualifications. If your concern is something else, please leave a comment, below, or email me personally at billsmith2003 at gmail dot com.

Time is often perceived as being the major obstacle for most of us. It was certainly critical for me. I had a job and a family to support. Yet, I felt I needed something more. Sound familiar? If this is the case, then your challenge is to find the time. Time management is a study of its own, of course, but you’ll need to apply those principles in your own case - along with your consideration of the aspects of the other two obstacle categories. We each already know, of course, that ‘finding time’ is entirely a matter of setting priorities. What is your most important use of your time? How do you allocate the sixty minutes you have available in each of your twenty-four hours in each of your seven days of the week? We won’t solve that issue, here, today, but you do know what has to be done, when the other issues are further along toward resolution.

What is the one thing you know you can do, starting today, right now, to make more time available to further your education? I know you’ve thought about it. Why haven’t you done it yet? Start today, to take that time, to use that time, to meet the goals you set for yourself. There, you did it. Good for you!! You are on your way.

What obstacles stand in the way of your further education?

What is the next step in your education?

What is the next step in your education?


It alway comes down to money, doesn’t it? But, again, it is also priorities. What is it you really want to do with your life? Pursuit of further education may be to earn more money to have a more secure future. Therefore, we must assess our priorities and decide what is really important to us, at this time. And, this changes with time, so you must keep assessing what you want, even as time passes. What may seem impossible today, may seem more possible in a month from now, or in a year or two.

This is not news to you, but, the best way to have the money you need for further education, or any priority, of course, is to budget your money carefully, and save. Set those dollars aside for the specific purpose you have made your priority. Make the new habit of saving and it can become a routine part of your life that you really don’t even notice. Easier said than done, but it can be done, and it is again, really a matter or your own priorities. You are the only one who can really make the decision, and then take the actions to make it work. A spouse or other family members are there to be considered, but your life is your life, and you must take control. Until that happens, nothing changes. No progress is made. How you handle your time and how you handle your money are really two sides of the same coin. That coin is in your hands. Do what is right, for you, now.

What are your priorities for your further education?

You can do it

You can do it

Pre-Qualification Requirements

Of the three obstacles this is the most difficult to discuss in general terms. Each case will be somewhat different depending on your particular choice of further education. It becomes more complex the higher the level of eduction you seek, of course. Regardless, the first general step is like that of eating an elephant… take one small bite at a time. You must first determine, very specifically, what you need to do to get yourself ready for that next critical step of furthering your education. Examples will work best here. If you want to work on a specific degree or certification, each of these has a specific list of pre-qualification requirements. Get this list and and compare your current status to each of the items on the list. What must you do to meet each of those requirements? If you can see a path to meeting each of those requirements, you may be on your way. If not, you will need to find a way, or decide you must take a different path, or abandon that particular goal.

At this point I want to mention a particular obstacle that I faced early in my career that I thought about including as number 4 on the above list, and that is ‘location.’ Where you are at a particular point in your life may make it impossible to further your education in the way you want to. For many years I did not live in a location conducive to obtaining the PhD I sought. That was before the internet removed some barriers to many forms of higher education, of course. Perhaps we’ll consider this obstacle further in a later article, especially if someone actually faces that issue and we can talk about your specific situation.

Back to pre-qualification requirements. Here, again, you must have the discipline to go step by step to meet those requirements. Perhaps do the easy ones first to get them out of the way. Time and money will play a part, but make a plan, set goals. Short-term goals and long-term goals that will get you where you need to be is the approach you want to take. Measurable, time-specific goals work. What will you do first? Let me know. I’ll bet most of you have already tried most of these things. What worked, what didn’t? Let me know in the comments or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from each of you.

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Mission Statement

When people hear my story of earning my PhD after 50 years of age, and then having a successful 15 year career as a University Professor before retirement, it leads to all kinds of comments, questions and much more discussion. Some say I should write a book about it. Some say I should write a column. This series of articles will be my initial response.

I will start it off with some general discussion based on the questions I’ve been asked and the discussions we’ve had. I hope this will lead to more questions, and perhaps we can start a ‘mailbag’ of questions, regularly, in addition to the helpful articles.

These articles will not focus on just one level of education, nor will it only focus on earning a living. Each of us needs to be a ‘lifelong learner.’ Whether to go into genealogy and family history research, becoming a Nurses Aide, or obtaining a degree at any level, there are certain questions that need to be asked and answered for each of us. That is what this series of articles is designed to do. Your participation is critical to making this work.

A good friend of mine here at HubPages, Bill Holland, says on his blog, Artistry With Words, that he writes there: “Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” Here, I wish to do the same for those of you who want to ‘Further your education as a senior citizen.’ I’ll go with the AARP definition and use 50 years of age as a reference point. That is not very old, these days, so if you are there, or about to get there, come along for the ride - and ask those questions I know you have.

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on May 30, 2019:

Thank you, Virginia. So nice to hear from you. Sounds like an active, prosperous senior center, for sure! ;-)

William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on May 30, 2019:

Thank you, Bill. Always interesting to see what we can stir up as interest in different topics.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 30, 2019:

Yes, we need to be life-long learners. I've taught a few short classes in our senior community. I find most want something packaged to fit around their fun outings, cruises, and golf time.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2019:

Nothing is really holding me back other than a lack of desire. I have three degrees and I really have too many other interests right now that don't include academia. Great information here, a wonderful ignition of inner fires.

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