An elderly woman staring at the camera.

Learning is a lifelong adventure. No matter what age you are, learning new things is beyond beneficial. 

Whether you want to learn about Dance and the Silver Screen or Tectonics of the Western USA, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU has a class for you. Not only will you get to develop a new interest, but you’ll feel more refreshed than ever before. 

Boost Brain Health 

Intellectually engaging your brain boosts your overall health. According to the National Institute of Aging, people engaged in personally meaningful activities claim to feel happier and healthier. Another study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that older adults who participated in cognitively demanding activities, like quilting, had more memory improvement. 

Lifelong learning also leads to improved neuron generation and connection in the brain. Not only does increased neuron generation improve your cognitive abilities, but it also may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Expand Social Connections 

The benefits of lifelong learning affect more than just your physical health. Through friends you meet in class, group discussions, book clubs, and more, friendship and social connections are a byproduct of learning. 

The National Library of Medicine conducted a study that found that older adults who participate in group activities have an easier time maintaining well-being and improving cognitive function. People who engage in activities with others tend to have a better mood, longer life, and a sense of purpose. 

Increase Confidence 

In addition to improving memory, cognitive function, and social connections, lifelong learning also correlates to increased self-confidence and self-esteem. Successfully mastering a new skill or subject can provide that sense of accomplishment and confidence. 

As you improve your confidence, your health will likely increase. According to Psychreg, a digital media outlet that covers psychological and wellness topics, confident people are more prone to make decisions that positively impact their physical and mental health. 

Adapt to Technological Changes 

According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, older adults increasingly use technology to participate in online learning. 

With technology constantly evolving, lifelong learning is a great resource to stay on top of technological advancements and trends. Knowing how to use current technology can help you stay informed, engaged, and connected with society, which boosts mental health and well-being. 

Pursue Personal Interest 

As you grow older, you’ll likely have more time to explore interests and hobbies you didn’t have before. Continuing your education can allow you to explore new subjects and interests that you may not have had the chance to pursue earlier in life.

According to the National Institute of Aging, older adults with active lifestyles are likelier to have a longer lifespan, improved thinking and coping abilities, and avoid certain diseases. Learning new things is a great way to maintain an active lifestyle. You’ll keep both your brain and body active. 

Why Osher at SDSU? 

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU caters to adult learners eager to absorb knowledge, develop new interests, and make friends with like-minded people. The available classes span topics covering: 

  • Aging, finance, and retirement. 
  • Arts and humanities. 
  • Personal development. 
  • Politics and current events. 
  • Religious studies. 
  • Sciences. 

Being a lifelong learner and continuing your education can be a great way to stay engaged, connected, and mentally sharp as you age. It can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and help you maintain a positive outlook on life.