It happens to everyone eventually. You reach a certain age, you start thinking about your life and what’s led you to this point, and sometimes the answers aren’t as nice as you’d like.
The good news is that these feelings don’t have to last forever. If you’re currently in the throes of personal or professional despair, here are four ways that going back to school can help you cope with a midlife crisis in a healthy, productive and ultimately satisfying way.
1: It Builds New Interests
One of the easiest ways to break middle-aged monotony is to shake up your routine. Instead of doing the same old things that lead to the same old outcomes, take a class in something new and exciting. Start sculpting. Join a photography seminar. Learn about the ancient Egyptians. You may be surprised at what whims turn into full-blown passions and rejuvenate your life.
2: It Looks Great On Your Resume
Thinking of a career change? Or maybe you’re just tired of being passed over for promotions by young upstarts who have a degree. Whatever your reasons for going back to the books, it speaks volumes to potential employers about your work ethic and willingness to take risks. Specialty schools can also give you an edge over other applicants when you Receive an education focused on a particular field.
3: It Connects You Socially
You’ve probably heard that networking is nine-tenths of landing a good job, but did you know that even casual acquaintances can improve your happiness index by up to 20 percent? If you’ve been stuck in a rut and feeling ignored or under-appreciated, the social contact of teachers, peers and study partners can do wonders in improving your mood and reminding you of your worth.
4: It Lessens Existential Burdens
What keeps you going? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? If you’re having a midlife crisis, these answers may not be entirely clear. School, however, will force you out of bed and into the world, offering classes and commitments that will keep you from negatively brooding about your life and what you’ve done with it so far.
A midlife crisis isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating. Use these four tips to build better habits, find new meaning in your existence and take joy in the everyday miracles. Remember, you only have one life, so you should make sure it’s worth living.