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School is back in session for young students, but that doesn’t mean adults are left out. Education happens in more than just the classroom – here are some ways to keep learning as an adult.

Take a class

These do often happen in a classroom, be it at a community college or at a local community center. You can learn anything from Spanish to gardening to ceramics surrounded by likeminded individuals from all types of backgrounds. Try out a dance or cooking class to begin a new hobby! If travelling is challenging for you or if you prefer to learn from home, try taking an online class through companies like Coursera or Stanford Online where you can audit classes for free or pay for credits.

Smartphone apps for learning

Like online classes, you can learn a lot from a smartphone app. Try out Duolingo or MindSnacks if you want to learn a new language. Lumosity is great for brain strength and general intelligence testing, and TED provides short videos on new ideas. Check your phone’s app store for more terrific options.

Hit the public library

The public library is more than just a place to pick up a book or go to a story hour. It’s also the place where you can get your questions about tax season answered, join a book club for active discussion, and learn how to code on a computer. You can check out books, complete research on an interesting topic, and join a writers’ guild all in the same place, and, as a bonus, public libraries are always free.

Meet new friends

An excellent way to learn something is to make a new friend and ask them questions about their lifestyle and hobbies. Maybe you’ve seen a fresh face at church or gained a new neighbor, so why not introduce yourself and find out about them? You can have fun, build a relationship, and learn others’ perspectives.

Get involved at work

If you’re still working, take an optional training or attend a conference. Your employer will be impressed by your initiative, and you will learn something new. A side benefit is that you may network with others in your field and check off another recommendation on this list – make new friends. If you aren’t working and have thought about rejoining the workforce, check out jobs in your area that would stretch your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve always wanted to tutor high school students, walk dogs, or bookkeep – there’s no time like the present. Psychology Today reports that working in a challenging environment staves off mental decline and improves brain health not just in the moment but also for the future.

Listen to a podcast or an audiobook

Audiobooks and podcasts are the perfect option for those who struggle with seeing, reading, or focusing on one task at a time. They allow you learn about a new topic while driving, doing the dishes, or completing a menial task. They can be downloaded to a smartphone but still come in CD format if that’s an easier option. Try out a new topic and learn something innovative and fresh to you.

By: Diana Michel

Sources: Psychology Today