Study now or later?

“If I am studying to make a comfortable living in the future using the money I will earn, then why I am I going to school and learning things that will probably be obsolete by the time I am done with my education?”  This mind provoking question was raised by an indignant looking teenager who was very frustrated with all the amount of knowledge and information they had to tackle.

I carefully considered my answer as I sat him down to explain why he had to study now and not later as he was thinking of doing. Whilst having the conversation, I reflected on the numerous conversations that I have had with adults who after achieving everything possible, such as wealth, satisfying relationships, social status at their workplace and society, have approached me and requested for counsel or advice on how they can get an education, or polish their speaking and presentation skills, especially in English. They claim that they will be totally fulfilled if they achieve their dream of speaking English fluently, or like a native with an accent.

For countless reasons, they were not able to complete school and felt that they had to catch up with their education in order to fit comfortably in society. Adult learning comes with all sorts of challenges as is evident during the lessons. Urgent business calls keep coming in on cell phones and these must be attended to right away; there are numerous roles that must also be fully addressed, such as parenting, being a wife or husband, as well as taking care of personal needs. Juggling all these when you are not at your strongest physically and mentally is far from easy, and eventually, it takes its toll on the dwindling mental resources that are available. In the end, one may succeed, yes, but perhaps not as well as they would have had they studied when they were much younger, energetic and with fewer distractions.

Those who make a case for mature students mention that they are more focused because they are certain about what they want to achieve, and they may learn even faster in some areas as they have more experience and just need the theory to round off their education. 

Either way, the best thing is to get on with it and study now.