Taking a course is a great idea for a number of reasons. You develop your skills, learn a new hobby and discover brand new interests. You can also make new friends with whom you share the experience, motivating and challenging each other as you go.
Making friends is and always has been a major part of taking a course. You will find it is really easy to meet people, strike up a conversation and enjoy yourself – which is far more enjoyable than sitting on your own and learning in solitude.
Adult education is a fantastic social activity, whether you’re looking to expand your circle of friends or just to chat while learning. It’s the perfect atmosphere in which to meet new people and boost both your knowledge and your social life.
“Learning is great for your social life – fact! We look at why…”
Don’t just take our word for it!
A recent study from the London School of Economics (LSE) looked at the impact that adult learning had on people’s social life. The report found that those taking a course consistently reported higher-than-average levels of satisfaction with their social life.
The report said: “Part-time adult learning improves learners’ satisfaction with [their] social life because they… meet people more frequently and/or build better-quality relationships.” When the statistics were broken down, researchers found that people rated this as the most valuable aspect of taking a course – more than all other aspects combined!
So why is that?
It’s easy to break the ice
This isn’t a social setting where everyone resorts to small talk to puncture the silence. You all have a common purpose and the subject you are learning provides the perfect starting point for a chat.
You meet like-minded people
When you start out on a course, you have at least two things in common with your fellow students: a shared interest in the subject, and an enquiring mind. In practice, the similarities won’t end there. Cookery students love to share their views on ‘The Great British Bake-Off’, while people on a language course often have a shared passion for travel or an interest in experiencing other cultures.
There’s no pressure
Of course, you’re under no pressure to talk to anyone if you don’t want to. Some people prefer to learn under their own steam, and both staff and learners respect this. But it can be the lack of pressure itself that makes it so easy to bond with the others on your course. People don’t chat because they have to, they chat because they want to.
It might seem obvious, but you are more likely to make friends when you are having fun. When you’re waltzing your way around the dance floor on a ballroom dancing course, you are going to be enjoying yourself more than if you were sitting at home filling in a tax return. When humans are happy we become relaxed and jovial, and when we are in that state of mind we like to share the experience.
It makes learning easier
Human beings are inherently social creatures, and being able to talk to somebody makes just about everything better. Collective problem solving is much easier than trying to work it out alone. You learn from each other’s successes and mistakes, and in doing so achieve more than you would by yourself.
Taking a course is a great social activity. You make friends, bond with like-minded individuals and, best of all, learn a new skill while having a huge amount of fun.Back to the Magazine