#nzgirlhacks: 5 Reasons Late Blooming Could Be The Secret To Your Success!

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This is a topic so close to my heart I might stumble over my words as I write, because I’m passionate about education! I decided to add up all the years of study I’ve done since high school and they equal 10 years (it may actually be 11 but once I ran out of fingers I stopped counting). Wowsa! That’s double my high school years!

nzgirl-belinda-nash-graduation-2012
nzgirl-belinda-nash-graduationIn a nutshell, I’ve studied a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, health diplomas in massage therapy, Indian head and shoulders massage therapy and reflexology, as well as Reiki I, II and II healing, university degree papers in sub-editing, news media writing, creative writing and te reo Māori, my Accreditation in Public Relations, which is equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies, and I completed my Master of Philosophy degree gaining first class honours in 2012 (pictured above) because I had two stellar professors who pushed and pushed and pushed me through this brain Olympics.

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And I’m not alone!

There are loads of famous education or career late-bloomers, whether they’ve done a career switch out, or simply decided to study late in life. People ike Vera Wang, JK Rowling, Vincent Van Gogh, Alan Rickman, Frank McCourt and many more.

I just love this quote from Patricia Alireza, who herself swapped her life as a housewife and mum of three to study in her mid-30s to become a scientist:

If you love it, just do it. When I look back at my life, it seems to me that I have done everything backwards and the wrong way round. It wasn't easy to become a scientist later in life, but I felt like I couldn't have done anything else.

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And these days there’s so much support for people ready to take on new learning challenges, with scholarships and loans available, and employers who are more flexible with part time or job-sharing roles. So if you’re gunning for a #newyearnewyou, then here’s 5 Reasons Late Blooming Could Be The Secret To Your Success!

1. Proven Brain Development

In 2013, I was lucky to hear from Richard Faull, a professor and the director of the Centre for Brain Research. He spoke at TEDxAkl about how our brain can and does continue to grow new brain cells possibly until we die. His revolutionary research is well on the path to not only debunking the myths that our brain stops development from age 20, but that in fact, if you study later in life, your brain can form new neuron pathways and you may even be able to prevent, or at least stave off, degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease. So to flex those brain muscles, forget crosswords, get studying!

And if you have a spare 15 minutes or so, I highly recommend that you grab a tea, coffee or wine, and watch Professor Faull’s impassioned and optimistic talk here.

2. Career In The Fast Lane

If you’re in a career rut, then tacking on study to get you into a higher position in your same line of work, or to change careers entirely is not only smart but easily possible. In fact, some employers will pay for your professional development if you want to up-skill or simply refresh your knowledge base and want to stay working in the same company. So if you can, have that convo with your boss and take advice. There are so many options to pursue, from short courses through to a full on MBAs. You only live once, right?

Plus, adding to your CV puts you head and shoulders above the rest of the competition and in our increasingly educated world, being more qualified is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have. Plus there is plenty of evidence that when people study when they’re a bit older, they are more adept problem-solvers, more independent, faster learners with innovative thinking, much more focussed, and have better time management skills than their non-studying colleagues. What employer doesn’t want that? Exactly!

3. Social Life Elixir

I have meet lifelong friends studying because of the automatic common ground we had simply by being interested in the same course of study. One of the gals in my creative writing paper is still a friend today, and it’s the same with one my news media writing paper (who now works for Next magazine).

There’s nothing like having a study buddy for those weekend study sessions in the library and running of to get a bite to eat and a coffee in breaks. In fact, the people you study with may become your most important friends for a while because they’ll know what you’re juggling and can help with motivation. And even with distance learning, online study groups can connect you with people all over the country and sometimes even the world.

So if you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone and fulfil more than just career goals this 2017, studying is an awesome way to increase and diversify your friend circle.

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4. Confidence Powerhouse

If you started 2017 realising the job you’re in is not the job you want, then study might give you that mighty dose of confidence to try on a new role. Not only does studying give you a greater sense of yourself, new knowledge and direction, and even new meaning in your life, but academic studies have proven that overall well being increases with study as an adult. And with job stability more shaky than ever, retraining or adding to your career skills will give you may more swagger in your current job. Plus you might meet awesome new people who make your life amazing! (I certainly I did!)

Because you’re opening your mind to a world of possibilities and new challenges, you’ll also get fresh, new perspectives on life. For me, doing my MPhil was at times profound… and you can’t un-know what you discover. So basically, you become a more awesome and intriguing person that people want to invite to dinner parties. 😉

5. Opens Whole New Doors

One of the most inspiring later-in-life stories I have ever heard was when my mid-50-year-old landlord decided to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Now, she’s exhibiting around Auckland. How cool is that? And my mum, who’d been a dental nurse, full time mum, then secretary at a boy’s high school, made a total career shift becoming a winery manager, and completed a diploma in viticulture and went on to become the President of the Hawke’s Bay Vintner’s Society – no mean feat for a woman in her 60s in a very (!!) male-dominated industry.

So if you do a complete career about-face, you never know where it’ll lead but you can guess that it’s going to be an entirely thrilling, inspired and exciting ride! The ultra cool thing about this too is that when everyone in our world is achieving and happy, whole communities are elevated, and that’s a plus for all.

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Where To Go?

We’ve been talking to the people at Massey University and they’re keen to smash the myths that studying is in the too hard basket. If you’re a mum ready for your next challenge, it could be as simple as dipping your toe into just one paper through Massey’s distance learning programmes, and they’re the no. 1 provider in New Zealand, so it’s a no-brainer really. Take a look at who studies in distance learning here and you just might see yourself in there.

Or if you want to try out a different career option, then maybe challenge yourself to just one paper to see if it floats your boat. Or get your Belinda on and bust out a Masters degree!

Massey also has a truck load of scholarships you can look at here that just might be calling your name. And if you want to go all in and to hit campuses, Massey has three top notch places to study in Auckland, Manawatū in Palmerston North, and its Wellington Campus.

If your interest is piqued, get your eyes on Massey’s list of study programmes here and get onto it stat because semester 1 is just a couple of weeks away. Now… go Find Your Hunger!

Thanks to Massey University for helping us share the Find Your Hunger message!

Image Credit: Massey University

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Belinda has a thirst for life that just won’t quit. She’s crazy in love with writing and discovering new things to share, from fashion, beauty, style, to food, lifestyle and #nzgirlhacks.