Preparing for change and transition into the third age
Currently working full-time in the manufacturing industry, 60-year-old Mdm Tan Lai Fong decided that she did not want to wait till retirement to discover her true passion in life. Believing that having a hobby is especially essential in retirement, she has ventured out to take up courses to explore different interests.
Mdm Tan recommends other seniors to take up courses too. She observed that some seniors in retirement prefer to stay at home, resistant to the idea of getting out of their homes and trying new things.
“With so many courses available, it is important to take this first step to explore what our interests are. Not only does it allow us to gain a better understanding of oneself, we can also keep our minds active, make new friends and participate in group activities,” Mdm Tan encouraged.
“By taking up courses, it is a good opportunity for me to explore and see what are the possible long-term hobbies or activities I would like to see myself doing regularly after retirement,” Mdm Tan said.
Finding the true passion in life
After finding out about National Silver Academy (NSA) through the radio and newspapers, Mdm Tan visited the NSA website to check out what are the courses offered to seniors. She was very interested in the courses under the IT and Science category. In particular, she found out about the NSA courses under Silver Digital Creators, a series of courses conducted by NTUC LearningHub. These courses are tailored for seniors with basic digital knowledge and are keen to take their digital creative skills to the next level.
Out of all these IT courses, Mdm Tan was especially curious about coding after people around her were all talking about it. As the coding class was conducted on a weekday, Mdm Tan made the effort and took a day off from her work to attend the class. Through this 1-day course, she got to gain basic knowledge in coding with Swift programming language and understand the mechanism behind various applications she uses every day.
Mdm Tan also took up “Digital Music and Art”, in which she got to understand how music and digital art can come together. Despite not knowing much about music composition, Mdm Tan uses the application in her leisure time to play with various musical instruments. She has also recently completed her latest NSA course “Digital Photography”. Staying in the west, she made the effort to travelled all the way to Bedok Public Library to attend this course. Now, Mdm Tan knows how to take interesting photos with her smartphone by using effects such as panoramic view and live shot.
Despite facing various challenges such as timing and location, Mdm Tan does not find attending these courses to be tiring at all. In fact, she remains enthusiastic and is looking forward to take up more courses. She plans to sign up for NSA courses “Book Authoring” and “Movie Making”, which are the remaining two courses under the Silver Digital Creators series subsidised by NSA.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance
Besides taking up courses, Mdm Tan also ensures that she achieves a healthy work-life balance in life. During weekends, Mdm Tan and her husband make it a habit to go for brisk walks to benefit their health. Even after a day of work, she sometimes participates in aqua-aerobics with her colleagues. She has also signed up for free Zumba classes, keeping herself physically fit.
Additionally, Mdm Tan believes that family bonding is important. Thus, she puts in the effort to spend time with her family during her free time, such as exercising and having dinners with them.
When asked about her retirement plans, Mdm Tan said that she wants to take up more courses that are related to life-skills and volunteerism.
**Special thanks to Mdm Tan Lai Fong who accepted our interview, we wish her all the very best in her lifelong learning journey.
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