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When retirement doesn’t mean retirement

University with Peter Tohill

Article originally posted on CFFC.

When you lead a busy life, and retirement age comes along, it can be a jarring experience. Some of us choose to ease into retirement, moving over into working in a part time capacity, while others look to volunteering, or helping out more with the grandchildren.

For Peter Tohill, a “regular” retirement was never an option: the pursuit of knowledge proved the biggest drawcard. Peter, a former army officer, now has an honours degree and 2 post graduate diplomas, obtained in his later years through university, right here in New Zealand. At 76, he was the most senior graduate of his year group, when he completed a 4 year course of a Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies.

Entering into a university course at any age is not without its eye opening experiences. When Peter first arrived at the uni he wondered who this Cecil bloke was that kept getting brought up – asking one of the other students, “Who is Cecil?” For Peter, finding out that CECIL was in fact the enterprise learning management system at the University of Auckland, still evokes a chuckle.

While technology such as CECIL may have proved somewhat of a struggle, Peter both enrolled in computer classes to get up to speed, as well as leant on the support of his fellow students when needed.

Peter feels that the students he rubs shoulders with at school are surprised to see him on board, and yet respectful of his age. He hopes that more seniors will follow in his footsteps to broaden their minds, and should not be wary of the age gap. Keeping active both physically and mentally should be high on your list of priorities, and Peter himself enjoys the benefits of meeting people from such a diverse range of backgrounds.

No matter your education or background, you may too find the pleasures of further studies both enlightening and rewarding. The university year runs from February to November, with two semesters of studies. Graduates may choose a post graduate stream, or those new to the university system may choose an undergraduate course.

For more on how to apply, course details, and the requirements for entry, make sure to head to your local university’s homepage. You may also like to see what’s on offer at local Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics. Using both of these resources, you can find a wealth of information that will help shape important decisions about your further tertiary education.