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Back to School – 5 Reasons Why Adults Should Never Stop Learning to New Skills

This September, much more than any year that has gone before has a got those fresh start, back to school vibes!

Are you all breathing a sigh of relief that the kids have gone back and some sort of new normality can start to get underway?

What 2020 has shown me is how important it is to continue to learn and grow, to adapt and survive, to develop and thrive, especially when all your formal learning (school/college/university) is over.

Developing our skill sets in different areas is a useful tool for life. Here are my top 5 reasons why adults should never stop learning new things.

  1. Compassion for others trying to do new things.

When the kids don’t pick something us as fast as you think they should, or your other half doesn’t do things in the same way as you would do them yourself, if you are learning something new yourself you have much more tolerance for their efforts.

With something new like sewing, your hands don’t do exactly what your brain wants them to and you might struggle to understand the jargon. This can help you have empathy with your kids and partners when they are finding something new hard.

I found that when I was learning a lot of new areas to me during lockdown that didn’t come to me naturally, it allowed me to have a much greater empathy with my students when they get frustrated because they don’t understand or their hands don’t do what their brain is telling them to. You feel clumsy, just because it something new and outside your existing skill set. (Especially if you feel the teacher is watching you!)

  1. Keeps your brain active.

When you do the same thing day in, day out, your brain goes into a sort of autopilot which can lead to you feeling bored with your life in general, whereas when you are learning something new you are firing different neural pathways in your brain which feels inspiring and much more exciting.

Word on the street is that keeping your brain active can help to fend off dementia in your old age! So go on and give your brain a work out by trying something new.

  1. Improves your problem-solving skills.

When you are starting something new, such as learning to sew, each action or new process you learn is solving a different problem; allowing you to think outside the box and consider things differently to how you may have done before. When you are practising thinking like this as part of a hobby it becomes much easier for you to put it into practice in other areas of your life too.

  1. Making new friends with common interests.

It’s hard for you to make new friends when you’re an adult. When you start a class, you’re all in the same boat of learning something new that interests each person in the class. Everyone is there because they want to be there. You are all nervous and expectant. You have at least one shared interest already. It builds strong friendship bonds.

The number of good friendships that have sprung up between students at my classes is testament to this.

  1. It helps you thrive and prosper.

Everyone’s life has been impacted in some way by Covid-19, even without ever having had the virus. We have all had changes happen that we could not have predicted even 12 short months ago. Now it feels like we are starting to come out the other side there are still going to be a lot of aftershocks and repercussions.

We’ve all had up days and down days over the last 6 months. And for you if just getting through the day was/is a triumph then believe me, I’m rooting for you. I know how tough it has been.

But if you have managed to take this situation and use it as an opportunity for learning, growth and expansion then you are going to thrive in any situation. If you can adapt to survive then learning new skills will be the catalyst that takes you from surviving to thriving.

Thinking about the millions of people who were baking sour dough loaves and banana bread or who started sewing (127% rise in sewing machine sales during lockdown) or took up a musical instrument: they are already adapting to a different pace of life

Just look at my recent post about past students who have started businesses selling their sewn goods recently. (Read Here)


If you are one of the many proud new sewing machine owners and you have found yourself floundering a little, don’t give up. There are many ways I can help you grow and develop your sewing skills and help to make you a better dressmaker. Here are just some of the ways: (Click for more info.)


Love & stitches

Alison xx

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