We all know that the new calendar year begins on January 1, but for many, the beginning of September can feel more like the start of a new year. There’s a buzz in the air and great anticipation for the many new challenges that lie ahead.

Yes, it is mostly based on the kids heading back to school with their fresh haircuts, a brand new pair of jeans and a pack of 24 yellow HB pencils. They likely won’t admit it, but they are eager to continue their studies and slide back into a comfortable routine.

As a senior, there’s no reason why you can’t get caught up in all of the excitement. After all, September is the perfect time to re-evaluate your schedule and continue down the path of being a lifelong learner.

It’s never too late to learn something new. We’ve heard over and over that there are many benefits to the overall health and well-being of seniors when they are engaged, continually learning, and trying new things.

That’s why the ninth month of the year is the ideal time to start a new hobby, take a class, join a group or association of interest, or start volunteering for an organization that is near and dear to your heart.

It certainly might be intimidating to walk into a classroom if you haven’t enrolled in a course for some time, but you have to consider what you gain from learning new skills. It means that you’re being active, that you are supporting your community, it can boost your self-esteem, helps to keep your mind sharp and it may even help to prevent memory loss.

If you’re near or at retirement age, you’re also likely blessed with the gift of time. Why not take on something that you’ve always wanted to do? It’s a great way to meet new, like-minded people and to expand your friend base.

If you’re not sure how to decide on what to do, start by making a list of subjects that interest you and things that you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time for in the past. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, become more familiar with a smartphone or tablet, learn how to paint or get into woodworking. In all likelihood, regardless of your desire, there is a class or group to join that can take you on a new journey.

Plus, you’ll have a good excuse to get out and about to buy some supplies for your new adventure. After all, who doesn’t love the feeling of writing in a perfect new scribbler?