Key Takeaways:

Key Benefits Judith Gained from GetSetUp:

  1. Judith mastered new technologies, including Zoom and Uber, which significantly improved her connectivity with the world.
  2. She reignited her creative spark by engaging in art and music classes, rediscovering passions that had been dormant.
  3. The platform provided Judith with a sense of community and belonging, helping her combat the isolation brought on by the pandemic.

Nestled in the quiet suburbs outside Detroit, Judith's adventure with GetSetUp began with a desire to fill the post-retirement void left after 38 years of teaching. She came across the platform through an ad highlighting free classes offered by Michigan and found herself intrigued by the prospect of endless learning possibilities. 

"This is too good to be true," she reminisced about her initial reaction. Little did she know, this was just the beginning of a transformative journey.

Embracing the Digital World

For Judith, the transition from educator to student was seamless yet profound. She enjoyed being back in the role of a learner, and it helped to fill her time not only during the pandemic but as a widower with more time on her hands. Her first class was ‘Mindful Journaling’ with Guide Kristina, which she continues to participate in now years later. 

Early on, she recognized the importance of staying current with technology, not just for practicality but as a means to remain engaged in today’s rapidly changing world.

"Zoom was foreign to me," Judith admitted, reflecting on her initial foray into online learning, and now she uses it all the time to keep up with her friends and family who live out of state. Through GetSetUp, she not only mastered Zoom, but when she thinks of a new software she wants to learn, she first looks at GetSetUp. 

“It’s funny I wanted to use Uber for the first time, and thought, what are the chances that GetSetUp has a class on Uber? And there the class was. I took it, and the Guide talked us through it and answered all my questions!” 

GetSetUp helped her also tackle Uber with ease, thanks to the platform's comprehensive tech classes led by guides like Wade. 

“I love showing up on camera and asking questions, which I think is so important. During the pandemic, I was on YouTube, and I was isolated - on GetSetUp, there is a community, and I’m still seeing the same faces years later, and I like that.” 

Rediscovering Creative Passions

Beyond technology, Judith's heart found solace and joy in the creative arts classes offered by GetSetUp. From mindful journaling with Kristene to exploring watercolors and storytelling, each class peeled back layers of Judith's creativity that she hadn't explored in years. 

"Deana is pulling things out of me that I never knew existed," she expressed with excitement. These classes were not just art lessons; they were invitations to express oneself, experiment, and connect with like-minded individuals.

“While I love taking the classes live with the community, one of the good changes I think after the pandemic is the ability to see replays. This allows me to take classes on my own time and schedule and is particularly helpful for the exercise classes,” shares Judith. 

On rainy or cold days, she might hop into unplanned classes to fill the time. Sometimes Judith says she likes to listen to a replay of one of the music classes or a similar class as she’s cleaning or doing house chores. She’s able to explore places around the world through classes like Greece which she may never have the chance to visit in person. 

“Through discussion groups and mindful journaling, sometimes I learn from others about ideas and concepts I never thought of that way. These classes are helping make me more open-minded,” Judith shares. 

Finding Health and Wellness Resources

Some classes are helping Judith find resources and learn about caregiving resources she didn’t know existed. She took a class where she learned about healthcare advocates. At the time, she didn’t need that, but she’s never heard of them before. 

“At the time, I thought my dad was 91, and I would just join the class for terminology. Shortly thereafter, my dad was in the hospital for 7 weeks because of that class, I asked for a healthcare advocate, and the transition was much smoother to get my dad into rehab. That class saved us a lot of anxiety with him being sick,” shared Judith. 

She says it can be a challenge to find information and accurate resources around aging issues, support, programs, and more. Classes like this help her to learn about programs she didn’t even know she should be looking for. GetSetUp and its representatives offer a face to help people get through changes. 

Now that the pandemic is over she uses GetSetUp most to help her keep up with technology and maintain her health and wellness. She regularly attends fitness classes with GetSetUp on the weekends. She prefers their flexibility through the replays that allow her to do other activities as well. She particularly enjoys the 20-minute classes that let her join a weight class with a yoga class for her overall workout seamlessly without having to leave her living room. 

Building a Community in Isolation

Perhaps the most significant impact GetSetUp had on Judith was how it helped her navigate the loneliness of the pandemic. The platform offered more than just classes; it provided a community. 

"On GetSetUp, there is a community. I’m still seeing the same faces after 3 or 4 years," Judith shared, highlighting the deep connections she's forged over time. 

This sense of belonging became a lifeline during the pandemic, transforming her social landscape and bringing her out of isolation. While she hasn’t met anyone yet in person, she knows people send each other birthday cards or get well cards, and if people aren’t there, people notice and inquire after them. She also follows the community activities and is excited to see a Wellness and Cooking Facebook group starting up since she’s already comfortable with Facebook. Plus, she enjoys participating in virtual social activities and parties that the community organizes. 

“GetSetUp makes me feel more confident and open to trying new things, even more so than before I started GetSetUp. It’s a very welcoming group,” she says. 

Judith's story with GetSetUp highlights the power of continuous learning and community engagement. From tech savviness to creative exploration and forming new friendships, Judith’s post-retirement life has been enriched in ways she never imagined.

"I never knew I was as creative as I am. I used to be creative for kids I taught, but now I’m creative for me," Judith mused, grateful for the opportunities GetSetUp has presented.

Her journey underscores a vital message for everyone: it's never too late to learn something new, to rediscover old passions, and to connect with others.

Apr 8, 2024
Learner Stories

Classes by:

Liz Miller

View All
No items found.