Anyone go back to school later in life?

draggindakota

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Did you feel as out of place on a college campus as I did today? At almost 42 I'm officially a college student again. I wasn't even in a class, just going to meet with my advisor, but I felt so...old :rolleyes:. It was an odd feeling really, because the campus was just like I remembered it, and I attended there for literally 10 years right out of high school, full and part time.

In that span I got an AS degree in drafting and was one class away from my AA in general studies with the intent of transferring to the local university for a BS in civil engineering (hopefully). Then in 2008, over a span of 4 months my wife got laid off (for the second time by the same company), I took a $10/hr pay cut to keep MY job, and we found out we were having our first kid, the economy tanked and school didn't seem like such a priority.

3 kids and 14 years later I finally took the leap and re-enrolled, after hemming and hawing about the idea for several years. Now thanks to some new state requirements I actually need 2 classes to finish my AA, but nothing major.
 

Milspec

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I went back at 31 to chase an MBA before giving up on the idea.

I knew things had changed the first day when I was asked 4 times by students for directions like I must have been a staff member. What sealed the deal for me was when I mentioned Robert Redford to a girl in the hallway. She told me she had no idea who that was. I started citing his movies, but none generated any recognition. I was amazed that she never heard of Robert freaking Redford and then she told me she was born in '92.

I aged at least a decade right on the spot. Dropped after that day, I really didn't have a need for the MBA and wanted to avoid feeling like a fossil walking around campus.
 

RobRiggs

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I went back at 31 to finish my BA. I had to go to night school to accommodate the 12-13 hours a day I still worked. Most of my fellow students were my age at the time or older. It was a great experience. They didn’t have them new fangled computrifiers on my first go around.
 

dogmeat

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I went back to college in my late 30s to complete a Bachelor Science. I had an AAS and was already into my 2nd career (3rd counting musician) but needed the degree to move up at my job. it was work... I had no life for a couple years except work and school. getting the minimum credits is no problem... its the 42 upper division credits that causes the work... every UD class has a couple lower division classes as a prerequisite. instead of "just" 120 credits you can end up doing 160 unless you choose carefully. look for UD classes with either low prereq's or prereq's that you will have because of your major
 

wrathfuldeity

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Went in for a masters at 34, had a 3 month old baby, 8 year old and Mrs W. Also did a work study job at 20hrs/wk. Younger folks in the program wanted to go out for coffee, drinks and study groups. Ehmm, no...got better things to attend to. Done in 18 months with 72 semester hours and 3.9gpa. I was much more motivated and hemorrhaging $.

Just do the two classes as if you are going to work 8am-5pm; done easy peasy.
 

Chuckster

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Don't look back, man! Walk tall. Everyone there has your back, you just don't know it yet.

I had a tough family situation when I was a kid, so college wasn't an option. I went to work as a plumber with my brother, but I always knew deep down inside I was a writer.

I quit my plumbing job at 33, got a job at Home Depot and was accepted to UMASS. I worked my ass off. Graduated in 4 years and every person I met was pulling for me. The most difficult/best thing I've ever done. I've been a professional writer since 2002.

Keep going, taking that leap was the hardest part. Congrats... you got this.
 

soundchaser59

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Got a BA in Sociology and Families, a degree that turned out to be almost worthless in the job market, but a subject that I loved and needed to learn about. My second major was piano. I didn't know how to make that pay either, but man am I glad I did it. One side benefit of that was learning jazz.

Then about 15 years later I got in a car wreck, got hurt about as bad as a guy can get hurt without dying, in ways that surgery could not help, like broken ribs and sternum, contusion of internal organs, torn muscles, concussion. Point being that it was more than enough to make me reevaluate life and choices to the point that I got sober and found out who my real friends were and were not. Getting sober has a way of making a guy quickly realize how pointless and stagnant that "when's the next party" approach to life really is. I understood how lucky I was to come back from all that 98% good as new.

Instead of going back to the old job I managed to get a new job on a very large help desk and I went back to school to learn about computers and electronics. It was what my Dad had suggested to me 30 years earlier. Went faithfully every night, M-F after work, and took my new piece of technology at the time called a laptop to the coffee shoppe every night after school and every weekend to do the homework. 3 years later, in my early 40's, I received a very marketable AAS degree, with something referred to as "Distinction" whatever that subjective concept may be. I had purchased a computer for my own home desktop use before I started school again, so I was able to test out of several lower level software and windows classes in just a few days. I guess that got their attention.

I've been in IT and database programming for 20 years now, with a good balance between work and personal life so I have plenty of time to keep up on music recording technology and music making skills. I'm not getting rich, but I have not been hungry or cold or sick for many years either, I have good gear and good resources, so I count it as a success. I would even say it's a blessing.
 

trapdoor2

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Yah, I went back to get my BS when I was in my 30s. I was much more mature than when I first went to university at 18. Some of the night-school teachers were my age (I graduated HS with one of them).

Now that I'm retired, I've been thinking about going back to get a degree in music. The local university (Coastal Carolina University) has a good music dept. Not sure they'd take a banjo player...o_O
 

drlucky

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Went back to school at forty three years old to finish my BA. Mrs. Lucky found out she was pregnant a week before my first semester. It was tough but I did it. My professors all encouraged me, and my fellow students were really cool and accepting, didn't treat me like an old coot.

Good luck with your studies...you can do it!!
 

39martind18

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Started going to university in 1969, partly to get an education, partly to avoid the draft during the Viet Nam era. I managed to flunk out shortly before the draft ended in 1973, was reclassified 1A. Then the draft ended, and so did my reason for going to school at that point. Fast forward 5 years, mostly supporting myself playing music. I met my wife, married her, and settled into married life, and quickly ran up against one of the financial truths: Banks and mortgage companies do not like self-employed musicians.
After a move to East Texas, I encountered a man that had a profound effect on my life. Frank Beard, related to his much more famous counterpart with the same name, who was an educator, who took me aside one day and told me he thought I had the makings of a good teacher. I related the contents of the conversation to my wife, who decided there and then it was to be. I investigated the local University of Texas at Tyler, and found the credits I had amassed in my earlier stupid years would transfer and not count against me grade point-wise. With a semi fresh start, it took me five semesters and a couple of summer sessions to finish my BS degree in Elementary Education at the age of 41. My wife had completed an Associates Degree as a Diet Technician before our move, at around age 34. She went on to get her BS in Dietetics and became a Registered Dietitian, while being visually impaired. I went on to have a 21 year career as an educator, eventually teaching all grades K-12, and retired 10 years ago. I went back to playing music (although I never really stopped playing, usually on weekends) as an income enhancement, and I can't think of when I've been more content with my life. I can truly say that going back to school brought financial security and a fulfilling professional career- Go back and get your degree later in life, because you'll be doing it for the right reasons and the maturity that comes with being later in life means less distractions and more success. Best of luck to the OP, hope you graduate at least Magna Cum Laude like I did (couldn't resist the little brag, sorry).
 

nvilletele

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My only going back to school later in life was going to the local community college at 60 or so to take part in jazz band classes with (mostly) a bunch of other older folks. It was surprisingly intense and difficult. And fun. I had done 8 years of academic studies previously, gaining 3 degrees, but the non academic continuing education classes were the most fun and personally rewarding.
 

Skyhook

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I went at 37 to do a BSc in Computer Science. It felt a bit odd at first, but I soon got the hang of it. The 'kids' had no idea how to party though, had to educate them a bit 😉

I did my BSc and MSc in Computer Science starting at a 28 and kept it up for a decade.
We partied like rock stars! ... I was fortunate enough to do my stint at the same time as
other rock star -minded CS students. Some of which literally rocked. We had some great gigs too.
To quote Jimmy Page: "... Good times! :)".
 




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