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#1122 - 10/13/2003 18:43 PM Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
vika Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/2003
Loc: michigan
I'm 45 and for many months have been toying with the idea of quiting my fulltime job, becoming a fulltime student and pursuing a completely different field.

I currently make decent money in a field I fell into taking various classes and gaining work experience, yet never finishing a degree. I own a home, live a comfortable life and can afford to support myself...but I'm tired of doing what I do.

I'd like to take up a completely different field, start over and do it right this time by getting a degree. I feel I can't shake this off as a 'midlife crisis' any longer...I feel I need to make this a reality. I'm single, I have no dependents...I should be able to do this.

I don't even know what I would study but my mind races with thoughts...mentally thinking how can I do this? How do I quit work and start school fulltime...should I mortgage the house to cover basic living expenses? sell the house? get a roommate? Get a parttime less stressful job? Financial aid, loans...

I keep telling myself, other people do this, single mothers with kids do this...I need some direction, opinions...Has anyone else done this?
I would love to communicate with others to hear how they have managed to do this.
Thanks!!!!!

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#1123 - 10/15/2003 17:46 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
hobbit11 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/15/2003
Loc: alaska
Hi vika,
Don't think you are crazy!! I am 41 and seriously planning college and a career change.
Just like you I make a very good living, but I refuse to think that a midlife crisis is the
reason behind the urge to shake up my life. I think you simply reach a point in life
where you can look back clearly, and see what you still want to accomplish. The
good news is there is plenty of time left, and we live in a wonderful society where
we CAN make these changes and fulfill goals of a lifetime!

Read <A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0374299897/backtocollege">Traditional Degrees for Nontraditional Students</A>, by C. Fungaroli. Excellent.

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#1124 - 10/18/2003 04:56 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Maveolous Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/18/2003
Loc: Missouri
Hi Vika,
I am 46, single mom, and going to start college. I DID quit my high power job,sold my house and have moved in with my sister. I am in the process now of applying to Univ. of Missouri and going FOR IT. My son is also starting college. I am very nervous and have wondered "Did I do the right thing by selling my house, moving across country and quitting my job" But here I am...so lets wish ourselves GOOD LUCK.

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#1125 - 12/30/2003 07:56 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

If you feel this strongly about continuing your education and changing careers you should go for it! It's that old saying, "where there's a will, there's a way." The reward will far outweigh any immediate loss you may encounter.

I'm fifty-two and will graduate July 2004, with an A.A. in Graphic Design. I plan to continue on, seeking a B.A. and maybe even my Masters. I did give up a lot to be able to pursue my dreams, but I can tell you it has definitely been worth the sacrafices. After my first semester I applied for several scholarships and grants and received them all. Most "older" students do very well, I currently have a 3.89 GPA and am eligible for several more awards.

Good luck in allyour academic aspirations!

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#1126 - 01/04/2004 08:57 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
sparky_tam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/2004
Loc: Ohio
Many people live a life full of reqrets...I used to be one. I woke up one day about six years ago and informed my husband I was quitting corporate life, moving to the sticks, and going to become a poor college student. After he thought I totally had lost my mind I convienced him to become poor along with me too and watch our two small daughters while I went to school. I used to be an Advertisng Account Executive and was trained by the President of the company I worked for. When I relocated I couldn't get a position in the same field without a college degree. I took other jobs I hated to get by. I'm graduating this May at 40 with a B.S. Communication degree and despite how poor we have been I honestly COULDN'T BE ANY HAPPIER! My husband is starting his college career next week working for a 4-year Computer Science degree. We figure in six years when our daughter starts college we can actually pay for it and maybe by the time we would have retired we might be able to finally buy our first house. Your much further ahead than we were! I got involved on campus (with the younger students) and have served as a peer Mentoring Chair to assist others with being successful in college, served on a variety of committees along with facutly, and I've been a Student Senator and was actually elected last year as the Student Body Vice-president. Going to college brings out a part of you otherwise you would never discover. Best of luck to you!

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#1127 - 01/21/2004 11:56 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
ametheyst Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/2004
Loc: Lincoln, ne
i just want to say...here i am almost 49 yr. old and have just started college this month!! and believe it or not, there are several older students...some older than i am, even!! i am proud of myself for doing this as should you be! :p

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#1128 - 01/27/2004 15:30 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
latonia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/2004
Loc: MD
Vika,

Just a few words of encouragement. I am a 32 year old mother of 1 and wife of 13 years. I have worked in the Human Resources field for over 13 years. A few years ago I began to realize that I was not happy in my career field. I decided to return to school to become a Licensed Clinican Social Worker. I have been attending school for about 1 year now and have 4 more classes to go before I complete my AA in Psychology. After that, I plan on completing my BA in Psychology and MA in Social Work. I recently decided to quite my full-time job (this summer) and work part-time so that I can devote more time to school and family. My point in sharing this with you is to encourage you to go for it. It is always challenging to make a change especially when you are comfortable in your life (nice income, large home, etc.). I think that you will discover that the change that you are considering will make you feel more alive than you have in years. Returning to school makes me feel excited about my future, connected to my deepest desires (unlike my current career), and most importantly intelligent. Yes, I am concerned about my family's finances when I go part-time this summer, but I often think what would happen if I became disabled or had another baby? Our family would "rise to the occasion" and do what we had to do to make it. I think that you will discover that you will do the same. Sorry to be so wordy, but I truly believe that if you leap, the net will appear.

Concerning how to get started, ask yourself what your passions are and what they were as a child. Also, ask those who are in careers that you admire how they got started. You may also want to go to your local Library or bookstore. There are so many books about careers. You are bound to find a new career that interests you.

Good luck in your pursuits.

Dennika L. Moreland

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#1129 - 01/30/2004 16:01 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Jackie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/30/2004
Loc: PA
Wow! This is so great. I just found this page while searching the web for information about financial aid for old people like me :-) I thought maybe I could add something to the discussion. I am a 47 (almost 48) year old wife and mother and just started my second semester of college classes. I had never been to college before and was petrified to even try. I thought about it for a couple of years before I actually jumped in and started. Because I have to work full time and have two kids in college in Boston I needed some alternatives. I wanted to try to attend class online and wanted to try for a degree in history but most online schools only offer business, accounting and computer majors. I finally found UMUC...University of Maryland University College. They offer a variety of majors...I am majoring in history. And I am loving it! I thought I would be so out of it and so far behind all the other students but I took two classes last semester, World History I and Intro to Psych and I got A's in both courses. It was blast! All the work except the final exams, which are proctored at an approved site, is done online so you can work pretty much at your own pace week by week. If anyone wants some more information I would be glad to talk to you via email.
Jackie

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#1130 - 03/18/2004 18:04 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

I just wanted to say I am a 48 year old woman in my 4th semester at college. My two brothers also joined me. Then last semester my son started. I started something good and exciting. My son and I are even taking some classes together and helping each other. It's so much fun, and it gives us a new relationship. I am a single parent. I am tired of being a waitress or whatever job I can get. Now I'm studing accounting and going for my masters eventually so I can be a CPA.

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#1131 - 04/16/2004 15:02 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
shar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/2004
Loc: Eugene, Oregon
Congratulations! Deciding to return to school is the first step of many. I, too, am 45 (almost 46). I dropped out when I was 20. I was a single mother working full time back then. Fortunately, I have been working successfully in my chosen field (Journalism)for the past 13 years. However, when the publishing company I worked for laid me off, I discovered that in today's dismal economy and despite an impressive resume, I was unable to land another job without a degree. So here I am back in school. It took some adjustment, but I'm loving it...and you will too!

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#1132 - 04/16/2004 15:54 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

Just wanted to add my 2 Cents. Go for it I started a Masters Degree prgram at 51 an will graduate early next year with the hope of a career change. Its never too late to start.

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#1133 - 04/16/2004 18:52 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
seeemeeego Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/2004
Loc: USA
You can do it! I started back last semester at age 43, having quit college 20 years ago after 3 years. I just took 2 courses to prove to myself I could do it. This semester I am taking 17 hours! I am finally reaching a goal I set for myself years ago but abandoned. In fact, I am living out another of my educational dreams when I leave at the end of this month for a 6 week study abroad in France. Yes, I am even finishing in my original major of French! My love for it was still there after all these years!

Like Nike says, Just Do It! You have no reason not to. And it will be the best thing you'll ever do for yourself. I am so proud of myself and you will be too!

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#1134 - 04/17/2004 12:18 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
ChicoSon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/27/2003
SeeeMeeeGo...I read your post and got excited because I was looking at myself. I'm 43 and its been 20 years for me also. I've been looking to go back in either Pharmacy or English. Returning to school was in my immediate plans but circumstances now are totally crazy! Not to share a sob story but I lost a job, companion, house, and car all in a two year period. Now back living with Mom's doing whatever to get by. And I'm tired. Extremely tired. But I could use your encouragement. Seriously. I wish there was someway for us to share email addresses. I scheduled an appointment to see a counselor at the university, just last week and lost heart when the day came to go bcuz it felt like an interview. I don't know what the h#@* I'm scared of...I think its the fact of failing again. But I know this is something I MUST DO. ChicoSon427@yahoo.com. Hit me back. PLS!

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#1135 - 04/17/2004 17:18 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
politigal71 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/17/2004
Vika,
I see that you don't need any more advice, so I'm wishing you good luck for whatever decision you make. I decided to return to college at age 30 after sitting out for seven years. I was nervous and felt like a fish out of water. But I met some really cool young people and was relieved to notice the lion's share of older college students on campus as well. Now I'm 32 and quit my part-time job last year to pursue my studies full-time. I hope to earn my BS in 2005 and go for my masters in '06. I'm the single mother of a disabled child and parent, both of whom I take care of while commuting to school a total of 450 miles a week!!! If I can do it under those conditions, surely YOU can do it with less stress and much more free time on your hands. I say go for it!

P.S. Older students actually make better students.

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#1136 - 04/20/2004 04:47 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

Get yourself a job in a college or university and they will pay for you to get a degree either 50% or 100% depending on the institution. This is part of a benefit program they have.
I did this myself and speak o fmy personal experience. I got both my Bachelors and MAsters this way.

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#1137 - 05/19/2004 13:02 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

Hi Vika! I'm curious about what you decided to do. It has been about six months since you posted . . . I'd love to hear that you decided to go for it!!

I did not start my college career until I was 35 years old. I received my associates, took a short break, worked part-time on my bachelors, then decided to go for a master's. I've just finished my second semester and have two more to go, plus write my thesis. It has been a wonderful experience. There are a few other students who are close to my age, although I am the oldest in the group. I've found the traditional-age students (22-25 years old) to be open and accepting of all of us non-trads. I am fortunate that my husband retired out of the military and was willing to follow me for a couple of years while I was working on the master's, so the issue of supporting myself was not something I had to be concerned about. I did, however, quit a full-time job, so we have had to alter our lifestyle a bit and adjust to being a one-income family.

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#1138 - 05/24/2004 10:37 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
KGPannell Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/19/2004
Wow, what a great thread. I am 30 years old and also giving up a good paying job to complete my education. After reading this thread I am encouraged to press on!

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#1139 - 05/24/2004 20:44 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
mommoe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/2004
Loc: MIAMI
I am so glad I came across this site. I was looking for information on aide to help me go back to college. I keep saying to myself, my husband and my friends and family: I just want to go be to college. If I could leave my job tomorrow I would with not thought. I am almost 39 years old and I have a dream. I want to go back to college and get BAs in Interior Design and Art Education. Someday I would like have my own store like a Pier 1 Imports. Reading these replys it is very helpful and needed.

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#1140 - 05/30/2004 18:40 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
pstevens2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/30/2004
Loc: Ontario
A wonderful strategy you can use while still working is to polish up the required skills to excel in college. Any bookstore has books on improving study skills, and that's the good news. They are skills like any other. You can learn them at any age. Before you quit your job and invest thousands in going back to school, invest a couple of hundred dollars in improving your note taking, speed reading, memory and listening skills. There are books, tapes and videos that will help you do all of this. Practice them while taking a part time course, and then get straight A's when you finally go back.
_________________________
Paul

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#1141 - 06/01/2004 06:31 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

I went to college for the first time at the age of 44 and hope to graduate this coming December at the age of 48. I was also very afraid of failure and my personal ability to do well and to retain the information. I graduated high school with a 2.9 GPA and now I have a 3.8 as a senior in college! I do work full time as well as go to college but I find that I force myself to stay organize or else I get behind. I do love going to college and meeting new people. I am amazed at my ability to understand concepts now much better than I did when I was younger. Once you start back you will find that because it was your choice, you will work harder at it.

Good Luck! wink

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#1142 - 06/01/2004 10:18 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Kellie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/01/2004
Loc: Texas
I'm 47 and just finished my bachelor of science degree. Furthermore, I loved being back in school so much I applied and was accepted into graduate school this fall. It is wonderful being able to finally say I have a college degree, and to have it in a field I really care about (behavior analysis) is that much the better.

Go for it! You can do it while still working at your current job, or if you can afford to you can do it a lot faster by quitting, tightening the old belt and going full time. I was fortunate that my husband is supporting my education habit. We were unable to get low-interest education loans because he makes too much money, but that has turned out to be a good thing- we won't have post-college debt, even though we're having to be a little more frugal right now.

I am our retirement plan. He's a few years older than I, and by the time I finish my master's, get our kids into college and have some experience in my new field, we can move where I need us to move without having to risk his high paying salary or splitting up our family.

It's definitely worth it! Go for it!

Kellie
_________________________
Kellie

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#1143 - 06/02/2004 10:10 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

WTG Vika-I started schol at 35, went 6 yrs straight, got a BA summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA, with a 4.0. It was so scary-but a lot easier than I had thought. Non traditional students now make up more than 1/2 of all new students, so you will not be alone. I turn 50 this year and am returning for my PhD-can't wait! Good luck-have fun

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#1144 - 06/05/2004 10:51 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Serenity Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/2004
Loc: Armed Forces Europe (Germany)
Hi there everyone!

I am so happy to know I am not alone! I am a 35-year-old child-free Army whose husband is currently in Iraq serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I am in currently living in Germany, where he was stationed before being deployed.

I work full-time in retail on post here. While he has been gone a little over a year now, I decided when I turned 35 that now was the time to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a psychologist. Because I am in Germany, going to school physically was not possible, but I am now enrolled in Louisiana State University's Independent Study program and am making a go of it. I even convinced my neighbor, recently out of the Army with a husband in Iraq herself, to start school and go for a degree as well.

I am excited to be embarking on this new adventure and I am glad to be here for support and the friendship of like-minded individuals. Congratulations to all here who have made it, and good luck to all who are, like me, still on the journey.
_________________________
Have a great day,

Serenity

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#1145 - 06/05/2004 18:16 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
momstnurse Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/2004
Loc: key largo
WOW! I should have seen all of this when I had decided to go back to school 2 years ago!. It certainly would have helped. I am now 47 years old (almost 48) and too decided with three children grown and gone and one left at home, I was ready to do something besides work in an office the rest of my life. I started by going part time to the local community college. I am now going full time and working part time. What a fantastic way to build your self esteem! I will be graduating with a 3.8 (or higher) next May with an AA in Nursing. I have already decided to continue on with my education to a BA, then possibly a Masters. It has been the best thing for me and my son, who has seen by example how important homework is, not me just preaching to him. GO FOR IT!. You are never too late. Our college just had a graduate that was over 70 this past spring. YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD! It only took a short period of time (the first few weeks) to "re-learn" how to study again. If you're not sure about it, start part time at a local community college. I highly suggest it. (I was only a 2.8 student in High School too, it's amazing what I COULD have done!)
Good Luck, you'll never know if you don't try it

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#1146 - 08/03/2004 18:50 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

Just reading through and today i made the decision to leave my current job and go back full time. Got my motivation from reading here and something that popped up in my email. Ill share it below.

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life
should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries...

I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted.

I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles.

I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my
husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.


And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.


I don't believe in miracles. I rely on them.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as
well dance.

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#1147 - 08/08/2004 09:56 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
KFitzpatrick Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/2004
Loc: Colorado
Hi vika,
I understand exactly where you are coming from. I think you should go for it!
I have been working in the IT field for 14 years and was actually pursuing a degree in Information Technology when it suddenly dawned on me that I was tired of what I was doing and no longer felt that it satisfied me.
I haven't figured out a way to quit my full-time job to go to school full-time so if you do... please forward the info. But, I changed my major to Environmental Sciences about two years ago and am now going for a complete career change! I figure I've got another 20 years to work so I should do something I really love.
I'm always the oldest person in my class (I'm 46) but the kids have been great and I'm a lot more focused on my studies this time around so I'm really enjoying myself. It will take me about two more years to finish my BS because I can only afford to go part-time but it's been worth it.
I can't say that it's been easy making the transition but if you are feeling the "cosmic pull" you should listen and proceed.
_________________________
K. Fitzpatrick

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#1148 - 08/15/2004 16:40 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Miriam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/15/2004
Loc: CA
Hi--SO glad I found this page here. I am 46 and start school tomorrow with my 18 year old son. (of-course totally separate classes) I took 2 classes years ago and did well, but never went back--kind of scared I think of really getting into it and not doing well.
I am really excited now though and feel like at last at my age I can earn an AA at least. Any encouragement would be great, does this board have any chat times, etc. Thanks much--Adele

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#1149 - 08/29/2004 12:58 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
deana Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/29/2004
Loc: Texas
Please help me with a story. I am writing a story about older students returning to college. I am a returning student, age 53, but I am also a writer for a newspaper.

What are the difficulties you encountered in returning to school? What has helped you most in returning to school?(Even if it is little things like finding a good study place). What advice would you give younger college students about finishing their degrees?

Please mail reply to deana1511@aol.com
_________________________
Deana

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#1150 - 09/16/2004 22:56 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
jinjer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/09/2003
Loc: Texas
I am attending my second year of college after returning last year at age 45! I reduced my library work hours from 40 hrs to 20 hrs and took 12 credit hours each semester. This year
I am taking Fall semester classes at 17 credit hours. I love it! I have a son in college who has encouraged me to go back to school. I have a 4.0 grade point average so far, it shows that
you have strong skills even in returning after being away for so long. I had gone to college right after high school for 1 year and those credits have transfered. I say, Go For It! You will not regret it, but feel a renewed interest in your life!

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#1151 - 09/21/2004 12:08 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
been_there Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/21/2004
Loc: Georgia
I am in your spot. I was a highly specialized upper level person that got the heave-ho during a corporate buy-out. I have the BS but have worked myself into such a specialized field that I would have to relocate halfway around the world to do what I am qualified to do. I decided to learn a new trade. Let me offer a few hard things I have learned.
First take the time to look into what you want to do. Don't just look to see what you like, look to see what is needed that you like. For instance nurses are in very short supply and you could get most of your education (plus scrubs, equipment) paid for.
Second, if you are single like and accostomed to having the house to yourself, getting a roommate may not be the best thing initially. Wait until after you go back to school to decide, a roommate may be more stressful than it would be worth until a new routine is established. Of course finding another student may be a great study aid.
Third (and for me the most important) learn to study again. If you have to start from the beginning with the core classes go ahead and sign up for a remedial "how to study in college" class. Or start out at a community college. I have found more people closer to my age experiencing the same issues there.
Whatever you do make sure you are enjoying yourself. Take the time to plan for financial aid and grants. The student loan interest rate is really low right now, take advantage of
Best of luck.

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#1152 - 09/27/2004 08:06 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Patty Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/2004
Loc: sunny California
Hi! I'm 42 and going to college full time. During the day. With the (GASP!) 18-21 year olds!!

I closed my consulting business (I was a contract computer programmer) about 2 years ago to go to school full time. It was just taking too long and I just don't have the self-discipline some folks (like my husband whom is a 41-year-old college student) do to work AND go to college full time.

I earned my AA and finished all my lower-division transfer course work at the community college. I am now in my second semester at a state university (my hubby is in his first semester at a university) and I'll be graduated May of 2005. I'm hoping to go straight into grad school (I'm in love with my discipline!).

The advantages of going to school at this age is that with your life experiences you understand why it's important to take the classes they force you to take. Even the classes you find no value in at least teaches you to think. Having the breadth of GE's is what makes you adaptable in the "real world". For most jobs it doesn't matter what your degree is in (so get study what interests you the most!), what's important is that you finished school and you learned to learn and you learned to think.
_________________________
If life hands you a lemon - make lemonade!

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#1153 - 10/02/2004 06:34 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

I worked several years as a mechanic and also went to night school. I got a degree in Hospitality management because I thought I may want to work in the casino business some day. It took me ten years to get that degree only to find I could make more money as a mechanic. I went into engineering and have worked as an engineer for the last 13 years. It has always haunted me that I do not have an engineering degree (even though most people I work with don't have any idea I don't have an EE).

I went back to school last year to get an MBA at age 40 (from a pretty decent school). My wife thought I was crazy. I will be done next spring. I plan on either going back for an undergrad engineering degree, law or PhD. All I know is I have the momentum and drive now more than ever (at age 41).

I have challenges such as two small children, big mortgage, and my wife does not work. If I could figure out how to go back full time I would. Part-time schooling will probably be a part of my life indefinetly! I truly love the academic world and have no regrets making the sacrifices to return for my MBA. Law school is tricky though. Many top schools will not admit it, but they do not want older students!

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#1155 - 11/18/2004 22:11 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
vanna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/18/2004
Attending a community college is a worthwhile consideration, no matter what your age. For me it has been a cost-effective way to try courses that I find interesting and to help me decide on a major.
I headed to college thirty years after I graduated from high school. I have been a stay-at-home mom since my children were born and now I am approaching an empty nest.
I find that I am very motivated to learn and that after getting over the initial trepidation, I am enjoying and greatly benefiting from the experience.I feel that older students have much to offer in terms maturity and life experiences.

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#1156 - 11/28/2004 15:33 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
superc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/2004
Loc: Toronto
Hey!
Don't sell your house! property gives you power when the going gets tough and you have something to fall back on; money in the bank will only diminish! you did not mention if you own the house free and clear; if you do congrats! you got yourself more freedom!

I own an apartment, with mortgage and hideous service charges, and I am a fulltime student. I work very part time and do not even make enough to cover my own expenses, however how do I do it? Well, apart from being a part time writer I also rent out two of the three bedrooms in my apartment. they cover all the fees, mortgage payments and there is even a little bit left each month in case something breaks (trust me it has). it is not always fun to live with other people, but it is necessary and in the end I'll have my very own home. The rent will not pay off the mortgage, but the value of the house will rise while I am getting my degree.

look at your house and see if you can rent out a room or two.. do you have a basement apartment? that would be great because you still keep your own privacy! also look at the market and the state your house is in to determine appropriate rent, then look for candidates!
I find professionals or graduate students are a much safer bet than undergrads, in all circumstances.

good luck! let us know what you decide! oh and btw... GO FOR IT! GET YOUR DEGREE! It'll make you so proud!
_________________________
Cheers!
Christine

common college problems? perhaps I can help! : http://www.suite101.com/course.cfm/18867/seminar

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#1157 - 11/29/2004 12:56 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
storydrops Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/2004
Loc: Florida
Hi Vika and everyone,
It's so great to see all of the support in here. I can't believe that I've waited this long to reach out.
Politigal, your story has helped as well. I'm 30 years old, engaged and live on a very small island in Florida. there simply is nothing here. I'm looking for a college to get my degree, I mean I'm just starting. i have buried this dream for so long. My partner went all the way through mediacl school, we have such different backgrounds. I've been so embarrassed to start at 30, but I want to pursue a career in freelance writing. This is scary, and embarrassing, any advice?

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#1158 - 12/24/2004 01:28 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Zon 7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/24/2004
Hello everyone,

It is really wonderful seeing so many people of mature, or almost mature, age making dramatic and creative changes in their lives, abandoning things that have become meaningless to them and pursuing their dreams of a lifetime.

I have just turned sixty, but I'm still young in both looks and spirit with a tendency to rebel against cliches, against the rigid and the boring.

I dropped out of full-time uni studies in the early seventies, the flower era. I resumed my studies much later through distance education. I got my bachelor's when I was 44, my master's at 50 and my Ph.D. at 54.

Distance or online education is an ideal option for mature students and I found it quite challenging and satisfying. However, accredited distance education is very expensive in the U.S. Try U.K. and French universities, if you speak French, although some French universities have introduced English language programs for advanced degrees (mainly Ph.D's). U.K and French universities are unbelievably cheap.

Zon 7

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#1159 - 12/25/2004 20:52 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
dreamr7557 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/2004
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hi Vika,

I am 41 years old, a single mother of a teenage son and wanting also to find a way to go back to school.

How do I fit school in when I can barely make ends meet? I can't quit my job, it's my only income. I have a mortgage and a car payment that takes every cent I have.

Someone please tell me how to get through this without going on welfare.

Panicing in Pa

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#1160 - 12/27/2004 10:58 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

I wanted to respond about going to school and mortgages and car payments and not going on welfare. I am 35 a single mother, and planning to move across country to start a ph.d. program. I worked my way through my masters on my current job, it took 3 years.
I plan to sell my house and pay off my car before I go, I will also be leaving a well paying job where I am a director. Just last night a friend pretty much told me that it was a stupid thing to do. But I have to live my life, so I don't care what he thinks.
I think what you are willing to give up is definitely a very personal choice. It makes my stomach turn to consider selling my house, but I can buy another one someday when I am a professor or research associate. Its hard to think that far ahead, but I remember when working on my bachelors I thought I would never see days when I wasn't poor. Roughing it will only be temporary. Yes it is difficult to make choice that will alter the quality of life you are used to, again this is a very personal choice. I research housing costs and took into consideration various other expenses and created a yearly budget. I can get a ta-ship or ra-ship to cover my tuition and bulk of my living expenses, the shortfall is about 10K per year.

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#1161 - 01/07/2005 10:16 AM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
michigan01 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/2005
Vika -

You can do it! Take one step forward and go for it.

6 months ago I quit my job. I was making six figures but was the most unhappy person around. I spent 5-6 days on the road, my home I felt was at the Embassy Suites :)

Today I work in an office doing general processing and making nothing compaired to what I was making before, but I enjoy getting up in the morning.

I have one more year left until I get my teaching certificate and then I am done with school. So far has been an adventure but I wouldn't change a thing. You create your own freedom, goals, dreams and feelings.

If I can do it, then anyone else can do it. Best of Luck!!!

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#1162 - 01/10/2005 14:21 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
lcp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/10/2005
Hello All,
I want to get a PhD in physics, and I am 51. I have very good (old) bachelors degrees, but have not been able to get an interview or a job for 3.5 years. So I have virtually no money. I have asked on wiphys for help, and have done research, but have only been able to find "token" grants/scholarships for 500 to 1000 dollars. I have been told to go to England to get it in 3 years instead of 6-10 in the US. Given that I have no home, no pension to look forward to, and just the passion for the topic,and all the jobs appear to be in academia which does not interest me, (I want to work in industry or at a national lab)does anybody have any advice?
Thnaks much...

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#1163 - 01/11/2005 16:22 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

Zon 7, your post is music to my ears! I am finishing my bachelor's this semester at 45 years of age, and I have already applied to grad school. I am already entertaining thoughts of a PhD! It was my original goal at 18 years old, and I find that I still have that dream, albeit at an advanced age. Glad to see someone else who had the drive to do it.

You mention higher degrees at French universities. My BA is in French as will be my MA. Could you give me more info by email? I'd love to find out some details. Please email me at unvoyageurdumonde@lycos.com. Thanks for your inspiration!

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#1164 - 01/27/2005 14:34 PM Re: Back to school at 45? Advice needed!
Anonymous
Unregistered

well, i'm getting back to class too. i'm 47 and transferred 39 old school credits and will be a sophomore in an Online Program after this winter term. hhhhhm i'll HAVE TO work, since i'm single, (1 child grown and gone.) It's alil scary, since i've tried this Twice before at age 28 and 38, hey and again at about 48, well... no kid to run back home to, or find a sitter for anymore, or teen to keep an eye on... so this should be it. I plan to tranfer to Bible College after this 4-5 year part-time college trek to obtain by bachelor's, then my grey hairs will have something to show for with that P.H.D. in Theology..This site has eased my fears some. It's truly a blessing.
Let's go for it!!!!!! I'm determined to be able to afford that new RV mobile home, retire and see the country and Canada!

Full Speed Ahead Everybody !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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