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Re-entry Student GraduateWelcome to our online student discussion forums! This is the place to ask a question about returning to college, share information with other returning students, or just join in the discussion!

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#1690 - 10/30/2009 16:21 PM I am 33 and live where almost everyone has graduated college
elizabeth76 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/2009
Loc: CA.
I have an extreme amount of guilt about being 33 and never graduating college. That is one of the first questions people ask you when your getting to know them and also on job interviews. I want to go back but I don't have good grades from when I tried going when i was 20 and I seriously don't know if I can do it.

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#1692 - 10/30/2009 18:36 PM Re: I am 33 and live where almost everyone has graduated college [Re: elizabeth76]
BackToSchool Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/2009
Do what you want based on your desires and capabilities. College is very expensive, both in terms of money and time. If you can get a good job without a college degree, that's great. If you don't have a college degree, it will be even more important to develop your social network and impress people around you by your workmanship and professional accomplishments. Once you do this, people will overlook the fact you don't have a college degree. You need to make as many friends at the professional level as you can. It's your social network that will help you land a job. You may even get lucky and meet the right person who will help you land a job with a company that will send you to college, all expenses paid. Then you can laugh at all those suckers who drove themselves into debt for a degree you earned for free! If the employer thinks you can do it, you probably can.

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#1694 - 11/01/2009 00:18 AM Re: I am 33 and live where almost everyone has graduated college [Re: elizabeth76]
Debra Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/2009
Loc: Chicago
I applaud you for realizing that a college degree or some type of training is essential in today's job market.

The most important thing that you said is that you want to go back. Forget the guilt about being 33 and never graduating. According to the US Department of Education, there are more undergraduate students aged 25 and older than there are traditional aged students. You'll be in good company.

First though, YOU have to believe that you CAN do it! If you start out at a community college, you may not have to worry about the grades that you earned previously. Check with the Admissions Office.

Start out slowly and take one or two for credit courses that you think you might enjoy and get your feet wet. Also sign up for any type of support programs that are available so that you can get assistance if needed. Meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis. In no time you'll be taking more courses and doing well. Studies have shown that adults do much better in their classes than their 18-22 year old classmates.

Most community colleges require some type of placement exam in English, Reading and/or Math. These exams determine whether you'll need courses to help improve those skills. If your scores warrant it, take those classes and then move on to college level classes.

I seriously believe that you can do anything that you put your mind to. Go for it!

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#1696 - 11/03/2009 13:09 PM Re: I am 33 and live where almost everyone has graduated college [Re: Debra]
Amz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/03/2009
First off, i'm probably going to be brutal. I have a BA from University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Yeah. Not doing me any good at all. Not opening up doors blah blah blah blah. I plan on going back to school for a paralegal certificate...and if I do this I'm going to have to put FULL effort into attaining a Good FULL time job after. I think people have this illusion that if you have a College degree, you automatically become successful. NOT TRUE. Also, If you go back to school, look at what the best industries to go into are, whether there will be job growth decent salaries. For instance, one would be stupid to go to school to become a plebotomist if you already make $14.00/hr to spend thousands of dollars on tuition to make the same amount or less. Stupid. THE only exception is if you dream about this profession day and night and thats what you 500% want to do. I'd still tell you that your dumb but o well. Honestly if that was what you wanted to do because it was a passion, then you'd be one already. Ya know?
Otherwise, if you thoroughly thought this through and want to move forward. Best of luck to you then! Do whatever you have to do to become what it is you want to become. Internships, clubs, organizaitons, volunteering,networking, sucking up to the teacher. A person can do whatever they truelly put their mind to but beware, a wonderfull career will NOT be laid at your feet just because you graduated. Specially in this shitty economy. And also, remember, loans have to be paid back just like a car loan or house loan.


Edited by Amz (11/03/2009 13:16 PM)

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#1699 - 11/07/2009 21:51 PM Re: I am 33 and live where almost everyone has graduated college [Re: Amz]
Debra Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/2009
Loc: Chicago
You're right. A college degree does not AUTOMATICALLY make one successful, but it can certainly help to open more doors than if you didn't have one-especially in certain fields. Everyone doesn't necessarily have the aptitude or the interest to go into the industries that are id'd as the best to go into, which right now are health fields, IT and personal services (which by the way don't usually require a degree).

And call me foolish to say this, but everybody is not concerned about making a large amount of money. I have a friend who was a medical doctor. He was earning close to $200,000/yr and the potential to earn even more was great. He gave it up. He said that medicine just wasn't what he wanted to do. He ended up taking a job as a social worker. Now we know that they don't make that much money. He's a much poorer (financially) person now, but he is also a much happier person and I certainly would not call him stupid because that was his choice and it works for him. I know that he is only one person and therefore only one isolated example, which is the point I want to make. Just because that wonderful career does or does not happen for one person, doesn't mean that it will or will not happen for another person. Everybody is different and each person has to make that decision for him or herself. I do know this--if you are convinced that you won't get that wonderful career, you can take it to the bank that you won't.

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