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Old 12-06-2013, 06:01 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
10,091 posts, read 20,815,517 times
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I went to college in my 20's for a year and earned about two semesters worth of credits but never finished. I'm now in my late thirties and I want to go all the way. I'm at a point in my life where I have the time and financial resources to finish college and I'll probably split my studies between online and campus classes. I'm not really interested in getting my BA with online focus entirely, so I would like to spend time in some classes on campus. I'm just wondering where my comfort zone will be around 18-22 year olds in the classroom.

Can anyone speak to this? Going back to college much later in life?
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:47 PM
 
1,420 posts, read 2,896,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
I'm just wondering where my comfort zone will be around 18-22 year olds in the classroom.
I am assuming everything else is worked out for you: major, career objectives.

I'm a little surprised anyway that you're worrying about this - isn't academics the main focus?

What exactly are you worried about anyway? Are you worried the younger students will be "in the fast lane" academically since you've been out of school for so long? I can understand that.

Or are you asking about being an outlier with whom nobody wants to interact, partner with in labs or group projects.

For your information, I earned my MS in Engineering when I was 34; most of the other students were in their 20s but there were a few others my age that I studied with.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
10,091 posts, read 20,815,517 times
Reputation: 12978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheektowaga_Chester View Post
I am assuming everything else is worked out for you: major, career objectives.

I'm a little surprised anyway that you're worrying about this - isn't academics the main focus?

What exactly are you worried about anyway? Are you worried the younger students will be "in the fast lane" academically since you've been out of school for so long? I can understand that.

Or are you asking about being an outlier with whom nobody wants to interact, partner with in labs or group projects.

For your information, I earned my MS in Engineering when I was 34; most of the other students were in their 20s but there were a few others my age that I studied with.
Well of course my academic purpose and major would be my primary focus and the maturity gained over the years reinforces that even more so. I realize worrying doesn't do any good, though I do have genuine concerns about being a bit of an outlier; not in the high school popularity sense and yes I may feel a bit rusty having been out of the academic loop for so long. I'm just seeking out dialogue from those whom have shared similar experiences being in an age bracket that is not in the conventional college age years and what their college experience was like during those years at that point in their lives.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
1,073 posts, read 520,468 times
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I graduated at 34. I took a class here and there until the end then I went for about a year solid to finish up. Go for it.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:20 PM
 
3,662 posts, read 3,489,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
Well of course my academic purpose and major would be my primary focus and the maturity gained over the years reinforces that even more so. I realize worrying doesn't do any good, though I do have genuine concerns about being a bit of an outlier; not in the high school popularity sense and yes I may feel a bit rusty having been out of the academic loop for so long. I'm just seeking out dialogue from those whom have shared similar experiences being in an age bracket that is not in the conventional college age years and what their college experience was like during those years at that point in their lives.
I returned for a career changing / complementary masters degree in my late 30s. I'd say 50-70 percent were 23-29, the balance in their 30s, with a handful 40+ (these were those who had undergrads in the area of study and were seeking advancement. I needed a few pre requisite courses which included mostly undergrads. No issues at all, I was attending night classes, so my impression is these students tend to be more focused than a daytime general population undergrad type. Occasionally the younger students could be a bit annoying with some of their naïve questions but that's the point of education, it's not just an academic prof lecturing and reading, it is sharing what one observes and experiences in the work environment. I was fortunate all the professors (half academic / half practitioners) were very open to using significant class time for discussion. It was very rewarding.

My instructors seemed to enjoy having the range of age to provide better breadth of class discussion. So, in that respect, you are generally well received. Fellow students were the same as any environment: a few were going through the motions, groups projects could be a pain with the irresponsible types as at any level, and the courses seemed much more focused on the area of study.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:27 PM
 
1,420 posts, read 2,896,832 times
Reputation: 2246
Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
Well of course my academic purpose and major would be my primary focus and the maturity gained over the years reinforces that even more so. I realize worrying doesn't do any good, though I do have genuine concerns about being a bit of an outlier; not in the high school popularity sense and yes I may feel a bit rusty having been out of the academic loop for so long. I'm just seeking out dialogue from those whom have shared similar experiences being in an age bracket that is not in the conventional college age years and what their college experience was like during those years at that point in their lives.

Are you going to be attending classes during the day at a traditional campus on which students live in dorms etc? or at night? If at night, certainly there will be lots of working adults.

What's your major anyway? Engineering students are different from art history students.
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