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Old 12-13-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: betwixt and between
6 posts, read 11,144 times
Reputation: 10

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Okay, I recently found myself relocated to Starkville, and someone talked me into completing my college - at the ripe old age of 42! I've been walking around this tiny town the last few weeks. While I really enjoy the atmosphere, I couldn't help but notice that the students are mostly very young. And from what I've read on these forums, many of the eateries, bars, etc... caters to their crowd.

I'm getting cold feet about being so much older than the rest of the student body. I didn't have that problem in the school I attended up north - there were far more older students up there.

So, are there social outlets that cater to the older crowd? And, am I going to stand out amongst all of these young people? Please tell me I'm not going to be the only grandma attending classes.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:39 PM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 2,086,509 times
Reputation: 446
The students aren't young - you're older! Old enough to be their Mom, anyway.

I think it's fantastic that you're going back to finish your degree at 42. Your family and friends should be very proud of you.

I know how you feel because I moved to live in a small college town at age 45 or so. You just have to make your friends where you can.

The standard answers are community/political/church/volunteer groups. You could do something within the MSU alumni organizations - work study, or volunteer there. The alumns are more your age and you would find support as a returning student/future alumn. Are you single enough to join a dating group? Exercise club or gym? Dance class.

You just have to look around, be patient and very persistent. I think you'll do very well.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Alvarado, TX
2,917 posts, read 4,603,173 times
Reputation: 802
I went to court reporting school in Denver beginning in 1979, I was 33 at the time. Several years later I moved on to Oxford, MS, and attempted a 2nd degree in Court Reporting at Ole Miss. Oldest in the class? Yep, by a far shot. Frat rat? Hah, no way. But I did learn a lot, more about the young'uns I attended classes with. I had so much real life information over them, it was comical.

I'd say you're crazy if you don't pursue your degree. There have been many, many before you who were even older who accomplished their dreams. Go for it!
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:52 PM
 
Location: betwixt and between
6 posts, read 11,144 times
Reputation: 10
Default You're right

You hit it on the head, willdufauve, I am older! It's going to be bizarre running around with all these younger people. hahaha!

Yes, I'm "single enough" to join a dating group (do they have such things around here?). However, I just escaped from a very bad relationship, and I'm not certain I want to jump into the dating scene (if there is such a thing here, I'm pretty sure it's way different than were I come from). As for church, they don't have my denomination here, so I'm outta luck on that. The gym? Nah...

I did apply for work study, so we'll see where that takes me. I suppose I could go to some online forums <cough> <cough> and see if there are any people my age around here... That might work.

Delta Planter, as you pointed out, I'm pretty sure that my world experiences are going to be strikingly different from my classmates. I have no ideas at all of becoming a "frat rat" or whatever the female equivalent is - not my cup 'o tea.

I'm both looking forward to and kinda dreading the coming semester. Over two weeks away, and the anticipation is just killing me.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:56 PM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 2,086,509 times
Reputation: 446
Tomiddes, try a Unitarian Universalist congregation. They have no fixed doctrine, sort of, and you can be of almost any background.

There's online dating clubs and "Meet-ups." You might not want to jump into the dating scene but making a few friends that way could be fun, without being a distraction from your studies. Also, you can go out with people much younger than you, you don't have to marry them, just a companion to go places and do things with. I think you'll do just fine!
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:48 AM
 
Location: betwixt and between
6 posts, read 11,144 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by willdufauve View Post
Tomiddes, try a Unitarian Universalist congregation. They have no fixed doctrine, sort of, and you can be of almost any background.
Ironically, I am a UU. However, the nearest UU church that I can find is in Jackson MS, and according to the directions, that's a two hour drive away. Since I don't have a car, I think that would be a bit of a walk.

Quote:
There's online dating clubs and "Meet-ups." You might not want to jump into the dating scene but making a few friends that way could be fun, without being a distraction from your studies. Also, you can go out with people much younger than you, you don't have to marry them, just a companion to go places and do things with. I think you'll do just fine!
I could *try* the online dating forums... I've had some very bad luck with those in the past, but why let that bother me? And, I rarely let age be a deterant when making friends, but I'd like to have *some* friends my age... you know?

I do appreciate the advice. Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 30,705,574 times
Reputation: 14611
Recently finished Grad School in Texas (40 yr old). Nowadays older people blend in - and students understand that people return to finish their degrees later in life. During my undergrad years I was always impressed with the older students who had so much life experience - and they really improved class discussions because of their life experiences. Good Luck - you have my respect in trying to improve yourself. I guess it may be hard if you're looking for a social network in addition to getting your degree. Socialization may be a tougher thing for you.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:45 PM
 
68 posts, read 252,303 times
Reputation: 76
My son, 31 yrs old, went back to school in Oxford...Ole Miss...only a couple of years ago! He told me for years that he wanted to go back to school, but didn't want to be "that older guy"!! Now, he sings a very different song...he's loved and looked up to, and VERY glad he went back! It will still take him a couple more years to get his degree because he has to work to make a living while he goes, but it's worth it; and by the way, he is an excellent student...you tend to be a better student when you "go back" to school!! And get this, I'm 51 yrs. old and am thinking seriously of going back to school! My kids are grown and gone....the only thing is, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!!!
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
36 posts, read 165,980 times
Reputation: 28
Ah, Tomiddes, you are the exact age I was when I went back to college after an absence of 21 years. The "children" in class were the same age as my own children! But after a few weeks, I was "one of the classmates." We did lots of group work in smaller groups, and I added a different dimension to the discussions. It was great fun and very rewarding. Enjoy your time there!
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: betwixt and between
6 posts, read 11,144 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thanks everyone

For your replies. I appreciate the good thoughts and such. I knew I wasn't the only one out there to go back to school later in life, but it's nice to see it in writing I suppose. I've heard from a couple of other places that older people make good students. Trying to get the best of their investment I suppose...

I'm not looking for a "social life" in the conventional sense of the word (dating and such). I just don't know anyone here, and it gets lonely with no one to talk to but the relative that I share a house with. He is nearly twenty years older than I am, so he is to me what I will be to my fellow classmates - someone intriguing to talk to, but not to hang out with because we don't share the same interests. That's the only reason I inquired about social outlets.
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