Going to University later in life

For any worries about education in general.
Forum rules
NEW USERS HAVE TO WAIT FOR THEIR FIRST POSTS TO BE APPROVED BY AN ADMINISTRATOR. Rules | Essential Information | FAQ | Support | Twitter

Going to University later in life

Postby rufio89 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:03 pm

I was hoping for some advice, but bear with me because I havent sorted my thoughts into a particularly logical order on this one!

Right, so I come from a big family, 6 brothers and sisters (plus about 15 cousins). My Dad is a very very intelligent man, as were his parents - education has always been valued very highly in my family and all 6 of my siblings went to university. All the way through school that was my plan too, but when it got to the time, I decided to start working instead, for assorted reasons. Originally I was just postponing going to university but eventually it changed to 'never'.

Over the past year or so, I've been thinking a lot about my future and where I want to be. I'm finding that I'm starting to hit a bit of a ceiling in jobs I can get without a degree and my ambitions have changed as well. Working in the job I'm in now has made me realise how little I care about earning a lot of money. I earn good money where I am, but I'm surrounded by people who just dont care about what theyre doing. I know that's fine for a lot of people, but I think it's becoming more and more important to me to be around people who have a passion for what they do - be that because theyre doing something that makes a difference or because they're just really interested in it. I dont fit in here! They laugh at me (not in a bullying way, in a friendly banter way just to make that clear) because I listen to Radio 4 in the morning, I read the paper, I watch the news and I'm interested in science and politics.

So, about a year ago I started thinking about university again. Without sounding too big headed, I AM clever. Before my Grandma died last year she said that she respected my decision not go to to university but that I was (HER WORDS NOT MINE) "exceptionally bright" and that I owed it to myself to go and further my learning.

So, these are the 2 main barriers I'm struggling to get my head around:

1. I dont know what I want to study. My thoughts at the moment are:
Psychology - I've always been interested in psychology, I did it at A-Level and that is what I had intended to do when I left college.
English - This was always my strong point, from nursery right through to A-Level, I was top of the class. It came so easily to me and I do like writing.
Archaeology with Anthropology - I just find it fascinating! I know a lot about it and I spend a huge amount of time reading about evolution and early man and ancient cultures. I've found a few courses online to do in the short term, as a taster and they just sound SO interesting!

However, with all of these, I dont know where I'd GO with any of them - I know there are a lot of careers if you do psychology, but theyre mostly "helping" roles, whereas my interest is really more in the "why" side of things. English I have no idea what I'd do with - I dont want to be a journalist, it's too cut throat an industry - I'm not willing to do any job where you need to stab people in the back to get ahead. Archaeology my intention would be to just go and be "an archaologist", but those jobs are so few and far between (and badly paid) that I'm not sure.

so that is my first barrier.

2. I'm just terrified. I know I'm only 23 and so I'm hardly "over the hill" yet, but I moved out of my parents house 5 years ago, I've been working for 5 years and I've got quite a nice little life set up for myself where I am financially secure. The prospect of giving that all up, moving to a new city (which I would absolutely want to do) and starting all over again is so scary to me that I find the thought almost paralysing. I know a lot of people who went to university but noone who went later on. All the things they loved so much in their first year, meeting all the people, the lifestyle etc just doesnt appeal to me and really I think I'm past that stage.

I've got a constant battle in my head at the moment and I was just wondering if anyone had any advice to offer me.
rufio89
Taken Root
Taken Root
 
Posts: 2565
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:05 pm
Location: Nottingham
Gender: Female

Re: Going to University later in life

Postby highlandcow » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:18 pm

Firstly, well done on making a decision that you do want to get back into further education.

With regard to what you actually want to do, I guess that's really up to you and you alone. But they all seem like good options. Even not knowing now, can still work out. My boyfriend did an English degree without much of a clear idea...and now he's an English teacher.

rufio89 wrote:They laugh at me (not in a bullying way, in a friendly banter way just to make that clear) because I listen to Radio 4 in the morning, I read the paper, I watch the news and I'm interested in science and politics.


I get that at work as well, and it does bring you down a bit.

rufio89 wrote: My Dad is a very very intelligent man, as were his parents - education has always been valued very highly in my family and all 6 of my siblings went to university. All the way through school that was my plan too, but when it got to the time, I decided to start working instead, for assorted reasons. Originally I was just postponing going to university but eventually it changed to 'never'.


Again, I'm just the same! My Dad is a PhD, one of the countries top doctors (apparently). He was pretty annoyed that I didn't go to University, but now concedes that it was probably the best thing for me. I was always going to go, but it never happened. I don't regret it, but I do often wonder what my life would be like if I had. Do your family give you a hard time about it?

rufio89 wrote: I'm just terrified. I know I'm only 23 and so I'm hardly "over the hill" yet, but I moved out of my parents house 5 years ago, I've been working for 5 years and I've got quite a nice little life set up for myself where I am financially secure. The prospect of giving that all up, moving to a new city (which I would absolutely want to do) and starting all over again is so scary to me that I find the thought almost paralysing. I know a lot of people who went to university but noone who went later on. All the things they loved so much in their first year, meeting all the people, the lifestyle etc just doesnt appeal to me and really I think I'm past that stage.


Onto this then...I reckon you could still do it. My brother's best friend is in his 30's now, he was a mature student in my brother's year at Uni when they met. It's not too late and most Uni's have halls specifically for mature students. You may be past the stage of meeting and hanging out with 18 year olds (God knows I get why!) but if you ask to be put with the other mature students then you'd find people you'd click with better.

Moving to a new city is scary. When my brother moved to London, he was bricking it so much my Dad practically had to carry him up the steps to the plane. :lol:
But he's been there for a few years now, is in his final year and is planning to go on and do his PhD. But you WILL get there, when you make friends, and meet people in the same boat, it'll be like you've always been there. Plus it's so much easier to keep in touch with your pals and family at home these days.

I've rambled on a bit but at the end of the day, if you really want to do it, then GO FOR IT! Life's too short to have a big regret.
Go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say:
'It's good to be alive!'"

- Billy Connolly
User avatar
highlandcow
Permanent Fixture
Permanent Fixture
 
Posts: 1008
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:22 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Gender: Female

Re: Going to University later in life

Postby snail » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:48 pm

You don't have to move to do a degree - you could do it with the Open University (studying in your own time and mostly in your own home, but you do need a good dollop of self-motivation) or you could do a part-time course, where you attend a day each week, or even, with some degrees that are tailored for people who are working, one week in every 8 at a residential site (i.e. you can do all the residential bit in your annual leave allowance).
How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

Annie Dillard
User avatar
snail
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4336
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Your guess is as good as mine.
Gender: Female

Re: Going to University later in life

Postby RagDoll » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:54 pm

Know you posted this a little while ago Rufio, but my advice would be to decide what career/field you want to get into first, based upon your interests and skills, then if you know you'll need a degree to do the job, go for it.

I think you need to figure out what your ultimate goal is, and then work backwards from there regarding what you need to do to achieve it.
We don’t see things the way they are; we see things the way we are
User avatar
RagDoll
Taken Root
Taken Root
 
Posts: 2101
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:57 am
Location: North East England
Gender: Female

Re: Going to University later in life

Postby rufio89 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:34 am

Thanks for your replies everyone:

Snail - that's something that I've thought about, but like you said, you need a big dollop of motivation and I'm scared that I just wouldnt put the required work in. Also, I'm terrified of moving to a new city, but I also dont want to stay in Nottingham for the rest of my life, I'm a bit concerned that I'm getting a bit too comfy here (especially because I actually dont even like it here, it's just easy and familiar), it'd probably do me good to cut the cord, it's just scary :/

Ragdoll - This is my big problem, I have no idea where I want to end up really! I keep thinking that it'll come to me as I get older, but if anything I feel like the answer is getting further and further away. All I know at the moment is that I want to learn and I want to be around other people who want to learn and are educated! I wish I knew what my ultimate goal was but I have no idea at all! All I know is, I want to do something I'm interested in and that I care about - I want to be comfortable, but I'm not movitated by money so I dont care if I'm not rich, so long as I dont end up really poor.
rufio89
Taken Root
Taken Root
 
Posts: 2565
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:05 pm
Location: Nottingham
Gender: Female


Return to School, College & University

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron