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My decision in going back to college in my 30s

My decision in going back to college in my 30s

"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow" - Stephen King

When I graduated High School in 2009, I enrolled at East Tennessee State University to major in Elementary Education, which in hindsight was something I thought I could do. However, the further I went into my college career I found out maybe I didn't have the passion for the classwork. I was working in a preschool at the time as part of a work study grant. Honestly I felt like as a 19-20 year old student I was learning more at work than in the classroom. Plus at the time my grandparents (whom were my adopted parents) were both suffering from health issues. I wasn't taking the class work as seriously as I should have.

Over the next few years both of my grandparents passed on and I moved out of state to North Carolina to start a new life with my biological parents to get to know them better. Over this time I started working different jobs either quickly getting burnt out or figuring out that it wasn't right for me. However in 2019, I started working in the restaurant industry (which culinary arts/ restaurants was my first love even as a kindergartener). I have been in the restaurant industry ever since.

I started to wonder what I could do to stay fresh in the industry. I then decided to look into hospitality and tourism. There i found out with a degree in that I can be in charge of caterings, work in any kind of dining setting whether it's cruise ships, hotels, resorts, restaurants etc. I can also do travel agent bookings and tourism related careers as well. So I applied for online school and got accepted and got financial aid. The more I keep looking into this program, the more I keep thinking maybe I'm not too old to discover myself. Maybe it's time for me to start over and burn my old bridges. It may not be where I started, but it can be where I want to be. I have actually questioned lately that maybe it's too late for me to start over. I have actually attempted to reenter school once before for pharmacy tech. My stepmother at the time discouraged me by saying that I pissed my time in college away and I need to be in the workforce rather than furthering my education. But even after that I want to do one thing that my stepmom, Mom, Dad, grandparents,and siblings never did. I want to go to college and finish.

My decision in going back to college in my 30s
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  • LemiaOfThunder

    When I was at college there was some there in their late 40s still learning.

    LikeHelpful 2 People
  • kespethdude

    Totally fine. I want to college in my 30s (I was actually 27 when I started and graduated in my 30s, but AFAIC that still counts) with no problems. Of course, state schools that don't require all students to be in dorms would be a better choice at this point as you likely wouldn't be able to live in a dorm. If you are, well, as long as you can pass as a 20-something, you'll be ok.

  • AMS700CX4u2

    I Graduated from Junior college twice. Once in 1970 with an AA in biological sciences and again one year later with an AS in Medical Technology. Within 10 years I had I reached the opinion that I had stopped to soon. I had to go back but, frankly I did not want to be a med tech. I wanted to become a Pathologist Assistant. College choices were Birmingham and Duke. I was surprised when I received the financial aide packet instead of the sorry charlie letter. No I had to put up or shut up. My wife kept the homestead going for a year in Ocala, Florida , but had to move to Durham the last year. It was not super taxing , but did present it's challenges. Looking back I am glad we did it.

    Helpful 1 Person
  • Avicenna

    You should pursue your career dreams. However, do not under ANY circumstances go into serious debt to do this and keep any future potential earnings from your chosen career in mind. Student loan debt usually cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, and you don't want a bunch of it in a high-inflation environment.

    Given what you posted, I would look at an apprenticeship or OJT before I'd even consider borrowing money for some education,

  • Googlemyahoo

    Thats what I think people should do before going to college. Take a few years to figure out what you really want to do.

    Its your last year of high school suddenly its OK WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GOTO COLLEGE AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE!!!

    Ummmm whaaaat?

    Result, I end up majoring in something I hated & quit.

  • bingbongbangbung

    I graduated in highschool in 2016, attended university in the same year till I got suspended in 2019, then transferred to college last year in 2021 and expecting graduation in 2023. Even if I never got suspended, it would've taken me until 2021 or even 2022 to graduate. I don't plan on going back to school for at least another 15-20 years to be frank.

  • bolverk

    I went back to college a number of times during my career as an engineer (general/marine) to add more qualifications to the physical skills that I already had, I have never stopped learning.

  • Sunflower19

    Do it.

    I'm 27 and I went back. Nothing wrong with it because Life isn't a race to see who finishes first.

  • Haha456

    I am 26 and I'm going back for a second bachelors due to a career change. One of the things that nobody ever told me about going back to school as an older adult is that it gets extraordinarily harder.

    Because when you're at a certain age, you will have bills to pay , you do not get any financial aid, you will receive no financial help from your parents so you will need to attend school full time while working full time. when you're 18 years old, you get a ton of financial aid and financial help from your parents. your parents pay for dorm and bulk of the tuition. When you're older, you get no help.

    Its extraordinarily difficult. I barely sleep and it feels like juggling 3 full time jobs all at once. It sucks... this was what nobody told me about going back to school as an adult. I just want to set this out there so that others are aware about it too.

  • RobT312

    Never too late, do it! Nice pic btw…went to grad school there!

  • nawtee_me

    I went to college for the first time at 48. I graduated high school in 1975 and went to electronics school which after one year closed down because the admins were dipping their hands in the cookie jar and the school went bankrupt. So I entered the work force at 19 and worked from then on. After getting married and having kids. they were now about to graduate from high school so I tole them you can always go back to school and that you never stop learning. So I went to college at 48 and got a degree to show them too.

    Like 1 Person
  • JaxiCats

    There’s nothing wrong with it it’s good that you want to better yourself

  • Twalli

    My dad went back to college even later in his life to get a degree in engineering and become a programmer after being a teacher for years.

  • Jamie05rhs

    Yes!! 😍👏. This is awesome! I'm proud of you, Stephen! Go get it! 💪

    Like 1 Person
  • Lookingforthetruth

    How do you feel about being discriminated due to your age?


    I support you 💯 👍🏼💜

    Like 2 People
  • melanieeeB

    That's pretty cool, have a good time 🙏🏼

  • Jennz6

    Go for it sweetie

    Like 1 Person
  • FilmGuy93

    That's great man! I'm proud of you.

  • CaptainSmartass

    Go for it, dude.


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