Anyone start college after being in the workforce for awhile?

posted 2 years ago in College
Post # 2
1086 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I have taught at several colleges. I am really glad to have the older students like you in the classroom. It is many of the 17 and 18 year olds who are not ready for college, but just go because ev eryone tells them it is the next step.

Some of the older students start the semester thinking they are at a disadvantage because they have been away from school for awhile. I tell them that the maturity they have gained puts them at a huge advantage. I have taught both at state college and community college level. I don’t know what you are applying to, but community college for a while allows you to go at a slower pace (few people should be taking 5 classes), save money, and there are also tons of “nontraditional” students.

Post # 3
6171 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

my evening classes that i took during my undergrad years had “mature” student.  it was very nice to hear the outside perspective of how practical some of the things we were taught in class were.


Post # 4
1437 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

At almost 27, I just went back to school last year. I’m loving it. I did go to college right after high school, for three years, but I didn’t finish my degree. Now I’m going for a different major all together. I’m a far better student this time around than I was then…possibly because I have a greater appreciation of the opportunity I’ve been given to go back to school. I say take the plunge! It’s not bad at all, I promise.

Post # 5
1779 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

SunflowerGarden:  Don’t worry! I went to college for ONE semester and dropped out because I wasn’t ready at 18. I got a job and now have a career where I know what I want to get my degree in! I just started last year, this summer is my third term, and I’m pursuing a bachelor’s.

It is hard work but will be worth it!

ETA: I’m 24, going on 25 on Friday so I am your age as well!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  springbride23.
Post # 6
2358 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I started later, at age 25 and I was so glad I waited for the high school burnout to wear off. I was refreshed and ready to devote time and energy towards bettering my future. I had a clearer view of what I wanted and had no other distractions to get me off track. I also had worked for 7 years out of high school at nothing but dead end jobs, for crappy managers, with crappy hours, for low pay. I even worked two jobs to get the bills paid. It was incredible motivation to get into college.

I went to a state university and during freshman year attended orientation, lived life in the dorms and pretty much exclusively on campus except for that pesky part time job that I needed, took freshman courses just like the out of high school students. Truthfully, it made me feel young, even tho I was considered a non-traditional student. I didn’t feel like I was looked at any different than any other student there.

I enjoyed studying, actually having somewhere important to be instead of some miserable desk or cash register doing miserable work. I enjoyed the feeling of belonging to a college, something bigger than myself, and being apart of something that other ppl loved and felt attachment to. I liked being on campus, being in the library and other facilities, and heck, even in class taking notes. Most of all, I loved learning. Especially about subjects I had a real interest in. I loved knowing I was making those decisions that would change my life. I will always say I loved being a college student. I know it sounds cheesy but it made me feel proud to be me.

I don’t think it is a disadvantage at all to have waited a few years. There are tons and I mean tons of adult students out there, some that were waaay older than me. I would walk to class every day with cutest little elderly lady pulling her rolling backpack behind her. So adorable. Its never too late, and the great thing is that the longer u wait, the more likely u will be even THAT much more motivated.

Post # 7
2258 posts
Buzzing bee

SunflowerGarden:  Do it! My husband went back to school two years ago after working for nine years. He had a surgery that took him out of work for a couple of months, and did a lot of soul searching and realized that what he wanted to really do with his life required going back to school. I am the money maker now, and it isn’t easy, but he has a 4.0 and studies his butt off. I think there is something to be said about going back to school after you’ve experienced real life. I think it gives you a better appreciation for why you’re doing it and that’s a huge motivator to succeed. Good luck!

Post # 8
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I started college at the age of 24. I worked and had a child, it is really scary to start. I can honestly say the hardest part for me was simply signing up for my first class, I was extremely nervous. I would start with just a class or two, that’s what I did. I ended up doing really well and it gave me the confidence to start full time the following semester. 3 years later I have finished my Associates’s degree and am working on my Bachelor’s. I had a second child a year ago, I stopped working but kept going to school. Honestly, I feel extremely proud of myself. If it is what you really want to do, take that last step and submit your application. Getting the ball rolling is the hardest part, once you get it going it is easier to keep it moving. 

I completely understand being nervous, but it is so worth it in the long run. You can do anything you set your mind to. 

Post # 9
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

OP, are you applying for a community college or a full-time university?

Honestly, if I were you – young but stable and married, with a job I liked – I would consider going to community college for a year or 2 before university. I would go part-time at my job and take one or two classes per semester. That way you keep in touch with the job you like and have some extra money coming in as well. Certain gen-eds are just as easily gotten at community college as university. English, speech, phys ed requirements, etc.

Once I’d gotten the equivalent of one or two years of university education from community college, then I would consider going to uni. I would also wait to go to uni until I knew exactly what I wanted to study. You should have a goal. Honestly, if you don’t really have any career goals, I would think getting a degree from a community college is as valuable has having a random bachelor’s from a uni, and much, much, much cheaper.


Post # 11
42166 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

SunflowerGarden:  I went back to take my nursing degree after I left my husband with two children.

“Mature” students, which is how we were labelled, led all the classes in grade point averages.

Look at it this way: In four years you are going to be four years older, with or without a degree.

Post # 12
3806 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

SunflowerGarden:  My husband lived on campus and attended both undergrad and graduate school at the age of 26. He graduated with his Bachelors at 29 and his Masters 3 years ago.

My mom enrolled into an undergrad program for her Bachelors when she was 55. She graduates next year.

Be willing to learn something new, believe in yourself, study hard and achieve your goals. That’s all you really need. Good luck!

Post # 13
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

SunflowerGarden:  Do it.  You certianly won’t be the oldest person in your classes.  We had quite a few students in their 30s and 40s when I attended undergrad.  I also remember a spry 60-something lady that did extremely well on exams and with providing commentary in class.  While you won’t have the traditional college experience you see on TV and in movies, you will probably perform better than most of the other students because you have some real world experience under your belt.

I attended lots of online and evening courses while in undergrad.  My mom attended the University of Phoenix because their schedule was more friendly to people going to school while still working normal 9 to 5 jobs.  The sooner you go back, the faster you can reap the benefits of having a Bachelor’s degree so click that Submit button ASAP!

Post # 13
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

It’s scary, but realize you won’t be the only person going back to school after being out for awhile. I finished my Bachelor’s degree when I was 28 and I would re do it in a heart beat, it was worth every penny and every test. I spent most of my early 20s screwing around and failing classes at community college. I FINALLY graduated with an AA when I was probably 24? I then applied for a 2 year program at a University extension and was told to take a few more classes and get certain grades and they would admit me. I did that and then was able to go do my 2 year program which earned me a Bachelors in Interdiscilinary studies. I worked full time and took full time classes. I’d actually say that I got a LOT more out of college as an adult than I did right after high school when I went to University and failed every semester I was there. I was just a lot more mature, and having work experience actually helped me quite a bit.

I was NOT the youngest person in any of my classes, there was a huge age range. And I actually had multiple positive comments from older students that they could tell I”d been working full time because I was a lot more mature and focused than other students. You definitely won’t be the only person there who is not 18. And you’ll quickly get back into the habit of studying, being able to study and learn has no age limit!

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