Post # 1
I’m 29, and going back to college. I’ve known many women in my life, who have all gone back to school ‘later’ in life, and they’re all successful, happy women… but for some reason, I’m terrified.
I’m genuinely scared that everyone is gonna be staring at me, thinking “oh look it’s that old lady,” “i hope i never end up like her,” “what is she even doing here?” etc…
I have anxiety problems, and it’s at an all-time-high today. My classes start tomorrow.
What’s even worse, is that all of my classes are science, and they have labs… so yknow, it’s always “work in groups” or “choose a partner” and NO ONE EVER wants to work with me. It’s always 110% awkward. I always end up working by myself. I try to smile a lot and give the appearance of friendliness, but maybe I’m just not pretty enough.
I feel like a huge loser. 🙁 I’m at home today crying and just going over-and-over what could happen tomorrow.
Post # 3
I’m sure you will be just fine and congratulations on going back. Over here it is a known fact that mature students (like anyone over 25) invariable do far better too.
As for working in groups, this is college, not high school. People can reasonably be expected to behave like adults, not bitchy children.
Post # 4
Post # 5
I completely understand! Starting something new is always scary, and the older we get the scarier it gets. But one 29-year-old to another – we are NOT old ladies! Okay? NOT OLD!
I went to law school with a few people who were decades older than most students. There was a man in his late fifties I frequently saw at exams and I always admired him for going back to school at his age. He got a few surprised looks but that was it – I suppose some people thought he was the professor 🙂
Oh, and lab work in pairs? Like a PP said – this isn’t high school. I’d rather work with a responsible 29-year-old than a dizzy 19-year-old who came home from partying at 4am and cannot locate her head (i.e. myself at 19! lol).
You’ll be a huge success! Chin up and don’t worry 🙂
Post # 6
I lecture and tutor at a university, and I can honestly say most of the youngsters look at mature students with nothing but intimidation at the start! You have life experience on them, remember!
From my point of view, I much, much prefer mature students. 9 times out of 10 they have their heads skrewed on right and they really WANT to be there, so they do tend to do better, in my experience at least.
If the working in groups bit intimidates you, flip it around – maybe they don’t want to work with you because you are older, therefore wiser and they don’t want to be seen as a daft kid who doesn’t know what they are doing!
And, for the record, my olders student has been in their late 60’s- you are NEVER too old!
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I’m sure you’ll be just fine. I wouldn’t worry too much about standing out as old, 29 is not really “old”. I’m 29, just guest lectured a graduate class yesterday and most people thought I was a new student until I introduced myself as the lecturer.
I had science/lab classes with people in them 20 years older than you. The field had advanced since they were in school and they wanted to update their knowledge. We did have one man (about 50s+) who was asked if he was the professor the first day of class. He just smiled and said no, he was a student just like the rest of us.
I hope the “no one wants to work with you” issue doesn’t come up. That seems overly immature for a college level lab. If it does though, use it as an opportunity to show them how well you can do working on your own! Or if they stick you in a group because no one picked you, be the star of the group. Really try to get involved.
I had that problem in a class – it was cross listed for undergrads and grad students. I was the only grad student in it…but a lot of the guys in the class treated me like I was stupid and didn’t know anything about how to run the programs we used. I stopped working with them. They sure regretted it when we got our first exams back and I kicked their butts! Then they were begging me to work with them or stay late after class to work on assignments together, no thanks! I kept working alone and it paid off. So don’t let it get you down!
Be confident that going back to school was the right choice for you and you’re going to make it count.
Post # 8
When I saw someone older in class I always had complete respect for them for going back to school! Also, I always made it a point to work with them in labs because they tended to be more responsible. Group work is scary though because I was always scared people didn’t want to work with me (I was shy the first few years). Do you ask people to work with you? Or do you wait to be approached?
Post # 9
@AquaGrey8962: you will do FABULOUS!!! I promise you, once you get there, it’s not that bad!
Personal experience story; I just went back to school a month ago! I’m almost 24 an 7 years out of high school and I was absolutely terrified! In the last month, I’ve learned a few things that I did not expect!
#1 you’re pretty much guaranteed to not be the oldest person, unles you’re like 60, then maybe you stand a chance. Trust me on this one… At 29, you are not going to stick out!!
#2 college is nothing like high school. Absolutely nothing like it. Everyone is paying $ to be there so everyone treats it very differently. Even the kids who’s parents are paying for it have some pressure to actually work on it so the environment is way more education friendly.
#3 more people will like you than you think. You will make friends and fast! There’s such a huge variety of people in colleges. For example, in my program are a 50ish retired army sergent a 60 ish year old man with a learning disability and about 4 degrees, a tiny adorable Thai girl (whom I adore so much!!) about a dozen mom’s from different backgrounds, a couple 30ish year old girls, a married middle aged man. The list goes on and on, the people are so diverse! There will be someone for you to relate to! Probably many more than one!
#4 group work is terrifying the first time, slightly nerve wracking the second time and eventually, you’re just having converastions and applying your skills with your classmates instead of on your own. it gets to a point where group work is fun and SUPER helpful! It can be really advantageous to bounce ideas of other people and hear their input too!!
#5 once you get over the nerves, college is amazing!! I had NO idea! I’m learning so much, about the subjects I’m studying and the people around me. It’s truly an incredible experience!
Keep your chin up, walk tall and go knock their socks off!!! It will be a blast 😀
Post # 10
I used teach those science lab classes, and the “continuing education” students (as we called them) were often among the most studious and respectful students in the course. I know it can be stressful trying to choose a lab partner among the 19-year-olds, but I reccommend scoping out your lab section and trying to work with the students who are very serious about their grades. No point in wasting time with a lab partner who is just looking for a buddy to make the time fly faster!
Feel free to PM me if you like. You’re going to do great!
Post # 11
Congrats on going back to school 🙂 You’re going to do great!