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  1. #1
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    Default late bloomers @ formal education

    after highschool i worked for a few years and am only now preparing to go back to college... the soonest i can graduate is 26, but if i want to attend one of my top choices then there is another year or more on top of that for the prerequisites.

    i understand most people who attend college do so right after highschool and usually graduate 4-5 years later...

    id like to hear some perspective from people who will not be finishing college until mid-twenties or later, what you like or dislike about your choice to attend college outside the young-adult years, or even just general thoughts on the matter.

  2. #2
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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    i feel good to take a break from education

    12 years of schooling straight is a bit harrowing
    even for a J
    I N V I C T U S

  3. #3
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Hmm, I went to uni straight away but I'll be going to grad school until I'm 25-27, depending. Does that still count?

    It's not really a choice for me because I know with just a BSc I'll be stuck in a mindless lab tech job for my whole life. Research is where it's at.

  4. #4
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    I am 24 and am a junior in college..
    a lot of the people I've met so far don't know what they're going to do after college but for me college isn't a requirement and I could make a living without it. so, I feel like I have a more realistic view of the work world then they would. I have grown my hair out to seem more like a college student.
    meeting people can be difficult... I joined a student group which sort of helps with that.
    this Spring semester was my first time going full time in awhile. in the beginning of the semester I was excited but eh not as much now. I'm still wondering how I can use college to shift out of my existing job (programming) and make a similar pay.

    what I like about college:
    - don't have to spend 40 hours a week working
    - school keeps me busy/stressed/social

    what I don't like:
    - homework (of course)
    - little bit less free time
    - how being taught in a classroom isn't all that fulfilling and can be a real bomb if the teacher is difficult to understand

    eh.. yeah

  5. #5
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Hey Grayscale, you shouldn't feel bad or like you are getting a 'late start'.
    I think you're at a perfect age for college and there are lots of people in the same (and older) boat.

    One of my (many) roommates is in his early 30s and didn't go to college until he was 25, he joined a frat that he is still active with, and had a great time. I know 2 women in their early 30s who returned to school to pursue RN careers.
    I'm back at school myself exploring career options and the way things are looking, I'll also be in my 30s by the time any kind of degree is achieved.

    BTW if someone had told me at 18 that I wouldn't get to grad school until my 30s or even start my career, I probably would have gasped and said, "OMG, I'll be so OLD!" Now I'm just HAHAHAHAHAHA, age is so much about perspective. Your entire 20s is really a protracted adolescence and training ground, you can pretty much experiment and do what you want and need to do and "make up" the time in your 30s if it comes to that.

    Also, the years you spent working and preparing for college are really going to give you a leg up on the trad aged students. Everyone I know who goes back to school in their mid-20s to mid-30s is super focused and most successful in their programs. Because you have a sense of urgency and focus and you understand how your education is going to be applied and useful to you in your actual life. And you have the maturity not to blow your chances. I know TONS of people in their 30s and older who have and are returning to school and switching careers and not just for more money but for personal satisfaction as well.

    So good luck!
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by file cabinet View Post
    I am 24 and am a junior in college..
    a lot of the people I've met so far don't know what they're going to do after college but for me college isn't a requirement and I could make a living without it. so, I feel like I have a more realistic view of the work world then they would. I have grown my hair out to seem more like a college student.
    meeting people can be difficult... I joined a student group which sort of helps with that.
    this Spring semester was my first time going full time in awhile. in the beginning of the semester I was excited but eh not as much now. I'm still wondering how I can use college to shift out of my existing job (programming) and make a similar pay.
    similar to what i figured. ive been "there and back" as far as a career goes and after tasting the green grass on the other side of the fence i think i can make more genuinely motivated choices towards what i want to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Hey Grayscale, you shouldn't feel bad or like you are getting a 'late start'.
    i dont have any regrets about it. when i graduated highschool my college plans got rough and i didnt bother salvaging them because i didnt know why i wanted to go, and i really hate doing anything i dont have my own reasoning for. now i am choosing to go back on my own volition and i have a lot more perspective to take with me, it will make all the difference.

    the reason i ask is because im curious, and more practically speaking, i need to decide how many years i am comfortable spending, thus i want to hear others' experience here... my school of choice is MIT, i think i can qualify for but it would require significant additional time and cost, the same can be said to some degree of most of my other top choices--i need to decide between that and a university close to where i live which i can start at within a year.

  7. #7
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    A few extra years off can be a good thing... that way you go in know what you want to get out of it.

    Half a dozen undergrads are shepherd directly from highschool into colleges... most really have no idea why they picked the major they're in... not a few ended up switching boats half away down the line... others came out not knowing what to do with a "useless" degree... some (like silly me) ended up grinding through only to realize it's not a good choice.

    I'm going to get this silly thing done and head into design. Imagine somebody with a graduate degree learning in a community college/trade school with a bunch of kids fresh out of highschool who've barely met the graduation requirements... I really don't find your case so strange.

  8. #8
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by file cabinet View Post
    what I like about college:
    - don't have to spend 40 hours a week working
    - school keeps me busy/stressed/social

    what I don't like:
    - homework (of course)
    - little bit less free time
    - how being taught in a classroom isn't all that fulfilling and can be a real bomb if the teacher is difficult to understand

    eh.. yeah
    This is pretty much my exact opinion of college, but I don't like the fact that school keeps me busy and stressed, and as of yet I haven't met any people outside of people I've befriended in class, so I can't say I'm particularly social.

    Meh.
    They're running just like you
    For you, and I, wooo
    So people, people, need some good ol' love

  9. #9

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    I am curious if you are going to school to simply satisfy curiosity (in which case MIT w/o reimbursments/scholarships seems highly expensive, espeacially considering their open courseware) or because you have some "schemes" for what you want to do later.

    I think you said you were interested in applied physics of some sort, earlier. If you are going to work on the energy problem for us, I salute you.

    As someone who returned to school after being out a few years. I found it a bit jarring. Schoolwork is a bit different from work in a coporation. There is opportunity to learn, for sure.

    But I made the mistake of just taking classes online. There is a lot of exposure to concepts and techniques that I would not have thought to explore or learned quite as well on my own, but missing out on student interaction was a rather large loss.

    Also, if you go to MIT, you may want check out the UROP program.

    Research and industry have very different cultures--with different priorities, and metrics for "goodness."

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  10. #10
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    I went straight through, but have returned to grad school. I'm 32 now.

    It's odd being in a class full of people who are around 22, but it's not bad. I have a lot more direction than I did at 22. I'm a better student. I tend to be viewed as an authority by virtue of my experience alone. It's not a bad position to be in.

    I don't think a 3-5 year age gap, which is what you're talking about, is going to be that different. In some respects, you'll kind of raise your eyebrow at these young kids. In another, you're going to get along with them just the same. You're simply not that far off in age. Plus, they're going to think you're awesome if only because you can buy beer.


    I... suppose. Yeah!

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