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My sister is 59 years old. She worked her way through college while working, and by the time she finished her masters she was in her mid-forties and had her second child. Now at 59, she is finishing off her thesis or dissertation. While she pursued her dream to higher education, she was also handling her responsibilities at home and a job to support her family.
I took my own time to graduate from an AAS degree in my mid-thirties. I dreamed of going back to school one day once the kids grew up. Now in my early 50s I decided to go back to school. I have my fears regarding finances, work load, time management, family responsibilities and health issues, but I decided if I don't go on with my wish for higher studies now, I will probably not have another chance at it.
Studies after the 50s is not very easy, but not impossible. With proper planning and implementation, one can achieve their goals much easier. Going to college is a very exciting experience for everyone at any age. However, some of the issues that come to the surface are age, adjustment, finances, family life and relationships, time management and health issues.
Age factor: It used to be only people who graduated from high school or returned to school in their twenties that fit in perfectly with the age group of college students. They could make friends, socialize, study in groups, share rooming and boarding and develop relationships. At age 50, not very many people think of returning to school. But as time goes by, more and more people in their thirties, 40s and 50s, or even in 60s, are wanting to go back for different reasons. Sitting in a class full of a bunch of teenagers or twenty year olds does not have to be a traumatizing experience anymore. Making friendships and participating in study groups are not age related. Currently, a certain respect for fellow students who are older is evident on college campuses.
Adjustment: Adjusting ourselves to the day-to-day class schedules, timings, college environment, life style and eating habits could be hard at first.