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Going back to school at 33 - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by bounce, May 24, 2013.

  1. bounce

    bounce Active Member

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    Kicking around the idea of going back to school, and am wondering if it's even worth it.

    I'm in a very good situation, so going back to school isn't something that's a goal to improve my job or income (although I guess it couldn't hurt). A little background, I'm married with two kids, and I have a job as a media director for a large company, and I make good money. I got an associates degree from a community college at 22, and started working in my field immediately - so I never pursued a BA.

    If I went back to school, it'd probably be to finish up with a degree in design. I use Photoshop a lot, and it'd give me a chance to polish up on it, and learn Illustrator (something I've been wanting to learn) and have a hard goal in mind.

    Honestly, there are really only two reasons I'm considering it. From a personal standpoint, I hate not being able to say I finished school. And #2, I don't want my kids to look at me at a crossroads in 15+ years and say "well, you never finished school."

    But, I'm not sure if either of those reasons are good enough to totally disrupt my/my family's life - as well as spend the money - to essentially get a piece of paper.

    Any thoughts? Just looking for impartial opinions, as well as people may have gone back later in life.
  2. Ren

    Ren Well-Known Member

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    My uncle went back to school at 48

    To be fair he made enough money to retire prior to that so it was purely out of the desire to learn. If money is not an issue and you want to do it then it's never really to late but just doing it to say you have a piece of paper if you are getting by fine without seems a bit pointless to me
  3. bounce

    bounce Active Member

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    That's kind of my thought. I'm doing really well career wise, and it has a ton of potential for growth and expansion. My job and the company aren't going anywhere, and I love it. So, the whole thing is really based on principle.

    When I talk to my wife about it, she's super supportive about it -- but she's super supportive about everything. So, I'm just looking for impartial advice on the process, and cost/time/benefits of it.
  4. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Can you go part time and it not affect your current job?
    If so, there is only upside.

    I quit a very good job and went back to get a grad degree at age 30. No regrets.

    My sister waited until her kids were in school, then went to med school. Her husband had a great job, so it was not for the money.
    She was 31 at the time, but it took her much longer (and full time) than it would you. She's very happy she did it.

    Many athletes who have countless millions (M Jordan, for example) go back to get degrees for the same solid reasons that you have.

    If you don't have any massiv downsides or risks, go for it.
    If this could afect your current career negatively, that is another story.
  5. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    I went back at 29. It was the best thing I ever did.
  6. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    I started college at 30. Best decision I made to help myself get ahead in the workforce.
  7. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Went back at 32... well worth it...
  8. CanadianCowboysFan

    CanadianCowboysFan Lightning Rod

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    best part, you get to hit on college chicks
  9. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    Wasnt the old saying if you dont go back to school at 33 how old will you be?
  10. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    It's not even a joke.
  11. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    This is the best thing that you have going for you, so no matter what you decide about school, make sure you take care of her.

    A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find!
  12. bounce

    bounce Active Member

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    My wife would hate that.

    Thanks for all the replies, everyone. For those who did go back, what was the reason behind it? Career change? Advancement opportunities? Just to finish?
  13. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler Zone Supporter

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    If you have the finances and ability to go back and finish, go for it. I assume it is a personal goal of yours, and many others as well. If it impedes your current job then re-think it but it sounds like it will not.
  14. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    Had to think about it, but I guess I went back to school at 30 for my Master's. I went back to solidify my knowledge base for the field I was in, as well as for the potential to change careers. Like you, I had a pretty solid career and didn't really need to go back to school. In undergrad, I didn't put in the work I thought I should've, and my GPA reflected that. So when I got into grad school, it was a chance to redeem myself.

    It never hurts to solidify what you know, learn stuff that you didn't know, and come out w/a piece of paper that "yes, you learned this stuff." As you have a job, a family, and whatnot, don't try to finish school on some sort of artificial timeline. It's about finishing, so if life gets in the way, don't stress yourself because you may have to adjust your school schedule. That's part of being a returning student or what they call now, a non-traditional student.
  15. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    Nicely said.
  16. ChldsPlay

    ChldsPlay Well-Known Member

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    I'm 35, and I just returned to school after almost 15 years at the end of April. It's actually just another in a series of life changes (Divorce, job change, losing a ton of weight). I work for my family's business, so I am secure for now, but my dad plans to retire in a few years and I have no intention of taking over. Originally I was just going to take a few classes that would relate to my job, but now I am going for my degree and I intend to use it for my career in the future. It is definitely time consuming with a full time job to worry about as well (I'm in an accelerated program so I can get done faster, so that means more material in a short period of time). While being learned is definitely a motivating factor for me, I don't think I would be doing it if I didn't see the advantages for myself career wise.
  17. TheSport78

    TheSport78 The Excellence of Execution

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    Some great thoughts and comments already...

    if you're passionate about it, go for it!
  18. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 RAWR

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    First off I'd say that having an Associates is finishing or accomplishing a goal in school as opposed to not having any degree at all, plus it was sufficient in allowing you to provide for yourself and your family. Technically wouldn't u consider getting a Ph D. "Finishing school." Why does one consider getting a BA finishing school and not a Ph D. in that scenario? Why stop there? There are many good career's that only require an Associates so I would not let that be a concern for yourself or your children. Some people never even go to college at all..

    I decided to go back to school at 37 because I needed to make a career change, mainly because at the time the economy was still bad and my previous career choices were not going to continue to sustain me. I will be 39 in April and I'm still plugging away. It's never too late to go back to school if that is what you want or need. Even if you just take 1 or 2 classes per semester, I say go for it and don't ever look down on your accomplishments. Sometimes we can be our own worst critics but that's just the mark of excellence...
  19. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    I'm curious, bounce, where are you going and what would you be studying?
  20. jimnabby

    jimnabby Well-Known Member

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    It sounds from what you wrote (the life-disrupting part) that you're considering going back full-time. To be honest, the reasons you give don't sound good enough to me to make that kind of commitment (and this comes from someone who went straight through to a PhD and has no regrets). Some things to think about:

    Are you excited about getting an education or just the end result (the degree)? If the latter, how sure are you that you'll stick to it through the grind of all the required classes?
    What educational program will help move you in the career directions you want to go (or open up opportunities down the road) and what's the best way to accomplish that? Your examples are about getting better at using software packages: that's great for picking a class or two to take but not so much for designing or entering a degree program - I think you'd do well to put a bit more thought into that.
    Does it make sense maybe to start with one or two night classes? See if that makes you really want to go further, see how disruptive it is or isn't to your life?

    Good luck, whatever you decide!

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