Debated Decisions #3 Too Old For Uni?

It’s not often a lifestyle posts crops up on these parts but it is something I’m hoping to get on board with as I personally love a blog that has a mix of posts, it creates a little balance and sometimes it’s just nice to throw something different into the mix.  My ‘Debated Decisions’ series seems to have gone down well in the past, so today I thought I’d share some more ramble with you lovely readers. It’s a dilemma that’s been on my mind over the past few months, so today I thought I’d write it all into a post to see if there are any thoughts or opinions on the subject. An unbiased view can often provide a lot of reassurance.

The dilemma I can imagine is probably one that is relatable amongst people in a similar age group, but I’ve mainly begun to think about my goals, future, career and ambitions. I’ll be honest it’s something I usual sweep under the rug but after a recent wake up call (by my supportive colleagues) I came to the conclusion that I may be underselling myself in my current line of work. When I think about my current role I ask myself is there career progression? The answer is most certainly yes. There’s scope for progression through grade structure (more money) a chance to take on more responsibility and shift through Departments. But when I ask myself do I see myself here in five years’ time? The answer is definitely a no. So if I’m not here where am I? Good question right. 

I’ve always been one of those young people who had no idea what they wanted to be. I even recall the painstaking 1 hour career meeting in my school days where I left feeling disheartened. I feel like so much pressure is put on young people to stay in study. After leaving school I was keen to earn an income through small part time jobs and my apprenticeship (something I have successfully completed) but when I suggested this at my school it was almost frowned upon. It feels like expectation of young people is school, college, University, some people are very reluctant to suggest any options outside of academic study and as a young person it can be extremely confusing. 

So after a long (so long) think I’ve finally decided further study may aid me in career progression. I’ve researched the degree I am interested in (Psychology.) My current BTEC qualifications aren’t  sufficient enough for the course I want to do, so I’ll most likely need to take a year out to complete an ‘Access to HE’ course. I’m hoping to continue in my current role and study for my degree part time.  

The thought of returning to study is very much a daunting one. I even began to question am I too old for Uni? This probably sounds like a ridiculous question from a twenty something year old, after checking the age gap I’m not classed as a mature student but still. I guess studying till the age of 28 (the degree part time would be six years) isn’t something I originally envisioned I’d be doing. Working at a University we have many mature students that study with us and successfully complete the course, I don’t have anything against studying as a mature student but I just don’t know if it's necessarily for me. By 28 I'd hope to have my own place, a mortgage, full time income. Six years of study will be a huge commitment for me and I only feel like I have a certain amount of time to make my final decision (I’m not getting any younger!)

I guess sometimes you have to view the bigger picture, remain in jobs that you don’t necessarily enjoy or put the extra study in for a career you’ve always dreamt off (cheesy!) Although it may seem like a huge commitment it could be truly worth it long term, this degree could open up so many opportunities. 

Did you study as a mature student? Am I worrying over nothing? Have you studied a part time degree?  Do you feel that there’s a lot of pressure placed on you as a young person to remain in education? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Amy said...

I say if you want to do it then go for it. I was a little bit older when I went to uni, I started at 21 and graduated a day or so before my 24th birthday. Like yourself I did the Access To Higher Education qualification because I didn't have A Levels. This isn't because I failed or anything I just decided 6th form wasn't for me which led me to quitting and working for a few years. Studying is not for everybody and let's face it at 17/18 when you finish school not everybody wants to carry on for another 3 years, there are a lot of people who do not enjoy school.

I wouldn't let the fact being a mature student bother you as such, there are so many people of different ages these days on courses as you have already alluded to. I thought I would be in a different place at the age of 24 soon to be 25 however life has a habit of not always being how you planned. I say go for it if that is what you truly want :)

Good luck!

Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing

Rosie said...

Another great post Rinica and I know how you're feeling here. I went to university for a year and a half before dropping out when I realised that career wasn't for me. I don't feel that I need to get a degree but I want to get one, I love learning but it's a huge committment when you have to do it part-time. Like you, I would like to have a house within the next few years but a degree would probably eat up my mortgage deposit.

My Mum is doing a open university degree part time and she's got about another year left now and it has been tough at times but I think she's done really well and has been far more self-motivated that I am.

Lisa smyth said...

This is a brilliant post, and I know exactly how you feel. I left school and went straight to university only to discover that I hated the course that the career advisors had had me believe would be perfect for me! After working for a few years I went back to uni at the slightly more mature age of 22 and its the best decision I have ever made! I'm doing so well because I know that unlike others this really is my one big shot, and I'm not distracted by the parties and clubs ect that may have been the case when I was 17! Tbh most of the people in my course thought I was the same age as them until I told them I was older, and even then I've still made lots of friends! I'm now hoping to go into teaching, and I'm so glad I went back!

Good luck to you, and I hope it opens lots of doors:)



Frances B said...

Never too old Rinica! It's never too late to start working towards something you want - and I'm a few years older than you and have only just worked up the guts to go after my goals! I'm always having moments where I think 'am I too late?'.

My mum speaks French, she lived there in her early 20s and always dreamed of being a freelance language tutor. But, as with many women in her generation, she got married and had kids instead.

She's now in her early 50s and is studying French with the open University, if she can do it I'm sure you can!


Frances B said...

p.s. one of my favourite sayings is 'Don't be put off by the time it will take to achieve your dreams, that time will pass anyway!'

Rinica Warner said...

Thanks for your comment, and aww thanks Rosie I always wait for these type of posts to get the Rosie seal of approval :D thanks btw for encouraging me to keep up the more lifestyle/rambly posts :D. It's difficult isn't I think the thing that worries me so much is that I'm not 100% sure and I feel like if I'm going into 6 years of study I need to be 100% confident it's what I want to do. That's the thing too it's very expensive now to study so you don't want to pick the wrong subject and end up in a pickle. Oh I see that's interesting that she did the Open University route, you have to be so motivated for open learning as you don't have someone pushing you constantly. Aww yes I feel like I'm in the age gap where I really should start to think about it, and you're right I don't want to regret not doing what I truly wanted to do hmm. Thanks for your help though I love hearing other people's thought's and opnions especially when it comes to higher education (there's such a mixed resposne!) xx

Rinica Warner said...

Thanks for the comment Lisa, I don't know it just sort of occurred
to me that so much pressure is put on you from a young age to know
exactly what you want to do career wise :(. No way? That's so annoying I
have to admit I didn't find the careers advice I received in school useful in anyway
shape or form, I'm not sure if it's the same for the majority. It's so
helpful to hear from someone such as yourself who returned to study
after working, I guess it almost sounds like you were more determined
the second time around after working for awhile. And the age difference doesn't seem to have caused any problems either, it's helpful to see a positive response :D the majority seem to have been (I think I'm worrying over nothing!) :) xx

Rinica Warner said...

Thanks for commenting,
I know lol :D. You're probably right :). I just think it's so important
to take a step ever so often, I mean I've been at my current place of
work for almost 4 years I genuinely
have no idea where the time has gone I wouldn't want it to get to 20
years and I look back and regret not doing what I really wanted to do.
And good for you for going for it! :D
What an inspiring story about your mum too super motivating.
And also thanks for that quote so inspiring :D xx

emhasrednails said...

I'm currently studying Psychology at uni now and I've just completed my first year. I went to uni straight after college and I've always wanted to go, you're right when you say it's expected of people leaving college to go to uni but it's not right for some people. You seem to have done lots of research and I know that you wouldn't seem 'old' where I am, there's a man doing his degree and he's 40 something! I love being at Uni and I've made some many new friends and it is an amazing experience that is worth all that effort (as well as money!) and by the end of it you will come out with a degree that will hopefully help you get into a new career. I'd say go for it!

Amy said...

I did indeed do it over three years, of course doing it that way would be ideal but it isn't always the best option for everyone. I worked for those three years on the weekends and I still came out with a good degree so it is doable most certainly. Do you live at home? If you do maybe consider the three years as even though it is classed as full time sometimes you have days off, in my last year of uni I was in 2 days a week I think it was for about 3 hours each. Six years is a long time but it will be worth it if it is what you really do want :) I hope I helped xx

Fleur Chelsea said...

You're never to old to learn new things! Give it a try! Have fun


Rinica Warner said...

Yes, I'd prefer to do three years I'm just not sure if I could loose the part time job I have now I'm so used to having an income it'd be a hard change. Ooh I could consider something like that. Yes I still live at home seems like the perfect opportunity to study :D. Thanks again really helped a lot :D xx

Rinica Warner said...

Aww thank you Fleur :D x

Rinica Warner said...

Thanks for comment, are you? No way, are you enjoying the course? Agreed I feel like I wasn't in the right mind set I'm a lot maturer now, and also think working will really help as I'm able to work to deadlines and prioritise work something I didn't really learn in school. Really? Aww wow it sounds like you've had a really great experience studying :D thanks for sharing such a positive comment (makes me more motivated!) xx

Amy said...

I would make the most of living at home as it would be a lot harder if you had your own place to run etc. You're more than welcome, any time! xx

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