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Posted by: Sulu ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 07:35PM

I’m 27 and heading back to college after dropping out because of severe depression and anxiety (a lot of it was related to religion. I was so uncomfortable with the lack of Mormons on campus that I became a recluse).

I’m happy to finally find my way, but I wasted a DECADE. I should have my master’s degree by now and I’m only starting on my associate’s in my late 20s. It hurts.

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 07:36PM

You're still young. Congratulations on your return to college!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 07:37PM

We all suffer detours in life. You are in good shape.

Congratulations.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 08:19PM

You're doing fine at 27. I was a drunk until I was 30, even though I did get my "Bachelor of Alcoholism." You know the guy who graduated at the top of his class? Meet the bottom!

Getting sober as I turned 30 was time enough to get my head screwed on straight,* get two careers, get married and bring up 4 well-adjusted and productive children. I'm now retired and trying my hand at writing (fiction) and just bought a small farm with one of my kids.

Keep looking forward, Sulu. Don't ignore your past, but don't let it define you.

Live well, and prosper!

*A few posters on this board may disagree.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 08:27PM

Attitude means everything...

Your age is just a number that changes.

Just knowing a person's age, once he/she turns 18, tells us little to nothing about that person.

Heck, even the phrase, "college graduate" has lost a lot of panache!

"Sulu sure seems like a nice person!" has nothing to do with age, titles or degrees.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 08:39PM

I want to encourage you in your studies. I got my Bachelor's degree by age 22, but because it was in Fine Arts, I didn't do much with it. I went back to grad school at about age 35, and even then it took me until age 39 to get my career off of the ground. But even with the delay, I am three years shy of owning my home outright. In about the same amount of time, I will be able to enjoy a nice retirement. You will have a good life as well -- the secret is to get going!

You would be shocked at how many older people/career changers there are in higher education. There were tons of people in my grad program switching from law, law enforcement, government, accounting, counseling, etc. into my line of work. Sometimes if people don't like the first career field they went into, they switch.

I think you will enjoy being in school as an adult -- I know I did! My advice would be to a) do it as cheaply as you can, b) take a hard look at how quickly you can get hired, and what you will likely earn when you get out, and c) talk to people in your prospective field. When you talk to those people, ask them, what do you like about your job? What do you dislike? And, what would you do differently if you had it to do all over again? You can find those people online, or a university can hook you up with alumni who can advise you.

Good luck, and reach out to us if you need anything.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2021 08:40PM by summer.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 09:10PM

Congratulations!

I am SO HAPPY that you are going back to college, because (through my Grandma) I grew up observing this process (and being VERY proud of my Grandma every time she finished a new semester! She began her college studies when she was somewhere in her 60s, and then she taught school for another twenty-plus years after she earned her Bachelor's degree).

I am just as proud of what you are doing now as I have always been proud of what my Grandma did.

Mazel Tov!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 09:55PM

Tevai, your grandma sounds super cool. It's funny -- I'm in my 60s now, and sometimes I feel like I'm getting a second wind. I think, well, I don't *have* to retire in three years. Or, maybe I could try something else. In a lot of ways, I don't feel my age.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 02:10AM

summer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tevai, your grandma sounds super cool. It's funny
> -- I'm in my 60s now, and sometimes I feel like
> I'm getting a second wind. I think, well, I don't
> *have* to retire in three years. Or, maybe I could
> try something else. In a lot of ways, I don't feel
> my age.

Thank you, summer.

I wouldn't have become a large part of "who" I really am (as an adult) without my Grandma having been an unwitting kind of role model in a couple of [what turned out to be] really important ways.

For one critically major thing, I'm not at all sure I could have become a "real" writer without her totally inadvertent "tutoring," because it was THAT information which allowed me to begin writing for a number of publications. Without those early credits, I could never have broken into mainstream publishing. It was those early credits that allowed everything else to happen.

And I also owe her a great deal on another level, because without her, I could never have become the person I am now.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 09:47PM

College can be good for some, my experience is that I was naïve and studied the wrong things. Looking back I would have liked to have learned more practical hands on knowledge rather than the abstract sciences. Our society has this one size fits all approach to everyone. I would encourage anyone who is going to college to first do their homework, that means if your going to be a teacher, do some subbing first, if your going to be a doctor or dentist do some cutting and stitching on a willing volunteer first to see if your good at it.

My trouble is that I believed that academia had my best interests in mind. I learned that was false though. But other peoples experiences could be different and better?

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Posted by: logged out today ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 09:52PM

"do some cutting and stitching on a willing volunteer first"

WTF?

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 09:54PM

logged out today Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "do some cutting and stitching on a willing
> volunteer first"
>
> WTF?

My reaction as well.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 10:20PM

Did you watch " Alaska the Last Frontier"?

The Kelchers had a few accidents and they stitched each other up.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 06:14AM

If you practice surgery on people you will almost certainly get sued at some point, so you can see part of the legal profession up close and personal. Or you can act as your own attorney, and decide you want to go into law.

If you do go into law, that felony conviction for practicing medicine without a license is going to be awkward.


Next time you are at an airport, go up the tower and volunteer to do some air traffic control. I’m sure they’d be delighted to have an enthusiastic visitor. They’d probably even give you an armed escort afterward.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 11:07PM

macaRomney Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> College can be good for some, my experience is
> that I was naïve and studied the wrong things.

Then it was your fault for making the wrong choices, no?


------------------
> My trouble is that I believed that academia had my
> best interests in mind.

If you made bad decisions, it wasn't "academia's" fault.

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Posted by: logged out today ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 11:42PM

Macaromney is just about the only person who thinks the "World's Dumbest" TV series is a bucket list.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 11:43PM

LOL!

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Posted by: Hugo Becker ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 06:59AM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> macaRomney Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > College can be good for some, my experience is
> > that I was naïve and studied the wrong things.
>
> Then it was your fault for making the wrong
> choices, no?
>
>
> ------------------
> > My trouble is that I believed that academia had
> my
> > best interests in mind.
>
> If you made bad decisions, it wasn't "academia's"
> fault.

Erm, yes it is! A lot of colleges blatantly mislead. Some courses sound great on paper but are a complete waste of time. It is often an MLM.

Even a useful sounding course like law can be next to useless. At our local law school, only a 1/3 end up becoming lawyers... 2/3 end up in other lines of work. So for 2/3 of them, that's several years of largely wasted intensive study.

Blaming a student for making the wrong choices all the time is like blaming every diner who gets food poisoning. At some point it goes back to the chef.

I had a lot of people pressing me to go to university. The college attendance numbers go up, year on year. Yet most people who attend them get little of lasting benefit out of the experience. If they have mostly fond memories of getting blind drunk and sleeping around... Then they didn't need to go to a college to do that.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 03:13PM

Hugo Becker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Erm, yes it is! A lot of colleges blatantly
> mislead. Some courses sound great on paper but are
> a complete waste of time.

In some instances that is certainly true. But again, you are constantly complaining about how life left you behind, and in this case you might have learned what Orwell meant if you'd finished your college degree.


--------------
> Blaming a student for making the wrong choices all
> the time is like blaming every diner who gets food
> poisoning. At some point it goes back to the
> chef.

Not really. What you, magaRomney and other right-wingers constantly and predictably do is blame others for your own mistakes. If magaRomney chose to study the wrong subjects, that's on him. He could have changed majors or colleges anytime he wanted. He could also have dropped out.

Calling education "poison" tells us more about you than about tertiary education. Blaming the "chef" for what you chose to eat is pusillanimous.


--------------
> I had a lot of people pressing me to go to
> university. The college attendance numbers go up,
> year on year. Yet most people who attend them get
> little of lasting benefit out of the experience.
> If they have mostly fond memories of getting blind
> drunk and sleeping around... Then they didn't need
> to go to a college to do that.

You are projecting again. Not everyone is like you: not everyone wasted their college years; not everyone is now looking for someone else to blame for his errors.

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Posted by: Hugo Becker ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 07:10AM

macaRomney Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> College can be good for some, my experience is
> that I was naïve and studied the wrong things.
> Looking back I would have liked to have learned
> more practical hands on knowledge rather than the
> abstract sciences.

I agree. Thing is that most students choose when they are very young and have no life experience.

Most of the people I know who went to university lesrned little of lasting value. There are exceptions - I know lawyers, medical doctors and architects who use(d) their university training. I know others who did Eng Lit, Media Studies, History etc who are very intelligent, but never got work off of it. I know one guy with a degree in history who has spent most of his life homeless - living in supported accom or other people's houses.

There are also many colleges churning out creative writing courses. Very few decent writers emerge from these - Donna Tartt maybe.

The worst part is that not only do some people learn nothing of value, they also hate their time there. So what was the point?

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Posted by: Mark Twain ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 09:49PM

...“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Tip of the hat to Summer :)

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Posted by: logged out today ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 09:50PM

No one "should" have their master's by age 27. Some do, but many many do not.

I observed (in undergrad and especially graduate school) that the older cohort generally performed better in both testing and class projects, plus they contributed more in class discussions. Not only were they more mature and better focused, but they had better time management skills and more real-world experience to hang all the abstract stuff onto.

So many of life's skills can't be taught in a classroom.

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Posted by: Hugo Becker ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 07:02AM

logged out today Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So many of life's skills can't be taught in a
> classroom.

Universities are businesses at the end of the day and students are customers. People should never forget that. Even a badly run business can drum up a lot of trade.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 10:27PM

Congratulations on returning to college!

My husband went back to college when he was forty and our kids were pre-teens and teens, and he was also working full time. English is his second language, so that made it even more fun! Not!

It was worth it, though. His degrees got us through some tough times that would have been a lot more miserable without his education.

I wish I had gone back to college because when I did attend before I was married, I didn’t know what I wanted; one minute I wanted to be a forest ranger, then I thought it would be cool to be an orchestra conductor even though I can’t read musical notes at all. After I was “older”, my head was more screwed on correctly, and I think I would’ve finished a degree in Elementary Education.

Enjoy your college years now; you’ll be glad you went back.

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Posted by: CrispingPin ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 10:41PM

It was 11 years between my first day of my freshman year and me getting my bachelors degree. Two of those years were wasted on a mission, but I don’t regret the other detours at all.

Sometimes I worked, sometimes I worked during the day and took classes at night. I changed my major (in a very significant way). Now that I’m an old retired man, I’m really happy about how my educational experience worked out. I know many (most?) people have a great experience going straight through college, but I’m pretty sure my indirect path was better for me, both professionally and personally.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: April 19, 2021 11:16PM

Congratulations on going back to school. You will be so glad that you did.

I started college at age thirty-six. I felt like Rodney Dangerfield's character in the movie, Back to School. All of the other students in class looked like kids to me. But three years later I had a bachelor's degree in Engineering and a good job. You can do the same before you're as old as I was then.

A couple of years later I went back and got an MBA. That was easier because most of the other students were older working adults as I was and the program was designed to accommodate working adults. Still, it seems to get harder as you get older.

A few years after that, I went back to school again, this time to a university. It really kicked my ass. The kids worked on their homework together in the dorms and shared their answers while I was working full-time supporting myself and others, and working odd hours so I could be in class during the day. The classes were big and there was little interaction with the teachers who weren't much older than I was and who didn't seem to notice that most of the kids were cheating (doing the homework in groups in the dorms at night). I took nine credit hours one semester while working fulltime and I was really hating life then, never sleeping, always working, in class, or doing homework alone, only rarely sleeping. I had to take a quarter off to recover and I didn't go back, ten credit-hours away from having a second Engineering degree. I was in my 40's then and didn't need another piece of paper saying I graduated, or I might have kept going. A few years later I went back to that university and said "I am ready to complete that Master's degree that I am only ten credit hours away from". They said "oh, your credits have all expired. You'll have to start over". I felt relieved in a way that I wouldn't have to go back since there was no way I was going to start over. I guess one Masters degree will have to do.

I look at academic degrees like money in the bank. But you can make as many withdrawals as you need to make, without diminishing the balance. Every time you apply for a job or are asked about your credentials, you make that virtual withdrawal without diminishing the balance. It's well worth it for your whole lifetime.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2021 11:22PM by azsteve.

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Posted by: Hugo Becker ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 06:51AM

Just make sure you take a course which educates you, rather than indoctrinates you. There aren't many of those left.

It's also difficult to find courses which are either useful or enjoyable. If they are neither, there is no point in doing them.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 09:44AM

“but I wasted a DECADE”

It could have been worse. I spent 40 years as a Mormon.

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 10:23AM

As someone not quite twice your age, I wish you success. There's a lot of time ahead of you. You're older now, and you're wiser about Mormonism and the influence it had on you.

I'll toss in my advice that you should study what you feel passionate about. I know that college is now a more expensive proposition in the United States, so there's an inclination to push students now to only those degrees that have obvious economically viable career paths to follow afterwards.

But you're 27 now, and you have some hindsight about the things that you aren't interested in, and you can make the decisions now about balancing the expense of your education versus the enjoyment of your career. Personally, I do recommend frugality and trying to pay off the costs as soon as feasible, but you need to do what fits you.

I suspect at 27, you also don't have to worry about the hijinks that might have been more meaningful when you were younger. Unlike younger students, you probably know you're at college for your education and not the ancillary stuff (partying, alcohol, drugs, sports, sex, etc.), so you should be able to focus better on completing your degree (possibly sooner) and making the most of it.

Tyson



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2021 10:31AM by Tyson Dunn.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 11:17AM

Started undergrad at 26.5 after a stint flying cropdusters in Texas. Did fine after being supposedly "behind." (Still sport cowboy boots.)

Your brain is now fully developed. That's a real advantage when tackling academics. There's no ceiling and no deadline so don't worry about being "behind," that idea an illusion. (Heck - one new student in our postgraduate class was 56. I think she was a Ph.D. research psychologist turned student.) Schooling develops the mind; you come out different than when you entered.


So saddle up, strap in, fix the bayonet, climb the hill. You can do it.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 11:23AM

It's not a wasted decade.
You learned a metric S-Ton that will come in handy.

Depression/anxiety needs to be lived to be known.
Say one day you end up working with patients. You'll be a better clinician for having "been there."

All the best.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 02:53PM

Wasted a decade? I wasted three. Got my Associates from Ricks then did my Mormon female duty. At 45 and as a single mother I returned to college for my bachelors. I knew that even though I’d be 48 when I graduated and 58 when I paid off my student loans, I would still have a much better last 20 years of work life. I was right. It was worth it. Good luck. Soon you’ll be 10 years past graduation and realize you are still very young and very smart for not wasting the better part of your life. What you’ve learned in the past decade will have been worth that small amount of time it took.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 06:23PM

27 is NOT too old to get a degree. My mother got her bachelor's degree in her fifties, I've had classmates in their thirties, and I've known middle-aged grad students. If you're passionate about what you want to study, go for it. Set course and engage (Sorry, couldn't resist).

And losing time due to depression and anxiety is understandable. You were away from home in a college that didn't have a lot of folks you could connect with; anybody would feel depressed, on edge, and alone. Try finding a club or intramural sport team that you'd like. They may still be kids, but they won't bite (or they shouldn't). And colleges, at least the one I went to, have counseling and mental health services on campus. Feel free to use their services if you need to.

Finally, remember that in college, you get the grades you work for. You attend the lectures and labs as much as possible, you turn as much work on time as you can, you shouldn't have too much trouble. If you're having trouble meeting an assignment's deadline, email the professors before the deadline. You expect everyone to kiss your butt ("universities are businesses" types), gripe about "indoctrination," and expect advisors to make all your decisions for you, you're going to end up a bitter loser complaining about how college is "a waste of time." But, you seem like you have a good head on you, Sulu, so I wouldn't worry about it.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 06:32PM

Bravo.

He's right, Sulu. You are older, have an advantage. You can take control of your education and get what you want from it. This is an unparalleled opportunity for growth and self-enrichment.

I am excited for you.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: April 20, 2021 09:49PM

Good for you Sulu. The concept and possibility of university never entered my world when I was young and I never knew anyone else who even remotely knew of that world. Hopefully at a mature age you can enjoy the thrill of learning as much as career needs.

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Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: April 21, 2021 12:50AM

Not so old. I was 28 when I got my BA--interrupted by mission, marriage and 2 kids. Then I pursued my age 20 goal and went to law school--graduated at 35 while STILL an active Mormon.

I had a great RS VT who helped to protect me--her husband went to night law school and she knew the difficulties. Eventually the bishop told me I couldn't be an active member without a church job. But he took our tithing payments!

In short, you have gained wisdom and experience. Wasted time? Not so sure if you have learned that the church doesn't offer anything for someone like you.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: April 21, 2021 02:02AM

On wasted time: everyone who has wasted more time than they care to think about in a bad job, bad career, bad marriage, or bad religion, raise your hand.

I’m seeing lots of hands.

I used to teach university level CS/IT courses. We got more than our fair share of students coming back for a second degree in a field with better job prospects, or recently divorced and no job skills, or people who left the military after 4 or 8 years. They usually had jobs and families to deal with. They were way more tenacious and focused than the average freshman.

I also spent three years on the admissions committee. We got lots of aggregate reports. Our SOTAs (students older than average - I think the name has since been changed for I don’t know why or care) consistently did well. If we had an applicant who had a spotty HS record, or was short a couple credits, if they were late 20s or older, we accepted them. If they were missing more than a couple credits, we usually encouraged them to do a year or two at a community college.

And of course grad students are routinely older. Thirties and forties is not uncommon. Sixties is not unheard of. Don’t sweat being 27.

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