Hi everyone, I'm finishing up at a community college right now as a physics major. I've got a 4.0 GPA and absolutely love physics! Problem is I'll be 27 by the time I transfer to UC Berkeley as a junior. So I'll pretty much be 30 by the time I start grad school. I've asked myself why it took me so long to get going with school, and the truth is, I sincereley had no idea what I wanted to do from the ages of 18-24. I had always been interested in physics but wasn't sure if I was totally committed, and I didn't want to spend 20k going to school if I wasn't 100% sure. My time wasn't completely wasted..I did a lot of things that helped me grow as a person. I lived on a green tea farm in rural Japan for a year which was wonderful and also traveled around the United States. I have no regrets. I was just wondering if my age is going to be a debilitating factor in getting admitted to a top tier grad school. I'm going for experimental physics, not theory. Not sure what area of study yet..condensed matter seems really interesting, as well as astro. I've seen a few threads like this, but I guess everyone feels the need to tell their story and get an individual response. I know people say "your never too old to learn!" which is true of course, but what about being a really competitive, respected scientist? Are my grad school professors going to look at me as some sort of slacker for taking so long to get there? Are they even going to be aware of my age or care? What about after grad school? I'd absolutely like to stay in academia. I'm not at all interested in industry really. Will it be tough finding a good research position at a top tier school as a 35-36 year old who just finished his PhD? Most researchers have 7 years or more of experience under their belt by then..and I'll just be starting out. No matter what I'm doing this. Nothing can stop me now. I just want to know what I'm in for, and whether I still stand a chance of becoming a highly regarded scientist. I know it's about the collective effort and everyone's contributions count, but I guess everyone wants to shine a little in this life too. I just hope my time hasn't passed to do that.