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Honest opinions on mature age students

  1. Yes, dont bother unless your a school leaver

    1 vote(s)
  2. Never too late

    39 vote(s)
  3. 50/50 - risky

    2 vote(s)
  1. Jan 20, 2007 #1

    I was hoping you guys could give me your opinions on mature age study. I never finished highschool and have worked and travelled for the past few years and then its as if my brain kicked in at around 22. I taught myself algebra through to elementary calculus and passed the entrance exam to a university that i wanted to go to. I got offered a place in a computer science degree at that uni and am now wondering whether i should take it or not.

    I'm just a bit worried about my age (23) and wondering if it is just too late for me. The guy at the university that interviewed me was very upbeat about it but i think that is just because unis aren't as popular where i am lately and they are letting people in just to put bums on seats and make money.

    Has anyone here decided to go for a degree later on in life? Will there be any point of a 26 year old comp sci grad?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2007 #2
    23 is hardly too old. Plus, by studying yourself you show that you have the maturity and discipline to do the hard work. There are people who go to school at 30, 40, and 50. What are you going to do with yourself if you don't go to school? I'd be willing to bet that this is just some nervousness about starting something new.

    Good luck!
  4. Jan 20, 2007 #3

    Dr Transport

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    I used to work with a guy who got his bachelors degree at nearly 50.
  5. Jan 20, 2007 #4
    I'm working on a second undergrad degree and I'm 28. You're not too old.
  6. Jan 20, 2007 #5
    Nobody is ever too old to get educated.
  7. Jan 20, 2007 #6
    I'm not gonna lie: I think it's weird whenever I see an old guy in the classroom. However, at 23, you're not going to stand out as "old," so I wouldn't worry about it.
  8. Jan 20, 2007 #7
    In fact I think it is most kids who are too young for a degree!

    Congratulations to you for taking the time to wait for your brain to kick in, I think far to many young people do not appreciate that they are not ready for college education.

    I tried learning to drive when I was 16, put in a lot of practice and was still hopelessly out of control. I didn't try again untill I was 18, and then everything went smoothly from the very first time!
  9. Jan 20, 2007 #8


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    23 is hardly old! And, no, there is no age at which you're too old to go to college. I've taught people who are 40 or 50 in the classroom, and even graduated college with a woman who was in her 80s (she got bored after retirement, so went to college!)

    I love having these more mature students in the classroom, because they really know they want to learn, and have the maturity to stay focused on the material. They're not focused on just memorizing enough to get the grade they want, they really want to understand the material, and that makes them a pleasure to have in the class. It also is a positive influence on the other students in the class to have that maturity modeled for them.

    The only downsides I see is that the more mature students usually have more catching up to do in their first semester since they've been out of school a while and may have forgotten things from high school that are fresh in the minds of the other freshmen. Since you've already been actively reviewing that material, this will be less of a problem for you. And, this is certainly not a reason to avoid it, just something to be aware of so you can plan to spend extra time catching up in the first classes. On the other hand, the eagerness to learn usually more than compensates for this. The other thing that may frustrate you for a bit will be having to be in a class with the less mature students who don't share your enthusiasm for learning yet. But, you'll be able to relate with the instructors in that frustration. And, you may be able to get through to some of them by sharing your own experiences.

    I'm also trying to figure out why you would be worried about being a 26 yr old grad? That's still really young. You'd only be a couple years older than a typical college grad. And, where would you be if you didn't go back to school? Isn't it better to take a few extra years to get somewhere rather than spend those years stagnating where you are?
  10. Jan 20, 2007 #9
    At the university I attend the average age of a student is around mid/late 20s. And in the math/comp sci departments the average student is around 30. So you are hardly too old for college.

    Heck, the only time you are too old for college is when you decide you just can't do it anymore (personally, I don't think this time ever happens).
  11. Jan 20, 2007 #10
    This is pure insanity. You have so much time ahead of you. I think the average age for starting post-secondary is probably around 18, thats only 5 years. Plus, lots of people go twice, when they decide they want to change careers etc. You have tons of time :-). Heart surgeons don't finish school until they are like... 30-something. (including residence)

    Good luck with your studies!
  12. Jan 20, 2007 #11
    I went back to school at 32 to get an EE degree. After being back for 2 years, everyone wants me to help them with homework, labs, and projects. I've managed, somehow, to be declared as a "smart one" when all it really means is that I've gained the maturity to know when to party and when to study.

    At 23, you are nowhere near out of place. The only thing that I’m really having a hard time dealing with since going back is, being broke all the time. I left a job that I was making about 55k a year at, but I hated it, so I can’t complain to much. Still, it’s hard going from buying all your friends a couple rounds on Thursday night to asking for a $10 loan until next Thursday so you can get breakfast for a few mornings until the next work check comes in.
  13. Jan 20, 2007 #12

    Dr Transport

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    Realize that people who join the military after high school get out when they are in their early 20's and many of them go back to school.
  14. Jan 20, 2007 #13
    Great advice, thanks all. I think i will just take the plunge and enrol :)

    I am already decent at programming so i doubt i will find first year hard, its just the discrete math unit in second semester that has me worried because i have never did discrete math. I guess i will focus my energies on studying that :)

    Thanks all
  15. Jan 21, 2007 #14
    23?!?! Damn, I *wish* I was only 23!

    I'm 45. While I've got a few computer science degrees, I start my second semester of physics classes next week. With any luck, I will be an official M.S. student next fall.

    (OK, maybe I *am* delusional, but 23 is still more than young enough!)
  16. Jan 21, 2007 #15


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    You know something is odd when 23 seems old, but I suppose it's about the time that one becomes more serious about life and thinks deeply about what one wants to do.
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