1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Schools Is 23 too late to start chasing after a physics degree?

  1. Oct 9, 2016 #1
    Hi! this community seems like the exact place to to find the answers I am chasing after.

    I want to earn a degree in physics and pursue one of the vast array of different fields that are available.

    I am what's called the black sheep of the family, as both my sisters have masters and a PHD. I have a college diploma, I really suffered in high-school. So this is where the journey begins.

    My plan is to attend online night school, and work my you know what off and achieve the highest feasible grades I can. from 11- 12 in mathematics and sciences. As I hope to obtain some type of financial grant, as I work full time and would study part time. ( Which brings my completion date to the age of 33)

    then apply to UOT for an undergrad in physics.

    So my question is, is 23 to late to start over, I study everyday, for fun, and love astrology and physics and robotics, practicing and theory, I even have the textbooks from some university courses that I plan on attending for practice and enjoyment.

    Can I chase the dream at this late stage in life, or should it just remain as a dream.

    any and all information is appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2016 #2

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    "Late", maybe. "Too late", No. Not at all.

    Astrology would be useless for Physics as well as for any Engineering.

    Two problems there. Receiving instruction from an online system, if it is not coordinated with a fully equipped laboratory arrangement and supervised, on-site physical assessment conditions, will be a very poor quality education. A student must have regular instruction, perform academic assignments and a professor or qualified assistant in association assess your assignments, and student will need to do some exercises in a laboratory classroom.

    Significant study time is necessary. Work full time? This makes getting through courses difficult to do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  4. Oct 9, 2016 #3
    Perfectly understood, however, the high-school is accredited by the University I plan on attending, there is over 25 hours per week of class assignments and course studies, tests, plus examinations that take place in class and everything else is gradded and assessed by a teacher, i have graded quizzes as well as online instruments and technology that is used.

    I understand that working full time, makes courses difficult, which is why I would enroll as a part time student and have school courses during my two days a week off, which would be about 3 classes per semester. As someone who devotes most sleepless nights to study, I would be doing the same thing but be working towards a goal.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2016 #4

    Fervent Freyja

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Of course not, many people go back to finish their degrees or take on additional majors at later ages! In fact, all of the female Professors I've had with children didn't return to finish their graduate education until after their children were much older, they have been excellent role models for me! I will likely be back for a third time when I hit my early 40's! There is nothing wrong with that! I admit it is a little weirder being back in college when you are a few years older than your peers. You may conflict more with peers and faculty if you are already educated and mature. Try not to tell people what to do so much... I'm 28 and the average age for my peers seems to be around 22, so you aren't too old at all!

    Edit: I'll be 29 next week, I think.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  6. Oct 9, 2016 #5

    vela

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    You already graduated from college?

    Can you clarify what "11-12" means?

    You expect to take 10 years to get ready to apply for college? That's a really long time. Do you really think you'll be able to maintain your motivation for that long if your progress is that slow?

    You might want to forgo relying on your horoscope.

    At 23 years of age, you can hardly be said to be in a "late stage in life."

    Go for it! If it works out, great! If it doesn't, at least you'll know you gave it your best shot.
     
  7. Oct 9, 2016 #6

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Hopefully you meant Astronomy instead of Astrology, right? :smile:
     
  8. Oct 9, 2016 #7
    Haha, not astrology, astronomy, I was working at the time of post, and have been up since 4am.

    However, I am applying to UOT, 10 years would be graduate completion.
     
  9. Oct 9, 2016 #8

    I graduated from college, yes, in an unrelated field.

    11-12 is high-school, grades 11-12.
     
  10. Oct 9, 2016 #9
    LMFAO yes, as said on the post you liked. Astrology Astronomy, hahaha.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2016 #10

    Fervent Freyja

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Where is UOT? 10 years for a bachelors degree is insanely long. That's like only 3 or 4 courses a year at that rate. So you know, there are usually a minimum number of credit hours a person must have each semester in order to take out school loans or receive grants.
     
  12. Oct 10, 2016 #11

    StatGuy2000

    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    I'm assuming the OP is referring to the University of Toronto (U o T for short), as from what I gather in his thread (his mentioning graduating from community college, his completing Grades 11 and 12, etc.) it sounds like he is from Canada (his handle name is of Italian origin, but there is a large number of people in Canada of Italian descent due to past immigration history).

    Also, the OP mentioned earlier in the thread that he will be studying part-time as he is working full-time, hence the 10 years for a bachelor's degree.

    AmadeoBattista, am I correct in what I've posted thus far?
     
  13. Oct 10, 2016 #12

    It's almost frightening how well you were able to deduce all that from my post. Well done.

    Everything you said is correct, in Canada grades 11 and 12 are still high school, community college is, like Seneca college and herzing college, where you get your college diploma.

    And I am hoping to be completing, 4 -6 courses a year and earning my masters within 10 years.
     
  14. Oct 20, 2016 #13
    Speaking from experience, I left university after only 2 years for financial reasons. I went back to school to continue my physics degree when I was 25, but only part time while working full time. For me, the experience wasn't a very positive one. Not that going to school part time is bad. It's just that I think physics is one major where taking related courses in parallel can help greatly to deepen understanding and improve one's self-discipline. When I decided to go to school full time at 26, I really felt like the floodgates in my brain were left wide open. My understanding and skills improved a great deal. Not only that, but being able to study and associate with my fellow physics majors was a big plus.

    In any case, as previous people have said, it is never too late! I don't regret my decision at all.
     
  15. Oct 20, 2016 #14

    mathwonk

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I have always wanted to understand physics. Do you think 74 years of age is too old to begin? For background I learned to read at 6, and calculus in my 30's, but physics seems baffling. Actually i did begin to grasp "work" when i realized it is equivalent to 4 dimensional volume, but that may be for another thread.
     
  16. Oct 20, 2016 #15

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    So baffling that you with so much understanding of Mathematics find or found Physics to be baffling. You have a very strong advantage for learning and understanding what you study (in Physics). You, PhD in Mathematics and a university Mathematics professor who also teaches? You have most of the language, and you've had this for a few decades, and it is not going to get worse for time. You would definitely be able to work hard, study, and understand fairly well and you'd quickly learn to apply what abundant Mathematics you have in solving Physics exercises.
     
  17. Oct 25, 2016 #16

    mathwonk

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I have said elsewhere it is the style of thinking in physics that throws me, sort of a seat of the pants intuitive process that is not bothered by lack of precision. Physicists are good at filling in blanks by making plausible assumptions where I need precise definitions of exactly what the terms are before proceeding. As a famous mathematician put it, "In physics they have many wonderful theorems, but unfortunately, no definitions".

    Perhaps in the opposite direction, physicists sometimes substitute mathematical precision for physical explanation. I once attended a math/physics conference where the physicist who was speaking worked extremely hard to put all his terms in careful mathematical form, but the result was that he taught me nothing, since I already knew all the math and wanted rather to be told what it had to do with physics.

    I mean I understand the calculus of vector and tensor fields on smooth manifolds, but what does that tell me about planetary motion, fluid flow, and atomic phenomena?

    The problem is that each takes for granted the part the other needs to have explained, to me the math is obvious and to the physicist the physics is obvious. The physicist knows what the phenomena are that he is trying to make precise, and I know the precise mathematics but have no clue what physical phenomena it is expressing.

    I was really delighted to discover that way of seeing work as 4 dimensional volume though. And the insight came through the mathematical formulation. I.e. the two quantities had the same formula as integrals, (up to a factor of 2π), hence they had to be the same.

    I have really enjoyed also the work of Archimedes in physics, that led him to the mathematical formulas for areas and volumes, using balance beam techniques. Now there was someone who understood both worlds deeply.
     
  18. Nov 3, 2016 #17
    Just out of curiosity(i hope I don't offend somehow), why is it that these professors choose to have children in the first place? My mother was exactly the same and her reasoning was because having children was the norm. I'm just wondering why they choose to raise a child over focusing on themselves.
     
  19. Nov 3, 2016 #18

    e.bar.goum

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    For the same reason anyone wants to have children. Some people* want to have kids! Professors are people too, after all. :)

    *Arguably, quite a lot of people!
     
  20. Nov 3, 2016 #19
    I'm earning my bachelors degree in a few months. I went back to school at 27 and am now 30. It's definitely not too late. It looks like I'll be going to grad school as well. I'm a much better student now than when I was 18. I was maybe a tad quicker then but I was WAAYYYYYY lazier. I put a lot more time and emphasis now on understanding all the proofs and concepts and I'm a much wiser physics major for it.
     
  21. Nov 3, 2016 #20
    23 is certainly not too old to do anything whatsoever. If you ask me, many students would do well by waiting a few years before embarking on their undergrad studies. You're a few years older than most undergraduates and you'll likely have a better understanding of why you are studying than many of your classmates. This will probably make you a better student. You already have more of a plan than most.

    Go for it. Enjoy yourself. Don't drink too much.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Is 23 too late to start chasing after a physics degree?
Loading...