Is it too late to pursue a degree in Physics and Astronomy at 33 years old?

  • Thread starter AstroBear87
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In summary, age should not be a barrier to pursuing a degree in Physics and Astronomy. While it may be challenging to start a new academic journey at 33 years old, with the right dedication and determination, it is possible to excel and achieve success in this field. Many universities offer flexible programs and resources for mature students, and the diverse experiences and perspectives of older students can be an asset in the study of these complex subjects. Ultimately, it is never too late to pursue a passion for Physics and Astronomy and embark on a fulfilling career path.
  • #1
AstroBear87
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Hi Everyone,

I just joined the site. I'm craving a Physics community since school has gone online. I am a 33 year old pursuing a combined Physics and Astronomy degree. Yes, I'm that old guy sitting in the front row struggling to see the board (well, not so much lately lol).

Back when I was 18 years old, I was pressured by my parents to go into a program I had zero interest in. I always wanted to be an Astronomer but my folks couldn't understand how I could make a career out of that. So, long story short, I wasn't allowed to pursue Physics/Astronomy and I ended up dropping out from lack of interest. This ended with them disowning me and kicking me out (fair enough).

10 years later, countless dead end jobs and many fractures in my spine, it was time to get back to school. So originally, I figured, ok I am older, I am good at Math and Physics, what is something I can get into that will get me into a career quickly (maybe not the best intentions)? So my local community college offers a number of Engineering Technology Diplomas which takes about 2 years to finish. So, at 30, I was heading back to school which was very daunting.

I really enjoyed being back, but quickly, was finding my favourite classes were Math and Physics, and I wasn't really into the Engineering courses. Then one day, one of my instructors said to the class "I prefer to work in the lab building things than playing with equations behind a desk". I thought to myself, "Well, I like playing with equations" lol. My Physics prof at the time was very encouraging and I knew, I needed to switch into Physics and Astronomy. Also, the University in the city I live in has a really good Astronomy program, so why not? If I follow my passion, things will work out. So I, switched to a University Transfer Program at the College. I ended up doing really well, transferred to the University and got a decent scholarship.

So now, I am in my 2nd year of the combined Physics and Astronomy program. These past few years has been the happiest I've been in a long time. I love being in school, I love learning every day, I love being challenged, I love being surrounded by professionals in their fields which inspires me to push even harder. I'm also killing it too and doing very well in my courses. I could stay in school for the rest of my life if I could lol. Thoughts and hopes of Grad School pass through my mind all the time. I would love to do it, but I'm 33 and will be 35/36-ish when I finish my Bachelors. People tell me not to overthink my age but it's difficult not to.

So, that's my story and I'll leave it at that. Thanks for reading, and hope to meet some fellow Physics/Astronomy addicts.
 
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  • #2
Great intro. Welcome to the forum. I think you'll find this a great place to be.
 
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phinds said:
Great intro. Welcome to the forum. I think you'll find this a great place to be.

Thanks! Looking forward to it
 

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