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Re-Focused. am I too late?

  1. Mar 31, 2012 #1

    I finished high-school in 2005 and put college on hold to get my life straightened out unfortunately it took me several years. I am back at college now doing my undergrad about end my first semester and want to go to the passion of my beating spirit which is physics. As a beginner/undergrad at 26 am I too late?

    I will tell you honestly that I really don't care if I am too late or not I am going get the job done or they will find my corpse on the way to finish line but I wanted to know about what I look like to others based on my current set of circumstances.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2012 #2
    I'm going for my PhD currently a mathematics undergrad late 20s. Don't think it really matters all that much, as long as your willing to do hard work, have motivation, and general love for what your doing.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  4. Apr 1, 2012 #3
    No, it's not too late. I remember when i visited Philippines, i heard a news about a grandmother who graduated in elementary. Her reason to pursue her studies is she want's to learn more because on her younger time she wasn't able to go to school because of financial status. But then she never stop dreaming to study. So, whatever age you are, is not too late to do anything you want. As long as you are able to do it.
  5. Apr 3, 2012 #4
    Never too late.
  6. Apr 3, 2012 #5
    Go for it . Hell yeah \m/
  7. Apr 3, 2012 #6
    I just finished a physics PhD in my mid-40s, and overall it has been a rewarding experience. A tenure-track university research career is unlikely starting at this age, but there are other reasons to get a PhD. 1) you get to learn physics in depth 2) you get to participate in research for a few years 3) some employers like physics PhDs even for non-physics jobs because it shows a certain level of analytical ability.
  8. Apr 4, 2012 #7
    People of all ages do this, I'm not in a too dissimilar situation to yours. I'm definitely older than most people in my classes, but I'm nowhere close to being the oldest. If you've got an interest, do it.
  9. Apr 4, 2012 #8
    If you are speaking about what people think when they literally see you, it's not like there is much visual difference between a 22 and 26 year old. On the other hand, I have seen some people who are 50+ attend undergraduate (or MS) classes. They generally don't hang around at any of the common spots at which people wait for classes to begin ("commons"), they socialize less, and when they're not around, every now and then, someone will comment on how there is an older person getting a BS or whatever.

    As for how others will act after you clarify your age and story about it, it's a common age and common story. I've heard it myself from several classmates: "I took a break from schooling" or "I started working first" or "I have been doing a lot of internships", etc. It doesn't seem like anyone thinks anything of it.
  10. Apr 4, 2012 #9
    Physics seems to attract people from non-traditional walks of life :) You are definitely not too old, and you won't be treated any differently from the early-20's grad students. I am starting a PhD in Physics this fall and will be 27.
  11. Apr 5, 2012 #10


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    You are most definitely not too old to pursue a physics degree (undergrad or Msc/PhD) at 26. When I was pursuing my Bsc in mathematics, one of my classmates had already finished his BA in political science (with a minors in computer science) and a MA in political philosophy and had worked for a number of years in software development before returning to pursue a second Bsc in math (he eventually completed his PhD in mathematics and is now working for a consulting company).

    Another friend of mine had finished his Bsc and Msc in math and worked for almost a decade in finance before returning to his Msc and his PhD in statistics in his mid-40s.

    So as you can tell from my two examples above, there are many people who come from many different walks of life pursuing a math or physics degree. If you have a passion for math or physics and is willing to work hard, I would say go for it!
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