Pursuing a Degree as an Older Student: Here’s What to Expect

The idea of going back to school to finish your degree in your 30s or 40s may be intimidating. You cannot help but think about the stares you would get once you enter the College of Naturopathic Medicine, where most of the students will be in their late teens or early 20s.

Also, you might think that you have been able to get ahead in life even without a college education, so why start now? Well, there are still many advantages to getting a degree, such as a higher salary and better job opportunities. Here are the advantages of going back to school as an older student.

You are stronger

You have been around the block compared to your classmates. Working for years has made you stronger and less likely to buckle under the stress of studying. You might even have worked for a few hard bosses, so the professor that everyone is terrified of might seem timid to you.

That is what being in the real world does to a person: it strengthens you. Sure, you may find it difficult to go back to memorising for an exam. But you know that whatever they throw at you, it will not be too much for you to handle. Take comfort in the fact that you are a lot stronger now when it comes to dealing with stress.

You are more focused

Person raising his hand in class

By going back to school at an older age, you are more focused and less likely to buckle under peer pressure. You know what’s more important to you, so it is easier for you to focus on that and not let anything distract you.

Distractions might no longer hold any interest to you. If that is the case, then you are more capable of focusing solely on studying for your classes.

You are a better problem-solver

Living in the real world has definitely armed you with lots of useful tools that you can use in your classes. Unlike your peers, you have developed a more analytical mind. You are more capable of solving any problem that comes your way.

Also, you probably know a few tricks up your sleeve to fix a certain problem. You are no longer restricted by limited experience because compared to your classmates, your experience is much broader. So, any problem you face, you are likely to have a solution to it already.

You are used to long hours

Woman taking an exam in a classroom

Because you have already worked for years, you know how to handle yourself when you need to study for long hours. You know how to pace yourself. You know the tricks to keeping your sanity even when you have only had an hour of sleep.

Spending long hours studying for an exam or working on a class project overnight might be easier for you because you have done something similar to that when you were working.

Overall, you are in a much better position to obtain your degree now that you are older. You are more mature, more resilient, and more focused than ever.