An American Council on Education (ACE) 2007 report found that an increasing number of older Americans are realizing their dream to of completing a college degree. You might be frustrated with your current career, or simply want to follow a lifelong passion, but are worried about being the oldest kid in class. The truth is, the number of college-bound students over 40 is on the rise, so chances are you’ll find several people in your age group attending your English literature or statistical engineering class.
You’ve probably compiled a hefty list of reasons why returning to college isn’t feasible in your present life. Mortgages, kids, credit card debt, a full-time job, divorce and aging parents might be several of the obstacles you’ve placed in your path. Instead of focusing on the reasons why returning to college isn’t possible, put this on the “pros” side of that list. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, obtaining a graduate’s degree translates into an additional $1.3 million in lifetime earnings beyond simply achieving a high school diploma. Here are a few reasons why you’re never too old to complete your college degree.Discover Your Passion
Turn your love of French cuisine into a degree from a culinary arts academy. Have you always secretly loved doing your taxes? Pursue a degree in accounting that allows you to earn a good living while satisfying your inner geek, an online MBA finance degree sounds plausible. Going back to college isn’t only about furthering your present career, although that is an economically valid reason. Take this opportunity to explore new avenues or realize a longtime dream to become a high school English teacher. You’ll be amazed at how living your dreams can make the rest of life’s challenges seem less difficult. Reflect on Life Experience
Go back to the trials and tribulations of turning 18. Your priorities in life probably centered on finding the right shade of lipstick or impressing your latest crush, rather than building a healthy nest egg or pursuing a rewarding career. With age comes wisdom and experience, which are two invaluable assets that will make the transition into your collegiate life less bumpy. You know what you want, your limitations and the value of hard work. You’re more focused, dedicated, mature and capable of dealing with the rigors of college life than an 18-year-old could ever be.Learn From Work Experience
Once again, take a journey into your past and remember all the boring, menial and downright degrading jobs you’ve had. Use these experiences to rule out the degrees that don’t interest you. Your work experience provides a unique insight into the true nature of the rat race that a much younger student simply doesn’t have. Many of these younger students fall into the trap of pursuing a career that sounds glamorous, but in the end, doesn’t fulfill their social, spiritual or economic needs. Use your past working life to find a new career that will provide you with a renewed sense of purpose, and provide your family some much needed economic stability.Research Online Opportunities
Don’t let some grey around your temples stop you from realizing your dream of becoming a college graduate. Many older students are uncomfortable with the idea of potentially appearing older than the professor, as use this as an excuse to steer clear of campus. Online education is becoming more accessible, affordable and eliminates this final excuse. Pursuing your degree online also offers the flexibility a traditional campus education never could. For example, taking an online finance MBA
program, will allow you the ability to work around your own schedule. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to fit in a few chapters or write a paper after the kids go to sleep or during your lunch hour. Easing the Transition
Now that you’ve eliminated the final excuse, it’s time to create a realistic plan for your first semester. Your present gusto is commendable, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Here are a few tips to make the transition into your collegiate life less stressful:Create a realistic class schedule
- Avoid the temptation to take several classes that first semester in order to complete the degree more quickly. Instead, limit your schedule to one or two classes to ensure life’s other responsibilities aren’t neglected.Start with an easy class
- Take a class that you consider simple or find enjoyable. Take this time to formulate a study schedule before you attempt a more demanding subject.Ask friends and family for help
- If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to create a steady support system. Become acquainted with your college advisor
- Your advisor is an excellent source of academic guidance and more helpful than you might realize.
Do your homework before deciding if a traditional campus or online education is best for you. There are many degrees that can easily acquired online or at a campus. However you decide to pursue your chosen degree, and whatever you choose as your degree, keep in mind that you’ve starting a journey that leads to a number of happy destinations. This guest post article was written and provided by Marissa Krause who received her finance MBA online this last fall.