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Am I Too Old to Get a University Degree?

As we grow older, we tend to look at certain things in a different light. This happens because we mature as a person, but also due to the social pressure instilled by society. People are quick to judge nowadays, especially if we do not follow what is socially acceptable.

Activities that we found fun, but are seen as childish, we often give up on them or feel embarrassed for still enjoying them. And, as the years go by, we end up dropping them completely.

One activity that is usually frowned upon when we get older is attending university. And a question that I hear a lot is “am I too old to get a university degree”? The first thing that pops into my mind is absolutely not. Why would learning be tied to an age interval? Does that make any sense? Of course not. Learning is how we get through life and that applies to any age.

Social pressure

I distinctly remember being 18 on my first day of college and meeting my class for the first time. On that day, I could not help but notice that a fifty-year-old man was sitting among the other students. Did I find it strange at the time? Sure, during the first couple of hours it was strange since I had never had a grown adult as a classmate before. But the novelty wears off pretty quickly and shortly after David became a part of the gang.

We often forget that older people have a lot to offer and can be/are more interesting that most eighteen years old. And this is even more relevant in college, when youngsters are meeting all kinds of new people. David’s stories were out of this world and his life experience and advice helped us more than we can ever thank him.

So, yes, it might be awkward at first, but I strongly believe that the academic setting breaks all these standards and encourages all types of friendships, from all ages!

Is it worth getting a degree later on?

10 reasons to get a university degreeWhile it is true that a degree might not offer any immediate rewards, especially when getting one halfway through our careers, it will always open more doors, doors that would be closed otherwise.

However, I would argue that getting your diploma, regardless of age, is always important and worth it! Imagine you are working in a big company and they are making some staff cuts. With a degree under your belt, you are ahead of the pack. On another note, if you keep further specializing your training, you will be able to apply for new and better positions in your or other companies.

Attending college and getting a degree at a later stage can just be the opening that you need to get a promotion or steer your career in a different, but better path. And while juggling university, a family and a fulltime job can be quite daunting, as time goes by, we get better at time management and prioritizing.

Personal and professional development

In my third I met an older man in my class, he was nearly sixty, and was finishing his fourth bachelor’s degree. Like you, I was wondering why he kept on studying after all these years and so many degrees later. I asked him and he promptly replied that if he ever stopped learning, it would mean he had given up on life. Brutal, right?

He did not need to study at all. He had a steady career and several businesses but he still made an effort to get an extra degree every decade on subjects that he was interested in. It wasn’t a matter of status or vanity, this man was searching for personal and professional development, regardless of his age. And to top it all off, neither of his diplomas were useless in his path. The fields were carefully chosen to better support his ideas and investments.

Final thoughts

I strongly advocate for the pursuit of higher education, regardless of age, status or career. Universities welcome everyone that wants to learn and we should never stop learning. Sure, older people might be hesitant to be sitting next to a bunch of kids, but these kids are soon to be grown adults that will contribute to our society. Can you think of a better way to share your pearls of wisdom with younger generations, while learning some yourself, too?

Getting a university degree has no expiration date or age requirement. The oldest college graduate in the world got his bachelor’s at the ripe age of 96. What is our excuse?