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The Benefits of Being an Older Student

As an adult, she is pursuing her education
“The good news is, that no matter how old you are or what happened in your past, it is never too late to get an education.” Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons.

There are so many bright older women out there who are struggling to reach their full potential, simply because they weren’t able to get an education in their younger days. Perhaps when they were growing up, it wasn’t the done thing, or maybe they started a family young and were unable to attend college; no matter the reason, their inability to reach their zenith is not only a shame for them, but for the whole country who could be benefiting from their knowledge and experience.

The good news is, that no matter how old you are or what happened in your past, it is never too late to get an education, and if you’re one of those women who aren’t, for whatever reason, living up to your full potential, you might actually find that getting an education in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s is even better than it would have been in the past.

Here are some of the benefits of being an older student:

You Have Life Experience

A lot of teens drop out of college before getting a degree because they struggle with the life side of the experience. They aren’t used to standing on their own two feet, living away from home and motivating themselves to do things rather than having their parents motivate them. As an older woman, you have no doubt lived a life. You may well have kids of your own, and you’ll undoubtedly have had to stand on your own two feet, which means you are in a much better position to settle in and focus on getting an education.

You Have Work Experience

Something what often holds younger women back when they graduate college and start looking for their dream job is that they have little work experience. As an older woman, this is likely to be different for you, and whether you plan to do an online mba in healthcare management or get a degree in teaching from Yale, once you graduate, you’ll be able to use your experience as your leverage to get the job you’ve always wanted. What’s not to love about that?

The Internet is a Thing Now

Get your dream job by taking Internet-based classes
Pursuing the college experience online. Pixabay image (CC0).

One of the benefits of coming to education at a later stage in life is undoubtedly the availability of online degree programs and courses which enable you to study on your own terms at a time that is convenient for you. If the idea of attending classes on campus always put you off, well now you don’t have to!

It Can Change Your Life

As an older woman, you may have given up on many of your hopes and dreams, resigning yourself to living a quiet life with a job that pays the bills, but which doesn’t inspire you much, looking after the kids or grandkids and just getting by. If you decide to get an education, it will open up your world and help you to realize that you do have more wonderful options open to you; options which could change your life.

So, why not seize the opportunity?

16 thoughts on “The Benefits of Being an Older Student”

  1. I’m an older student, I studied online for a BA first and now I’m at a brick uni for my Masters. And I’m 55. It’s daunting and it took me a while to settle in but I’m loving it! Never too old, never too late,

  2. I went back for an MBA at 40, when the average age of an MBA is 26-28. Doubts are always there, and specially depending on the personal context, in my case with a family.

    But as you mention, the experience and life perspective can give an a different edge to look into new opportunities.

    After finishing my MBA from HEC Paris, it was worth it, in terms of experience, leverage of new friends/network. Although landing a job was not an easy task! But it did changed our lives, moving from South America to Europe.

    For those interested I’ve shared some of my MBA experiences in my blog. Looking forward to share thoughts.

  3. I went back to school in my early forties and completed (finally!) my BA last year through an online program while working full-time. It is definitely possible if you are determined to make it work, and the rewards are infinite

  4. Having a diverse student dynamic is so important.

    It seems strange that the majority of scholarship
    options are only available right after HS graduation,
    and then those same opportunities vanish. Similarly
    I knew so many people who went straight from BA to
    MA (at 20/21 years old) Most of the people I know
    say it was too fast. Rather than taking time off and
    entering the workforce, or traveling. Having a reprieve
    from studying allows one to get real world experience,
    & see what areas they are lacking or would like to
    focus in. The returning students during my degree had
    much more focus & drive, having been in the work force.

    It was very inspiring to see people who had successful
    careers in various fields returning to higher education to
    peruse their passions. So many 18 years olds are
    undeclared or switch majors 1/2 way through & don’t
    know whether they are coming or going. Education and
    learning is a lifelong process, not everything can be
    taught in a classroom context. Encouraging diversity
    and more importantly providing scholarships and assistance
    to wider demographics enriches the learning process for
    everyone involved.

  5. I agree, Christy. I returned to study a couple of times when I was older and found the experience and motivation a great aid. Going to college straight from school, seemed more a continuation of school as opposed to a choice.

  6. Wonderful tips, Christy! But actually only for the USA and most of other countries. In Germany we are living in the past, since 15 years. There are only a few senior-study programs. ;-)
    Have a great sunday! ;-) Michael

  7. Totally agree with you on this one. This year I completed an Honours degree in Health and Social Care via The Open University. It took seven years, it was hard work, tears were shed and all nighters to write up assignments. I’m so proud of myself. I left school with nothing and now have two degrees and an accountancy qualification. Life experiences have been invaluable to my studies and I would highly recommend studying in later life to everyone if they have to opportunity to do so.

  8. I worked for three years full time before I started my correspondence course at Uni, Christy. I needed to get the money together to pay for the first year of my course and I worked part time throughout my degree. I had a full scholarship for my second and third years and then I started working full time in my honours year. To qualify as a Chartered Accountant you have to do three years of articles and a board exam. I think my three years work experience really stood me good stead with sticking to my studying schedule. I also helped me when I started working.

  9. As a professor, I can say that I’ve always loved teaching the few older students I’ve had in my classes. They are focused, eager to learn, and generous with the other, younger, students.

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