Going back to school is a big deal. For adults who already have the responsibility of a family, career, and social commitments, it might be tough to consider adult education programs or going back to school.
It’s becoming more and more common, however, to see adults stepping back into academia. For non-traditional students that want to finish their education, or start school for the first time, there are so many options to get an education.
Still, we hear stories all the time of people that think they’re too old, too busy, or too whatever-else to return to school.
Truthfully, there’s never a bad time to go back to school. If you’re on the fence about checking the education box off your bucket list, we have a few reasons why we think it’s a great idea.
You’re never too old to start over
You’ve probably heard this before, and maybe you didn’t believe it. But it’s true.
The University of Southern Arkansas recently highlighted their graduate, Barbara Daniels, who finished her Bachelor’s degree in December of 2018 at the age of 60.
Back in the ’80s, when she finished her Associate’s degree, other priorities in life got ahead of her education. She went on to have children (and grandchildren) and held a steady job as a certified nursing assistant. Yet, the dream of higher education and a better, higher-paying job was always in the back of her mind.
At the insistence and support of her family, Daniels went back to school right around the time one of her granddaughters was starting up. The two would run into each other on campus and supported one another through study sessions and homework.
Needless to say, Daniels came out on top. She put in the work, sometimes late at night after work, and accomplished something she’d wanted for a long time.
Her story is a reminder to everyone that it’s never too late to tackle your education. Even if you have grandbabies running around.
Just because your kids are doing it doesn’t mean you can’t
This year at West Connecticut State University, a father and son joined each other at student orientation.
The two were experiencing orientation as students starting their first year at the school together. While unconventional, Doug and Brandon Muckerman look forward to seeking higher education at the same time, even though they’re at completely different stages of life.
Although he already has a job at a local Danbury company, the elder Muckerman wanted to continue his education so he could advance his career. He took night classes at the local community college and transferred his credits to WCSU once he completed his associate degree.
It was fate that he finished community college just as his son graduated high school. The two chose the same school because of the cost savings, and additional financial aid state schools provide to residents.
Although they’re unlikely to run into each other on campus, due to Doug’s evening schedule, they’re both incredibly supportive of one another.
Their relationship and coinciding adventure are proof that you don’t have to let anything get in the way of an education. In fact, it might even turn into an opportunity to spend more time with your child and understand what they’re up against.
Get better at what you’re already good at
Continuing your education can give you the skills and knowledge you need to get better at what you love. If you’re pursuing a passion, and find that real life isn’t providing the learning experiences you need, going back to school can help.
Recently, Springfield Technical College student Stephen Josey went back to school to study business administration. Although he was in his early 50’s with successful careers in both entertainment and eventually government, he knew he was capable of more.
He did some research and found that his job with the government would pay for him to continue his education. For the entrepreneur, his education became a chance to build on projects and ideas he’s always wanted to pursue. He’s gone on to impress his colleagues and professors and was one of six students who won the Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at his school.
Josey, like many others stepping into the academic world as an adult, sees the value in going back to school despite the many sacrifices. It was an opportunity to invest in his future and himself.
If there’s something you’ve been wanting to learn or get better at, there’s never any shame in doing it for yourself. Continuing your education could provide you a better salary in the future and more job opportunities. So, it’s pretty much like making an investment in yourself.
What’s holding you back?
Whether it’s your career, being a parent, or feeling like you’re too far along in life — let go of whatever is holding you back. Between online and night classes, flexible college schedules, and adult learning programs, there’s bound to be something out there that works for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and figure out what you want to do. Then go for it!
Thinking of returning to college this year? Don’t forget to file your FAFSA® to see which financial aid you qualify for. You can file with FRANK starting October 1st.