2015-07-16

Back to school?



I ordered a transcript of my University points the other week,
mostly because of curiosity. It is 13 years since I went to University,
and I spent my time there hopping back and fourth between subjects,
ending up with nothing except a lot of disconnected Uni points.

But what I learned from the transcript, and a lot of googling around,
is that I am possibly only one short class and one paper away from a degree.
The idea still sounds strange to me, but since education is free in Sweden,
I guess I might be going back to school in September...





 Things have changed alot since I was last enrolled at University.
Back then there weren't anywhere near as many, and as diverse,
courses to choose from. Looking through even just the ones open
to late admission I am still spoiled for choice, and I have applied to
5 different courses, outside of the one I need to get my bachelor's.

Of course, I still have no idea what to do with an English degree
- read more books? go on to get a Master's? I also have to decide
if I want my degree in literature or in linguistics. That's where
I left off last time, knowing I have more of a "linguistics" mind
but being bored to tears with it already... 

I would love to hear from others out there who went back to school
in their 30's or 40's. Why did you/what made you decide?
Did you change fields or build on existing points?
What did you do before, and what are you doing/hoping to do now?




 




28 kommentarer:

  1. I'd always thought I'd go back and finish off my Fine Arts degree, but by the time I checked into it all my credits had expired. Not that a degree in FA would have ever done me any good in the job market - still, it would have been nice to have. :)

    I envy you having free education. If it were free here, I'd go back and learn everything about everything! LOL But I have to pick and choose courses now ... even Continuing Education classes (stuff offered in the evenings and weekends for 'older' people) are crazy prices.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Yes, free education is one of the perks of having the highest taxes in the world and a compressed salary system (= a doctor doesn't make much more than a nurse). Swedes are some of the most well educated people in the world, making less money than most well educated people in the world... I love socialism, don't get me wrong, but it makes me question getting a degree.

      Radera
  2. I am looking into taking a few courses myself. I think you can do it if it is something you really want. It's never too late!

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. I love to hear that "It's never too late!", thank you :)

      Radera
  3. Because I teach the Intro class to the ENG major, here is a little handout for you entitled "What Can I Do With An English Major":http://www.concordia.ca/content/dam/concordia/offices/cdev/caps/docs/major/arts-science/English.pdf

    Returning to school is exciting especially when it is free! Some of us have never truly left... and our student loans won't be paid off until 2036 :p (No seriously).

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Oh wow, this is a great list. I just feel so lost looking at it, thinking the whole time "I can't do that!" ...but...maybe I can..?

      Radera
  4. Stop saying that you "can't do that" because YOU CAN! You an do anything you set your mind to. This is so many kinds of awesome! When I was getting my PhD I was considered a returning, "older" student. My life experience and my maturity helped me in so many ways. I already knew how I studied/worked, how to organize my time, etc. I think that my age was actually an advantage.

    Good luck! And I'm very, very excited for you.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Your enthusiasm and encouragement is very inspiring :) I hope my age will prove helpful for me too!

      Radera
  5. I wish I could have a free education, one of the big things holding me back from continuing my education is cost. I don't want to add to my already insane student debt, especially if it means I'l have a higher degree that's still useless, and in my province that's painfully true. I kept telling my friend to stay in school as long as she could, just to keep herself occupied, educated, and away from the recession.

    I'm not sure what you could do with a degree in English, I've known many who've taken it here but ended up as teachers. Regardless, it's worth finishing your degree, just for a sense of accomplishment and to say you have it. :)

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. That's exactly what they told us; stay in school, you're never gonna get a job anyway (we were in a great recession in the late 90's), but I don't know that it did anyone neither to nor fro.

      A degree in English is of course different as a second language, but still I have no idea what to do with it. Many women in my family have been teachers, but I have never wanted to do that.

      Radera
  6. I tjugoårsåldern utbildade jag mig till kemiingenjör men arbetade endast ett år inom den genren. Därefter har jag varit produktionsingenjör, bergsingenjör, maskiningenjör och fastighetsingenjör. En examen kan faktiskt öppna dörrar åt olika håll ;-)
    Nu läser jag till gymnasielärarexamen i kemi, för att få jobba mer med kemi som jag älskar. Att undervisa spralliga tonåringar är faktiskt ett plus. Jag är trött efter jobbet men på ett positivt sätt.
    Jag kommer nog aldrig att sluta skolan, eller att sluta vara nyfiken. "Om 7 år gör du något helt annat, det är jag säker på" säger min sambo.
    Du kan jobba som översättare kanske?
    Lycka till! Du kommer märka hur kul det är att plugga igen :-)

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Tack för uppmuntran! Jag har kanske samma som du; "The Seven Year Itch"? Har nog lagt ner exakt 7 år på att starta och driva min butik nu faktiskt. Dags för något nytt!

      Radera
  7. Why not finish this? It doesn't seem like too much effort, if you think this is possible, I'm all for tying up the lose ends of your life ^^

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Agreed, I don't think it will be too much work, and it will look so much better on any future resumé.

      Radera
  8. I never really left school, since I went to school online and onsite while I was in the military. But for many of the courses the professor had to come to wherever service members were stationed and teach the classes at odd locations. So when I got out of the military, in my 30s, I went back to school because I missed it. I love being there and being older. I enjoyed people watching, noticing the things that were important to different generations. I could have gone to get a Masters on a degree I already had a Bachelors on, but I decided for another Bachelors in English: Creative Writing. It was fun. And if I could sit in a regular classroom, I would be there in a heartbeat.

    I can't wait to see what you'll decide. I shall enjoy the experience vicariously through you. ;-)

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Yes, I think it must be a very different experience now, and I hope for the better, as you say. I have signed up for so many classes by now, I actually don't think they'll allow me to take even half of them :) But I will certainly keep you updated!

      Radera
  9. I hope you get to those courses you applied and that you can get your Bachelor's Degree! ^_^ I do not know about Sweden but in Finland I get this feeling that considering the job market, a linguist is seen as somehow a bit more professional. Or maybe that is just how I feel about certain places I've applied to. >_>

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. AGreed, a linguist sounds more like someone who can get a job, than someone with a degree in English literature - but literature is just so much easier to write about :) I will contact a guidance counselor as soon as the vacation is over.

      Radera
  10. I went to uni aged 18 and far too young to know what I really wanted to achieve. I bombed out spectacularly, got a basic wage job and years of put downs and snark from my family for 'wasting my opportunities'.

    I always felt I'd let myself down, so went back as a mature student, studying right throughout my 30s. Gaining my first degree was like gaining some self respect back - I'd worked very hard over 4 years while holding down a full time job.

    I then caught the study bug - I did my first masters over a year and reduced my hours. I loved every second of it, though admittedly my masters was work focused (in Regional Development) and we were a small class (15) of mostly mature students. My second masters I did purely for pleasure (creative writing). It's never going to make me any money but it means so much to me.

    The fact that after all this time you've gone back and considered what you need to complete your degree suggests to me that it's been there in the back of your mind as something incomplete. It may not help your work prospects, but education is so much more than that. If you can, complete it. See it for the real achievement that it is. You've come so far in the process already - just think of the joy it will bring by finally bringing your degree home. But don't blame me if you catch the study bug!!!

    Jane (breakingtheangel.wordpress.com)

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. You know, in my immediate family, I would be the first with a Uni degree. I hadn't really thought of that until I read you post. That is probably why no-one has ever encouraged me to really finish my studies. The aim was always to get a job and to make regular money. But you're right, that degree (or lack there-of) means something to me - and the way I see myself. It was alway pretty easy for me, to study and to get good grades - I just never had anyone put any credence to it. But I've made my mind up now - I'm going back.
      Thank you very much for sharing your story!

      Radera
  11. I haven't gone back to uni in my 30s because I spent so many years there before. I can tell you about it if you'd like.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. At this juncture I'm looking to people who have studied at an "older" age, but I might take you up on your offer at a later stage, thanks :)

      Radera
  12. I only went aa few years ago but film was really interesting. If you do extra units you don't "need" choose something that really interests you.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. I was late applying, so the film courses were not available. But I applied to many other things :) For the spring term I will be prepared, though!

      Radera
  13. I left home at 16 and stayed in college education, on various courses, until the age of 23. That's when Amber was born, and as a single mum, I simply couldn't afford to go to University. She's grown up and is doing her own thing now, so now's my chance to learn another new skill, maybe :)

    I'd say, take advantage of the free education while you can, this could be just the breath of fresh air you need!

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. I like the 'fresh-air' analogy. After 6 years in my shop it is probably exactly what I need. I am concerned though, that I have never studied a craft, something that will immediately land me a job.

      Radera
  14. I think its great that you are going back to school and I bet it will be fun or at least interesting.

    When I first started college, I went for theater but I was uncomfortable at the college I was at, a small private christian college. Don't get me wrong I am sure its a great Uni, it just wasn't a good fit for me. I ended up leaving theater and going to an English degree. When I left the college altogether, I transferred to a small community college and began a teaching degree with a focus in art. Except that wasn't really what I wanted. When I ran out of classes that I actually wanted to take, I transferred to a closer university for English but life happened and I had to withdraw so I could work and help take care of my Mom and the house. My next attempt at school was to go to ITT Tech for computer engineering under the impression that I was going to learn how to repair the hardware in computers. That was a colossal mistake and not only did I not learn a thing about computer repair, but when my back went out and I couldn't even go to the bathroom by myself without assistance, I was getting harassing phone calls from the school bitching me out because I wasn't there. So I quit.
    Given my physical and health limitations, it's a little difficult for me to return to traditional schooling. But last year, I was looking up online schools because I really wanted my bachelors and I wanted to get it for something I actually use and want. So I decided to do online with SNHU in English- Creative Writing with a focus in Fiction. So far its been great, even though there have been a few classes I have moaned and groaned about. Education is kind of big thing in my family, it;s been drilled into me since I was little by my parents and grandparents. Kind of figures since my Grandpa was a college librarian and master teacher and my Grandmother was a teacher too. My Dad was on the whole education bandwagon until a few years ago. I don't know what made him get off it.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. It's interesting to learn about families where education is so important, since I myself come from a family of entrepreneurs and self-employed people. 'Getting your foot in' is much more important to such people, even though we live in a country where basically everyone is over-educated.
      I hope what you like to study leads you to something you can lean on, and thanks for sharing!

      Radera

Lately I have been falling behind answering comments, for many reasons. But I read and cherish all of them! Your comments make my day, yay!

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