I’m 41 years old and I’ve decided to change my career. I have had to go back to uni to do this. My husband likes to tease me that I am the mature-aged student who asks all the pedantic questions and annoys all the younger students. But he’s wrong. I’m doing my course online, so the whole thing is full of mature-aged students. A lot of them are parents of young children who study in the evening, when the babies are asleep. A lot are working full-time but want a career change – online study is perfect for them because they can study when they need to.
As for me, I’m raising three humans, involved with their school and working part-time. So, sometimes, the study on top of it all is a bit overwhelming. But mostly I love it. Knowing that all the other students are juggling busy lives is helpful. It makes me feel part of a community of people who are working really hard to change their lives.
Recently a school-mum told me that, because I am studying, I am setting a good example to my children about life-long learning. I blushed, but had to agree with her. When I got a mark back on an essay that was lower than I expected, I talked to my daughters about how disappointed I was, but I also showed them how I went through all the feedback from my marker, and how I was going to use that feedback to get a better mark on my next assignment. After several drafts and a lot of help, I did get a better mark on my next essay, and I shared my excitement with my family. I was happy to be able to show the girls a “growth mindset” in action.
I’m also enjoying using my brain in new ways, and learning new theories. It is painful and difficult, and I don’t always produce the best work, but I’m trying and learning and that is making me feel pretty good.
The other day I said to my husband, “I wish I was 20 years old and all I had to worry about was uni and my part-time job!” But it’s not quite the whole story. I loved my first time at uni, when I was 18-20. But in some ways I think I’m getting more out of it this time around. Although there is a lot less time spent at the uni bar. 🙂