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'Grad School at Middle Age?'

Original Letter:

Hi. I am 38 years old and have been in the same profession for the last 20 years. It is labor-intensive and not fulfilling. I grew up poor and was considered fortunate to obtain my current job straight out of high school. A few years ago, I started taking night classes and then transferred to my local university, where I graduated with honors in science. I have been receiving offers to apply to grad programs from prestigious schools and, if younger, would jump at the chance. My age, though, is obviously the issue, probably more with myself than others who know me. I am happily married with no children and my partner will support me whatever my decision. What do I do?

Elder Response:

Congratulations! You have accomplished a wonderful thing. Now, why on earth should you be concerned about going to graduate school if that is what you want? Of course you should go. I went back to school at the age of 43, to become a science teacher after years of nursing and selling real estate. It was hard, but fulfilling. You should continue your studies if that is what you want and if your partner will support you. Age is absolutely no barrier in today's world. In fact, some 30 percent of students today are "non-traditional," meaning us, of course! Your age is not an issue unless you choose to make it one; don't!

Please remember that I am not a professional counselor but I have done my best to help you based on my own life experience. I do hope that I have been of some small help in answering your questions. The elders are always here as a kind of virtual shoulder to lean and/or cry on, so do not hesitate to contact us and we do encourage you to recommend our site to your friends. I wish you the best of luck.

Best Regards,


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