I just got accepted to NYU. I'm 32 years old.

I love what I do for a living (theatre musician), but I only went to college for 3 semesters before dropping out to pursue it. The fact that I’m now in my 30’s, coupled with the fact that I recently lost my sister, must have lit a fire or something, because I wrote three essays and got two letters of recommendation for NYU, and this week I was accepted.

I decided to go with a much more stable field than music, so I went with… creative writing. A BA in Humanities with a concentration in Creative Writing, to be exact. I don’t know, it just seems right. It’ll help with writing musicals of my own, which I want to do, and it will also give me options as I get older… maybe I can teach or have my own humor column one day, which has always been a pipe dream.

But it’s a little scary! Not so much the whole “going to school with kids” thing, because I’m doing the McGhee Division, which is specifically for adults returning to school, but just because I haven’t been in school in 12 years. Any other Dopers going back as an adult?

No, but I’ve had colleagues who taught in the McGhee Division, and you’ll have plenty of company–they describe the students as among the best they’ve ever taught. (And they teach CW, too!)

I’m 35 and thinking about it. I was recently laid off from a certain ginormous yodeling internet portal, and my partner and I have decided to use the severance opportunity to move back to where I was raised and where I went to college. It is conceivable that after a year or two of working whatever job I can find that I’ll have the opportunity to return to my alma matter for graduate school or a second Bachelors. My problem is that I enjoy too many different things and I can’t decide between them. I loved exploring the Biological Sciences when I was an undergrad. I loved exploring the inner workings of the interwebs for the past 11 years. I love the artistic and creative writing projects I’ve taken on for my own sanity through the years. I have too many interests and loathe playing favorites.

Woo hoo! Congrats!

I went to Columbia in my late twenties after a lot of non-school time. I hope you love it as much as I did, the break really made a difference in approach. I didn’t “have” to take any requirements, I got to take them … that sort of appreciation thing.


Yay you! I went back to school at 29, creative writing just like you. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m in my third year now and while my economy sucks ass, I’ve refined my craft and feel that I’ve really found my mission. That’s worth more than anything. And these days I’m getting personal refusals instead of standard forms.

Good luck! :smiley:

Yep, I’m going back to school in January, for a technical degree in recording and sound design. Pro Tools Certification, here I come!

I’m 37 years old, and I’ve been out of school for quite some time, although I’ve been a working musician and live sound engineer for a number of years. Time to step up to the brave new digital world and learn the other side of music!

I’m very excited, and strangely not nervous at all about it. I thought I would be, but it just feels right.

Congrats to you!!

No offense, but creative writing for the purposes of writing musicals doesn’t sound like a wonderful means towards steady employment. Not that there is anything wrong with creative writing, I knew quite a few creative writing majors in college and they had good fun with it. It’s really easy (assuming you like to write) and it can really help bring out your talent.

But for steady employment, may I suggest finance, business, or something of the like? You are likely too old to pursue a chemistry or biology major to its full potential (as you need more than a bachelors to do anything with them).

A story. I have two friends from undergrad who are passionate about acting. They both attended the lovely University of Michigan to learn more about this craft. One of them majored in theater. The other majored in theater *and * political science. They both graduated at the same time.

Today, they are both heavily involved in acting.

The theater major lives at home with her parents.

The theater/political science major just started law school.
As a lover of the arts, I suggest a compromise. Double major – one arsty major, so you can study your passion, and one practical major in something you’re interested in. That way you’ll always have something to fall back on.

ETA::smack: And congratulations, of course!

I quit college at 19 and set out to be a rock star. That didn’t work out due to obstacles like lack of talent and drinking too much. I started at a community college when I was 33, finishing at 34 with an AA in computer programming. That led to my current career, which has consisted of 21 years of continuous employment at ever-increasing salaries.

Two years ago I received a BS in management at the age of 53. That degree won’t change anything for me, but it made my mother proud.

I enjoyed both of my stints in college as a non-traditional student.

I went back to do my masters at the age of 30. I’m a few years older than the average in my class (which I think is 26), but not terribly so. I certainly have classmates older than me. And my best friend in my class is 23 (I’m 31 now), so it’s not like I’ve found age to be a significant factor in getting along with people.

You can do it! Don’t fret. Good luck.

Been there, regretting that. In my reckless, youthful days, I decided to major in theatre (I was doing standup comedy regularly at the time, and figured this was the closest I’d get to majoring in standup). Learned a bunch of interesting things, but the degree is basically useless. I’ve toyed with the idea of going to university to work on eventually a doctorate in music history (closest I could get to majoring in anthematology), but I realize this too doesn’t open many doors.

I’m faced with a layoff in the spring myself and will be getting a pretty decent severance package, might take schooling, but I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, so I don’t know what to take …

I also went back to school at 32. Like you, I wasn’t as worried about going to school with kids, but I did wonder whether I still had the aptitude for academics, or whether it was like muscle tone, use it or lose it. It turned out to be a needless worry – my hard-won maturity and life experience made me a much better student than when I was 18, and that was with a full-time job. It’s amazing how much better you do when you actually attend class and take notes.

And I also majored in a stable field – anthropology. It was much better for me to study a field in which I had a passion (and so did well), rather than a marketable field I didn’t enjoy, like accounting or whatever (and so would have done poorly). I’m not working in anthropology now, but I don’t regret a minute of it.

ETA: Best of luck!

Hey, congratulations to you!

Yes, I went back a long time ago to finish up college at the ripe old age of 30. I went to a pretty typical university and was not at all bothered by struggling with the cirriculum, so I wouldn’t worry about that.

In fact, having left the partying, boozing and staying out all night behind, I was pretty amazed at how much easier college had gotten in the 10 years since I’d last attended!

Funny what a serious attitude and a few years of experience will do for one; so don’t worry about it. And really,while there will be some hard work ahead, I am certain that you will find it a lot of fun at times, so enjoy.

P.S. I am right now back in school once again, (part-time in a second master’s program) at the ripe old age of 60 and it is even MORE fun this time.

Congratulations. Good luck in your new adventure!

Thanks for all the well-wishes! Nice to know so many other Dopers have gone down this road, and I agree that I’m going to be a much better student as an adult. Hell, even just the prevalence of laptops is going to make a world of difference… it’s going to be so much easier to take notes these days (and now I feel really old)!

heavyarms553, I know where you’re coming from, but the “steady employment” thing was kind of a joke. I’m happy to say my stable career is the musician thing, and the degree is more of a branching-out than a backing-up. And anything non-creative breaks me out in hives, especially the words “business” and “finance”. :slight_smile:

Can I ask if you’re taking classes online or on a campus and with what school? My partner is currently taking an online sound design class and I think she wants more, but she’s moving towards Logic and not ProTools, so far at least.

Have you heard of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop? I’m in the Advanced Workshop and am happy to talk to you about it. We meet in Manhattan, not terribly far from NYU.

I went back in my late 30s. I ALMOST had an Art History degree - really just never finished the final paper I needed to do for the program. But I didn’t want to write the paper.

So I went back and got a degree in Accounting.

It was fun. I was a MUCH better student the second time around.

Not the same age range, but I completed a degree at the usual age, worked for a few years, was miserable in the job and didn’t foresee an interesting future, so at 26 years old I went back to school for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I’m loving it, although there are times when I really look forward to the end (not until Dec 2011 at the earliest, though!) If you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s worth doing it!

Congrats to you! I really and truly believe you are never too old to go to school. That is fantastic.