Would You Go Back to School?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Mal Campbell, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    426
    I have to say that I never finished college. Luckily I was in a field, at a time, when a college education wasn't necessary, and experience was what got you a great job. I'm now retired so a college education still isn't a necessity for me. But .... I would love to go back to school. Now that I've gotten older, I found that there are so many things I don't know - and so many things I'd like to learn about. I don't think I'd want to really work on a particular degree - I'd just like to take classes that appeal to me - history, biology, botany, geology, psychology, philosophy. I think it would be fun to be a student - to look at things through a different lens, so to speak.

    Alas, college has gotten to be so expensive, that I can't afford it. Here in Tennessee, they actually have programs through local community colleges where tuition is greatly reduced, like $70 a class, but they don't offer any classes that really interest me.

    If given the chance, would you go back to school, and if so, what would you study?
     
    #1
    Priscilla King and Ruth Belena like this.
  2. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    32
    I have been thinking about this a lot recently. I am an expat living in Thailand, and I home school my kids (second family). They are teenagers now, and this year we are moving back to the UK, where they will go on to college then Uni. I have an MSc, but would like to go back to college and study just for the joy of it. I think I would opt for the sciences or maths (if my brain is still up for calculus!) - or perhaps something like computer art (though that may be hard to get as I guess younger students would grab most of the spaces). Henry Ford famously said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."


    //EDIT: You have the opportunity for online - there are free courses offered by the top universities in the world - for free. You will not get a degree, but a certificate saying you passed. Have a look here: https://www.coursera.org/
     
    #2
    Mal Campbell likes this.
  3. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    124
    Over the last few years I've become passionate about growing bonsai trees and I'd love to know a bit about botany, but I can't see myself ever getting involved with formal education again. I sailed through school without putting in too much effort, but didn't enjoy my time at university as I hated putting in hours with the books and now my attention span has become so poor that I rarely even finish the books I start reading. I blame that on excessive time spent reading online.

    I have a friend who went back to university in her forties though, and she ended up making a complete career change. I really admire anyone who has the determination to do that.
     
    #3
  4. Joss Brown

    Joss Brown New Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    12
    I was considering going to graduate school. I wanted to become a genetic counselor and the only path to that job is to graduate from a board certified program, internship and passing the board exam. I decided not to pursue it.

    I was worried about my taking the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), getting transcripts and reference letters. There are only about 12 to 15 approved programs in the United States. I also was very worried about my age. I have no doubts about being able to do the work. I don't know if I want to go back to school with 20 year students.
     
    #4
    Betty Madison likes this.
  5. Harrison Greenberg

    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    17
    I would definitely go back to study, but the costs of the courses here in Australia are way too overpriced! The courses go all the way to nearing $8,000 a year. I am very interesting in the fields of philosophy and astronomy. I never got around to learning any of those back when I was younger because I was solely focused on maths.
     
    #5
  6. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    5,479
    Likes Received:
    5,845
    If I were to go back to school I would like to take studies in photography. It has always been a past time for me but I believe I can capture some pretty nice shots. I really would like to know all of the technical processes of developing film. When we moved into our house there is an actual darkroom, well it's painted all black, when I saw it I thought 'Hmm, this would make a great dark room.' Aside from that I've had enough of formal education.
     
    #6
  7. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    471
    I would not mind going back to school but not so much for a college degree but to learn some trades that interest me. I would love to learn how to make my own table or some type of useful house hold item. Women who can use power tools to me are amazing, being able to make something or repair something around the house not only would save money when some thing breaks down but allows you to have your own style created by you.
     
    #7
    Priscilla King likes this.
  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    10,403
    Likes Received:
    17,099
    I hated school when I was growing up. I studied and did well in school; but was glad when each school day was over and I could go home, change into my jeans (had to wear a dress to school back then) and go ride my horse.
    Summertime was wonderful because school was out, and I could ride almost every day.
    Even though I didn't plan on it; I ended up meeting my husband-to-be and getting married in my senior year; so I didn't even get to finish high school.
    I think that it didn't really affect me as far as getting a job. Except for commissioned jobs, like Combined Insurance, most of the jobs that i did have were low-paying ones, but they met my needs at the time.
    Apple has an online university that is part of iTunes; but I really am not interested in that, and enjoy just looking up things that I want to learn about and reading about them on my own.
     
    #8
  9. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    28
    I feel that I go to school every day. I've learned more about what interests me from the internet in the last few years than I ever did at school.

    Hated school. I couldn't wait to get out and packed all my things and took them with me to the last exam. Finished it, tossed the papers on the desk, walked out and never saw that school again for 10 years when I'd bought a new car and did a 'triumphal drive-through' of my past.
    I enjoyed learning, just not what they were teaching.

    I had no prospect of going beyond high school due to being somewhat numerically dyslexic. If you weren't good at maths you were written off as stupid and ignored. I consistently turned out 90+% exam results in everything except maths. But that simply didn't count with the teachers.
    They deemed me dumb and that was it. So I left at barely 15, went to work. and then one day I had an 'educational epiphany'.

    It didn't matter that I would never make a career in the things I was passionate about because other people who could add up and subtract would go to Universities and spend their entire lives studying and researching those subjects for me. How kind of them.

    They would publish their results and all I needed to do was keep an eye on scientific mags etc and there would be the latest finds, the results, the pictures and the answers to all things fascinating.

    All regrets of academic deficiencies, and the burden of low self esteem (as it was later termed) fell from my shoulders and I saw the funny side of it all.
    I could keep up with astronomy, paleontology, archeology, and aaalllll the ologies I could ever take an interest about in my lunch break!

    I began to feel guilty about all those nice kids who went through the hell of a University education and the long long years in labs and at blackboards juggling incomprehensible number combinations. Especially as by that time I was earning more than they were.

    So don't get me wrong. I'm really, really grateful that they went to school for me. Thank you nerds. really, genuinely thanks.
    And thank you Tim Lee for putting the internet into my life. It really is the Ultimate University of Everything. Who needs the aggro of a formal education? :rolleyes::D
     
    #9
  10. Harrison Greenberg

    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    17
    I really envy you Val. I really hated school myself, and I too, couldn't wait to get out of it. By the time I got out, within a few months of my hard earned vacation, I learned more when I went hiking with my friends out in the wilderness than I learned the stuff at school. Sure some of the subjects I really like, but some of the teachers when I was in high school did not know how to teach what so ever.
     
    #10
  11. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    181
    I graduated more than 30 years after I had finished my formal education at high school. I went straight into a job when I was 18, but in my 40s I started an Open University course, studying part time at home. I now have a degree in humanities.

    I enjoyed being a mature student and getting to know others of my own age and older who were just as ethusiastic as I was about learning this way. It gave me a lot more confidence and I developed new skills from doing research, being more analytical and writing assignments

    Actually, I have never stopped learning or studying. All my life I've read a lot, taken evening classes, been on residential courses and attended public lectures.
     
    #11
  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    17,261
    Likes Received:
    26,584
    I would have always loved to have been able to attend school for the sake of learning but I graduated from high school at a time when only the top of the class got scholarships, and there weren't such things as Pell grants. I did well in school but I wasn't at the top of the class, as far as qualifying for a scholarship and my dad didn't have the money to send me to college. I worked a year to pay for a year of school, but then I moved to California where I could find a good job without a degree.

    Later, I attended Bible college, but was offered a part-time job as youth minister before I graduated so I took it, but kept my regular job, which didn't leave time for school. Still later, I want back to school to become a paramedic and, later, a paramedic instructor and coordinator. I was the program chairman of a state college EMT program without having a degree myself. In between, I took several courses from several colleges, but never with an organized effort toward earning a degree.
     
    #12
  13. Kevin Matthew

    Kevin Matthew Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    49
    I've been thinking about going back to school to get a PhD to change careers, but if I started now, I wouldn't have my PhD until I was 65 years old. I hate to say it, but I think I'm too old to spend all that time and money at this point in my life. If it was free, I might do it, but spending tens of thousands of dollars per year that I don't have sort of seals the deal unfortunately.
     
    #13
  14. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    34
    Hey all.

    I'm ambivalent on the question. Like others here, I did not get into university right out of high school (money issues, of course), had to go right to work. Then, in my 20s decided to go to the local state university and study that which had been my passion since 8th grade: theatre.

    I had not intentions of getting a degree (what good is a degree in theatre, after all?), just wanted to become better at something that I enjoyed doing. My tutor was always after me to do the core curriculum and get my degree and I always came back with "look, I'm here to study theatre, don't wan't maths, not interested in science, it's my money, haven't got that much anyway, going to spend it on the classes that are meaningful to me"-- "but what will you do without a degree?" he asked. He was well-meaning, but was a tenured professor (well-known as well, nearly famous, for his expertise in World Theatre History) and didn't think outside the box of university.

    So, I did two and a half years of university, picking and choosing the classes I would take, most within the graduate program even though I hadn't gotten the BA (they allowed me in part because I was well known in the community, in part because within one semester I had gotten on the Dean's list and a full scholarship through a talent grant). They even offered me a full-time job as stage manager for the university tour group if I would stay on and finish my studies. Life took me elsewhere, though.

    Now, I do an internet search of my classmates who did get their MFA in theatre (six long, boring years). One is working as an activity manager for a hotel chain. Another did manage to start his own school for stage fighting. I managed to get a fine job in the Broadway Costume Shop (mentioned in another thread). While I was working full-time in theatre, most of my classmates were waiting tables, waiting for their big break. None of them (myself included!) became famous.

    Looking back on those years in university, I wish I had known then what I know now, I think I would have taken better advantage of what the university experience offered. Would I go back now, though? No, can't see myself rubbing elbows with the youthful majority who have been fooled into thinking that their degree will actually end up supporting them. And, as others have mentioned, why go through the cost, the time investment, when you can now educate yourself (read: independent scholarship-- which indeed exists, has existed since the early 80s, though never really recognized by academia) while sitting on your sofa?

    So, I guess the short answer is no, I would not go back. But will I stop learning? Never! ha.

    peace,
    revel.
     
    #14
    Michelle Stevens likes this.
  15. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    426
    Jorge, you make such a valid point. When we were young, you didn't need a college degree to get a good job in your field. It might help, but wasn't necessary for most careers paths. You got started, and learned everything you could and was promoted based on your merit. I feel sorry for this generation though. Somehow a college degree has become a necessity in this modern job market. So, you go to college, rack up enormous debit and still can't find a job in your field, or if you do, you start at the bottom, just like we used to do back in the 70s and 80s, except we didn't have college loans hanging over our heads.
     
    #15

Share This Page