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Is 26 years old too late to go to University? Will I still enjoy life? Watch

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    A guy I work with didn't do his Access course until he was 26, and he started his undergraduate Engineering degree last September at 27. I don't think it's ever too late, as long as you have the time and means - make the most of the opportunity if you can get it! In lots of ways, doing a degree slightly older than your average fresher has lots of benefits, especially since you won't have to live in halls, etc. Good luck if you go for it!
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    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    Oh, awesome. What was your degree in?
    I'm an archaeologist

    Also, how did you afford to manage Uni and living expenses?
    I afforded it by spending my life savings, plus I was entitled to Student Finance for two years as it's based on household income - I'm single and gave up work to go to uni full-time, so my income was nil. Pretty scary when you've been used to a regular wage for 20+ years!

    Did you live in Uni accommodation or did you have your own place?
    I own my own home. One of the reasons I could afford to save for uni, was because I scrimped and saved, and paid the mortgage off a few years early. I couldn't have afforded to go to uni if I still had to pay the mortgage.
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    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    I don't know what I want to do with my life at the moment. I am 24 years old, but if I was to study for a foundation course or go onto an access course, I will be around 26 by the time I get onto a degree course. Is this too old for university?

    Also, would something like English, Graphic Design or Journalism be a good degree to get? I am more of a creative person, so I was thinking of these degrees.

    What are your thoughts?
    it's never too late for uni mate. If you want to do it then do it! . And good luck!
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    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    I don't know what I want to do with my life at the moment.
    1. Think about that. Try to do some shadowing, asking people with work experience, look at the course content (also try to look up some of the books and exercise sheets you will have to do), do an internship...
    To enjoy your studies and finally profit form them, it is crucial to not just study because you don't know what to do with your life. In addition for some professions an apprenticeship and/or polytechnic will be the first way to choose, for others you need to go to really well-known research universities, for others e.g. journalism, it is often important to study as well a -on the first look- non-related degree such as international relations and already get work experience alongside your studies.

    2. In addition it may help to begin your search with looking into various courses and profession, you may have not considered yet, => the ideal course for you may be in a field, you have no clue about now.

    3. Teaching style and surroundings at different universities can differ, some may not like certain access shemes, some subjects may greatly differ from their counterparts at school...

    I am 24 years old, but if I was to study for a foundation course or go onto an access course, I will be around 26 by the time I get onto a degree course. Is this too old for university?
    NOOO!!! It is only too old, to make unconsidered choices.

    Also, would something like English, Graphic Design or Journalism be a good degree to get? I am more of a creative person, so I was thinking of these degrees.
    At lot of people would answer: NO, you will never get a job, these are mickey mouse degrees. The truth is, you have to be good in your field to get a job, so a talented journalist is more likely to get long time employment in a fulfilling job, than an untalented engineer.

    At lot of Journalist don't study Journalism as BA or at all, as you not only need to be good at writing, but ideally also present some expertise in a field, you want to write about. Writing about politics or art without a knowlegde of politics and art, that goes beyong the knowledge of the reader will be tough.
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    I turned 26 this past Thursday, and will be starting my Computer Science undergrad degree in the fall Never too old to go back to school! I'm very excited, but nervous as I've been to a few open days, and felt a bit out of place with all the young'uns. I don't imagine I'll be as wild as I was when I was at uni before (studied Biology for 3 years at Queen's University Canada) but am looking forward to many aspects of student life.

    Not looking forward to financing my degree, as I am from Canada and will be paying international fees!! Fortunately I do have some savings and can get government loans from home, and a significant other to pay the rent.
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    I've had mates at Uni who were in there 30s & 40s
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    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    I don't know what I want to do with my life at the moment. I am 24 years old, but if I was to study for a foundation course or go onto an access course, I will be around 26 by the time I get onto a degree course. Is this too old for university?

    Also, would something like English, Graphic Design or Journalism be a good degree to get? I am more of a creative person, so I was thinking of these degrees.

    What are your thoughts?
    People at my uni in there 30s. I've had one bloke on my course who was probably in his 40s.

    Prepare yourself for some childish behaviour but I really can't see why this would be an issue.

    Good luck with your studies.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    I'm an archaeologist


    I afforded it by spending my life savings, plus I was entitled to Student Finance for two years as it's based on household income - I'm single and gave up work to go to uni full-time, so my income was nil. Pretty scary when you've been used to a regular wage for 20+ years!


    I own my own home. One of the reasons I could afford to save for uni, was because I scrimped and saved, and paid the mortgage off a few years early. I couldn't have afforded to go to uni if I still had to pay the mortgage.
    That's great. Archaeology seems like a really fun job. That's the thing, I want to follow a career I enjoy, but also a career that will lead to a stable career. I am thinking about studying English more and more. I have wanted to be an actor for years, but I was always put off by people saying that you will end up unemployed etc, so I kind of wrote Drama School off, which was/is still hard to do because of the passion I have for it.

    Wow, yeah that must of been tough. I do worry about living on such a low wage while at Uni. Even with working part time, it's still a massive shcck when you have to eat rubbish. I'm used to eating healthy food, so not sure if I could do that at Uni.

    What do you think about The Open University?

    I commend you for that. It takes a lot of guts to take a chance like that, with you being 44. Not saying you're old, not at all, but not many 44 year old's would take that big of a plunge.
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    26 isn't old. I'm still daft as a brush.Go for it if that's what you want to do
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    i was a chef ,just wanna to change my career to what i'm really interest in . what we need is courage and money lol~~so good luck for both of us mate~~~
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    go for it, you'll be an inspiration for the rest


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    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    That's great. Archaeology seems like a really fun job. That's the thing, I want to follow a career I enjoy, but also a career that will lead to a stable career. I am thinking about studying English more and more. I have wanted to be an actor for years, but I was always put off by people saying that you will end up unemployed etc, so I kind of wrote Drama School off, which was/is still hard to do because of the passion I have for it.
    It's a shame that the recession has hit archaeology so hard. When I started, there was still a chance of getting a job. These days both the commercial and academic sides have been badly hit. I'm funding my own MPhil from the last of my savings simply because it's the only way to stay involved. I'm hoping to get funding to complete it as a PhD but that's looking pretty much of a lost cause now the AHRC have issued their revised strategy. The way I look at it, I'll have done what I loved for five years, and that's more than my parents ever had.

    Wow, yeah that must of been tough. I do worry about living on such a low wage while at Uni. Even with working part time, it's still a massive shcck when you have to eat rubbish. I'm used to eating healthy food, so not sure if I could do that at Uni.
    Judicious use of things like baked potatoes and porridge will go a long way. Also, I shop for fruit and veg in markets and small local shops, rather than supermarkets. Some of it isn't a perfect shape/colour, but it'll taste just as good. Home-made veg soups and pasta sauces freeze really well. Cooked long and slow over 4+ hours, the cheapest cuts of beef turn really tender and make amazing stew. Eating healthily on the cheap takes a bit of forward planning, but it can be done.

    What do you think about The Open University?
    Three of my friends are doing part-time OU degrees as they can't afford to stop work and I've been very impressed. The academic calibre of reading and assessments is no less than my undergrad course and the grade thresholds are higher than most unis. The teaching support is really well set up. I'd recommend the OU to anyone.

    I commend you for that. It takes a lot of guts to take a chance like that, with you being 44. Not saying you're old, not at all, but not many 44 year old's would take that big of a plunge.
    Thanks. I guess it was a mid-life crisis. I just reached a point where I knew that if I didn't do it at that moment, then I never would. Like Neo in The Matrix, there are some days you just have to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes!
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    (Original post by lilmissshady)
    go for it, you'll be an inspiration for the rest
    we need more people like you in the world :')

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    I am thinking of changing careers at the age of 32. Ditching my legal career for a medical career. So if i pass my entry exams and interview, I am looking to be a student at the age of 34. Age is just a number.
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    I start a chemistry degree in Manchester come September and can't wait. I am 31 and there is no way I would of had the commitment to do a degree when I was younger.
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    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    I don't know what I want to do with my life at the moment. I am 24 years old, but if I was to study for a foundation course or go onto an access course, I will be around 26 by the time I get onto a degree course. Is this too old for university?

    Also, would something like English, Graphic Design or Journalism be a good degree to get? I am more of a creative person, so I was thinking of these degrees.

    What are your thoughts?

    just some food for though. People often direct themselves to courses such as Art, English etc due to their creative side. However industries such as engineering thrive on creativity. If you don't like mathematics too much there is subjects such as software engineering or computer science which are not as intense mathematically.

    What have you been doing since leaving school and what career would you want to do?

    But 26 is not too old. There are access courses that can be done in 1 year and foundations that allow you to go into 2nd year of a degree anyway.
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    (Original post by Prospective UK)
    Could I ask which Uni you are going to this Sep ? (I'm also a mature student with the age of 21.)


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    I am going to University of Brighton. BSc Social Work.
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    (Original post by Prospective UK)
    Have you looked at Southampton or Bristol since I heard that they are good in Computer stuff or related ? ^_^


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    thanx for your information mate.by the way do u heard about Blake College Art and Design Media i dont know the reputation is good ornot
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    God bless you, I remember deciding not to go to Uni. at 24 because I felt too old. I am now due to start the three year adult nursing course this year just 2 months shy of my 41st birthday. Research is key, speak to careers advisors at college they know the best path for you and enable you to keep your options slightly open so you make the best choice after your access/A level courses. In a few years you will appreciate that you are probably the right age to make your career and education decisions. Good luck!
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    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    c

    Wow, yeah that must of been tough. I do worry about living on such a low wage while at Uni. Even with working part time, it's still a massive shcck when you have to eat rubbish. I'm used to eating healthy food, so not sure if I could do that at Uni.
    Firstly please don't buy cheap 'ready meals' or meat etc or think you have to eat badly just because you won't be earning as much. Particularly NEVER buy cheap meat, avoid the 'value' brands etc like the plague. Eating healthily always has and always will be cheaper than buying the ready made c*** on the shelves at supermarkets, it is a common misconception that fruit, veg and good meat are more expensive. I'm not saying you have to buy meat and veg from Waitrose or the Delicatessen, but avoiding value brands is always the way to go. By doing this you will know exactly what goes into your food and by being one more person not buying value meat will be doing a great service to the poor animals who go into the value products.

    (Original post by WhiteWalker)
    c
    What do you think about The Open University?
    I was with the OU for 2 1/2 years. Overall my experience was good, I was only once ignored by a tutor and generally both the workload and academic expectation were higher than I experienced at uni. Two words of warning though.

    1. You must apply for finance EARLY, finance for courses starting in October closes in August. They aren't like SFE, there are no late applications. I applied late once because the Job Centre had lost my P45 and refused to send proof of my earnings, I was under the impression that the man I spoke to at the OU had extended my deadline. He did not take down any record of my phone call, so I couldn't prove that I had called. That meant a whole 6 months of study was lost which has now turned into nearly 2 years (for various reasons, OU and non-OU related), so I won't complete my degree on time.

    2. Don't plan too far ahead because sometimes the courses change weekly. It isn't like at uni where you can plan the credits you want to study over the 3 years and expect them to not change. At one point I had my whole degree planned out, it was going to be ~40% chemistry, ~50% biology and ~10% physics. Then the OU started messing with course start dates and cancelling courses all over the place. So I couldn't do the courses I needed when I wanted to do them. Over the 2 1/2 years I was studying with them most of the courses I wanted to study were cancelled and replaced with courses which would start after I went to uni. I believe this was to tie in with the fee changes which came into effect in September (2012). BUT to my knowledge from people I met whilst there and someone who is studying with them locally they continue to be changing courses all over the place. If you have a place on a course then they won't cancel it, but if you plan to study something now which starts in October it is highly likely that the start date will be changed. It is VERY annoying.

    My experience with them was much better than at uni though. Maybe if you don't know what to do then a year studying a variety of level 1/2 courses with the OU might give you the chance to discover what you really want to do. Though be aware that many uni's don't understand OU credits, or believe that they are equal to A-levels/access let alone degree level.

    Remember that unless you are very rich it is unlikely that you'll be able to afford a second degree if you decide halfway through your first one that it is not what you want to do, there is no financial help for a second degree in this country.
 
 
 
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