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    Hi all,

    Apologies if this has been covered before but I am new here and in desperate need of help!

    Long story short - I am 36 and passionate about physics and want to study for a degree. I got A's in maths and physics at A Level and enrolled on an Astrophysics degree at Cardiff in 1996. However in a 'sliding doors' moment I left after one semester and ended up on a 16 year career in banking, and am now working as a consultant at 'big 4' firm. Despite never really inspiring me, the career has served it's purpose and I have achieved my material needs. (However this does leave me staring at many more years of paying bills, mortgage etc.)

    This means my motivations have now changed, my job REALLY frustrates me and I know what I want to do. But what to do about it?

    If I could tolerate the job, it would be a classic part - time OU scenario. However I have been stressed for too long and studies on top would likely add to that. If I could save up enough money to pay the bills while I go full time into study, I could do that but it would take a while.

    But - are there any creative options in between I wonder?

    I would be very interested to hear any experience of how others have dealt with a situation like this, whether there is anything specific to Physics which may help, or any other creative sources of funding that people have discovered?

    Many thanks in advance for reading and any insight you may have :-)
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    In lieu of someone posting better advice, I'll offer my thoughts. I quit a comfy (IT) consultancy job last year to resume FT education, but my decision was made much easier by the fact that I didn't have such significant financial commitments. So I can't advise you on how to maintain the ability to manage a mortgage while studying - perhaps someone else can.

    However...

    (Original post by DanByrne)
    I am new here and in desperate need of help! my job REALLY frustrates me and I know what I want to do.
    ...you sound like you've got all you're going to get out of your day job in terms of satisfaction and on the flip side you're really excited about your potential alternative plans. I'd be loathe to encourage you to do something you might regret later - ultimately you have to carefully consider this - but given the emotive language you've used, you might regret NOT pursuing your studies even more. So I'm wondering if you'd need to consider a radical but responsible way of cutting yourself loose from your financial ties. I suppose in a way I'm saying you need to ask yourself "how badly do I really want to do this?" If it's of any help, even though my financial situation is much worse now than this time last year (my savings are declining and I've had to make massive lifestyle reductions to counteract the lack of income), I'm way happier now I'm studying.

    Part of what you'd need to factor into your plans is would you have to do any preparatory course/s to pave the way to your degree? The OU route would circumvent that, but I'd suspect most other institutions would ask for that given that you attained your A-Levels a long time ago. This does further complicate it as, say for example you need to do a one year Access course, you then need to be able to fund yourself for that year and you won't get any financial help.

    The simplest suggestion I could make would be to begin drastically cutting your expenses back asap, while holding onto the job, so that you can start saving as much as possible to put towards your living expenses while studying. But I appreciate if you're already at the end of your tether with your job, that might be too hideous to contemplate (it was for me). So, unfortunately, that does lead back to the more radical options...

    Sorry that I haven't really answered your question/s, but it's the best I can do, really. I hope it helps you think things through further.
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    Many thanks Jimmy. Your response is probably more helpful than you realise even if as a motivational speech! It clearly takes guts to take the risk and make the leap and hearing that it has been successfully done is very reassuring.
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    I am in a similar situation. I am 37, I also work for a consulting company but I want to go to uni to study Osteopathy. I have 4 kids (who don't live with me, but who I see regularly and pay for) and a mortgage. My plan is to complete the degree part time over 5 years while working as a sports therapist (I am qualified already and have worked as a sports therapist previously).

    I am prepared to make some serious lifestyle changes to make this happen. Unfortunately this would effect my other half too who is possibly less prepared than I am for 5 years of me as a student!
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    I jumped ship and left 'the middle class trap' last year, age 46, and started University. It's been a major lifestyle change learning to live on a hell of a lot less money. Is it worth it? Yes, 100%. I am so damn happy. My only regret is that I didn't do it ten years ago. My advice to anyone is to follow their dream. My job paid for all the material things, following my passion is proving priceless.
 
 
 
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