Want to begin a new life at 33... help! Watch

Flapdoodle
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hello everyone!

I hope someone can offer me some advice with my somewhat unusual situation (sorry for longish post, it's a little complicated!).

I am 33. I completed GCSEs, A levels, and an art undergraduate degree. However, I struggled immensely through education due to severe anxiety and an undiagnosed autism spectrum condition which greatly affected my school experience. As a result, the grades I achieved were not representative of my academic ability and I spent the rest of my adult life dropping out of degree courses I couldn't cope with and struggling to find minimum wage jobs which were manageable for me given the social and sensory limitations of my disability.

Since being diagnosed I made huge leaps - I am no longer anxious in social situations and can do things I never could while in education (e.g. ask for help, approach other people, work with others, explain the things I experience difficulties with and why). This has been life-changing for me and I'm thrilled about it, but recognising how much this changes my life has also led me to realise how sad I am about its past failures. I am extremely intelligent but currently have little to demonstrate it. I know from certain events in school what a difference it made when I had the support I needed (eg: some one-on-one help from a teacher sending me from the bottom to the top of the class), and if I had had it I might have left school with straight As and applied to a highly-regarded university.

I have been wondering about returning to education, and would really appreciate some advice. Does it seem reasonable to "start over" at this time of my life? Perhaps re-do my A-levels and go on to do another undergraduate degree, but with the appropriate support and direction this time? I don't know yet how I would finance this, but I think being in an educational environment would be hugely positive for my confidence and social progress as well as just academically, so I would do my best to figure out something. There does seem to be extra provision for disabled students, but I don't know if I would just be told "you already have A levels and a degree, we're not going to help you do them again". If this doesn't seem reasonable, are there other ways to fix my educational track record or improve my current situation?

Thank you so much for any thoughts or ideas!
0
reply
Ftmshk
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
What would be your reason for doing another undergraduate degree if you already have a BA? Are you looking to change career? or? I'm sure the teams responsible for supporting disabled students would be just as supportive whatever your circumstances.
0
reply
xylas
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by Flapdoodle)
I am 33. I completed GCSEs, A levels, and an art undergraduate degree. However, I struggled immensely through education due to severe anxiety and an undiagnosed autism spectrum condition which greatly affected my school experience. As a result, the grades I achieved were not representative of my academic ability and I spent the rest of my adult life dropping out of degree courses I couldn't cope with and struggling to find minimum wage jobs which were manageable for me given the social and sensory limitations of my disability.

Since being diagnosed I made huge leaps - I am no longer anxious in social situations and can do things I never could while in education (e.g. ask for help, approach other people, work with others, explain the things I experience difficulties with and why). This has been life-changing for me and I'm thrilled about it, but recognising how much this changes my life has also led me to realise how sad I am about its past failures. I am extremely intelligentbut currently have little to demonstrate it. I know from certain events in school what a difference it made when I had the support I needed (eg: some one-on-one help from a teacher sending me from the bottom to the top of the class), and if I had had it I might have left school with straight As and applied to a highly-regarded university.
Why do you think your grades in academia are not representative of your academic ability? All the things you have listed about anxiety, working with others, explaining things etc. are all part of academic ability.

Also intelligence /= academic ability.
0
reply
andiewithanie
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
yeah, I'd suggest letting go of any ideas you might have about being super smart being the first step. until you realise that academic achievement is more about bloody hard work than anything else, your belief that you're entitled to good grades is probably gonna be a huge issue
0
reply
kathykathykathy
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#5
Report 4 years ago
#5
Firstly, I don't think you'd get any funding if you've already got a BA.

Do you have a degree in mind that's different from the one you already have? I'd think very carefully about getting into massive amounts of debt if it's just to achieve a higher grade.

You would possibly be eligible for a lot of help through DSA if you do go back to uni.

As others have said, failing a degree is less about intelligence and more about your own ability to work well academically. I have some very intelligent friends that aced high school and graduated with poor grades and others that failed completely and had to drop out.
0
reply
kingoftheting
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 years ago
#6
I don't think there is any issue with your age and "starting again." If it will make you happy, go for it.

However, if you have already completed an undergraduate degree, you won't get any more funding.
0
reply
MrDouglas
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report 4 years ago
#7
I'm 33 and have been without employment for 4 years, prior to this I took menial easy jobs which were all dead end, when I became unemployed 4 years ago I went back to college to get a new skill set, from access courses in administration to legal services and I'm now going onto Abertay or Dundee to study Law, age should never be an issue just believe in your abilities pick a subject you're interested in balanced with what job prospects are at the end of your chosen course and go for it
0
reply
deebaxi
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 4 years ago
#8
(Original post by Flapdoodle)
Hello everyone!

I hope someone can offer me some advice with my somewhat unusual situation (sorry for longish post, it's a little complicated!).

I am 33. I completed GCSEs, A levels, and an art undergraduate degree. However, I struggled immensely through education due to severe anxiety and an undiagnosed autism spectrum condition which greatly affected my school experience. As a result, the grades I achieved were not representative of my academic ability and I spent the rest of my adult life dropping out of degree courses I couldn't cope with and struggling to find minimum wage jobs which were manageable for me given the social and sensory limitations of my disability.

Since being diagnosed I made huge leaps - I am no longer anxious in social situations and can do things I never could while in education (e.g. ask for help, approach other people, work with others, explain the things I experience difficulties with and why). This has been life-changing for me and I'm thrilled about it, but recognising how much this changes my life has also led me to realise how sad I am about its past failures. I am extremely intelligent but currently have little to demonstrate it. I know from certain events in school what a difference it made when I had the support I needed (eg: some one-on-one help from a teacher sending me from the bottom to the top of the class), and if I had had it I might have left school with straight As and applied to a highly-regarded university.

I have been wondering about returning to education, and would really appreciate some advice. Does it seem reasonable to "start over" at this time of my life? Perhaps re-do my A-levels and go on to do another undergraduate degree, but with the appropriate support and direction this time? I don't know yet how I would finance this, but I think being in an educational environment would be hugely positive for my confidence and social progress as well as just academically, so I would do my best to figure out something. There does seem to be extra provision for disabled students, but I don't know if I would just be told "you already have A levels and a degree, we're not going to help you do them again". If this doesn't seem reasonable, are there other ways to fix my educational track record or improve my current situation?

Thank you so much for any thoughts or ideas!
Hello Flap doodle - I am in the same position but nearly 20 years older! - applying right now for a post graduate degree in Social Work. I also did an Applied Arts degree - starting when I was 34.
I am now 54. I was assessed as having dyslexia four years ago and like you it has been so liberating. This year I decided to apply for a post graduate - my route in education has been long painfully difficult but worth every growing pain!
I admire anyone who decides to return to education - it seems very reasonable to expect of yourself the very best.
Best
Deebaxi
0
reply
Lashton
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#9
Report 4 years ago
#9
(Original post by Flapdoodle)
Hello everyone!

I hope someone can offer me some advice with my somewhat unusual situation (sorry for longish post, it's a little complicated!).

I am 33. I completed GCSEs, A levels, and an art undergraduate degree. However, I struggled immensely through education due to severe anxiety and an undiagnosed autism spectrum condition which greatly affected my school experience. As a result, the grades I achieved were not representative of my academic ability and I spent the rest of my adult life dropping out of degree courses I couldn't cope with and struggling to find minimum wage jobs which were manageable for me given the social and sensory limitations of my disability.

Since being diagnosed I made huge leaps - I am no longer anxious in social situations and can do things I never could while in education (e.g. ask for help, approach other people, work with others, explain the things I experience difficulties with and why). This has been life-changing for me and I'm thrilled about it, but recognising how much this changes my life has also led me to realise how sad I am about its past failures. I am extremely intelligent but currently have little to demonstrate it. I know from certain events in school what a difference it made when I had the support I needed (eg: some one-on-one help from a teacher sending me from the bottom to the top of the class), and if I had had it I might have left school with straight As and applied to a highly-regarded university.

I have been wondering about returning to education, and would really appreciate some advice. Does it seem reasonable to "start over" at this time of my life? Perhaps re-do my A-levels and go on to do another undergraduate degree, but with the appropriate support and direction this time? I don't know yet how I would finance this, but I think being in an educational environment would be hugely positive for my confidence and social progress as well as just academically, so I would do my best to figure out something. There does seem to be extra provision for disabled students, but I don't know if I would just be told "you already have A levels and a degree, we're not going to help you do them again". If this doesn't seem reasonable, are there other ways to fix my educational track record or improve my current situation?

Thank you so much for any thoughts or ideas!
Hey Flapdoodle (awesome name btw!)

I am 27. I had similar issues to you. Went to uni when I was 18, had massive anxiety issues, and after two failed attempts to complete my first year I dropped out. I spent a few years working and found my confidence improved hugely, even in menial retail jobs. Now, I am in the third year of my English Literature degree, I will graduate in July and I have already managed to find a graduate job which I will start in September.

I remember working in a retail job two years ago, getting sick of doing the same boring tasks every day. I thought I would be stuck doing it forever and that would be my life. I never imagined I would go back to uni. But I am so glad I did! My husband and I made a heck of a lot of sacrifices for me to return to education (we barely scrape together enough money to pay the bills each month and holidays? What are they? lol) but it is definitely worth it. My husband says I am a different person now, a lot happier!

My advice would be this:
- Think carefully about the career you want to go into and consider the likelihood of getting a job out of it. Maybe see a career's advisor.
- Contact Student Finance about funding. I was able to provide doctor's notes etc and so Student Finance were willing to give me a loan to pay for my studies and a maintenance grant.
- If you're not already, go to therapy / skills classes. I'm at uni in Cardiff and I go to university-run confidence building classes. I also take part in an employability award which trains me in skills employers especially look for, such as speaking and presenting. I think most universities offer something like this.

You'll never know until you try! Go for it and never look back x
0
reply
illegaltobepoor
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#10
Report 4 years ago
#10
(Original post by Flapdoodle)
Hello everyone!

I hope someone can offer me some advice with my somewhat unusual situation (sorry for longish post, it's a little complicated!).

I am 33. I completed GCSEs, A levels, and an art undergraduate degree. However, I struggled immensely through education due to severe anxiety and an undiagnosed autism spectrum condition which greatly affected my school experience. As a result, the grades I achieved were not representative of my academic ability and I spent the rest of my adult life dropping out of degree courses I couldn't cope with and struggling to find minimum wage jobs which were manageable for me given the social and sensory limitations of my disability.

Since being diagnosed I made huge leaps - I am no longer anxious in social situations and can do things I never could while in education (e.g. ask for help, approach other people, work with others, explain the things I experience difficulties with and why). This has been life-changing for me and I'm thrilled about it, but recognising how much this changes my life has also led me to realise how sad I am about its past failures. I am extremely intelligent but currently have little to demonstrate it. I know from certain events in school what a difference it made when I had the support I needed (eg: some one-on-one help from a teacher sending me from the bottom to the top of the class), and if I had had it I might have left school with straight As and applied to a highly-regarded university.

I have been wondering about returning to education, and would really appreciate some advice. Does it seem reasonable to "start over" at this time of my life? Perhaps re-do my A-levels and go on to do another undergraduate degree, but with the appropriate support and direction this time? I don't know yet how I would finance this, but I think being in an educational environment would be hugely positive for my confidence and social progress as well as just academically, so I would do my best to figure out something. There does seem to be extra provision for disabled students, but I don't know if I would just be told "you already have A levels and a degree, we're not going to help you do them again". If this doesn't seem reasonable, are there other ways to fix my educational track record or improve my current situation?

Thank you so much for any thoughts or ideas!
I think your problem will be the same as many others in the western world. You are part of this huge rat race and your either going to be a winner or a loser.

The solution is to leave the rat race and only use education as a means to produce the product or service which you want to sell.

Ever wonder why Tradesmen or Nurses have been rolling in cash since 2000? Its because they have identified job sectors which are:

1. Abundant in vacancies.
2. Allow self-employment.
3. Are needed overseas.
4. Don't need complex machinery or materials.
5. Have strong unions backing them.

The funny thing is Copy Writing pays up to £16 a hour and there is probably some guy working from home making £33,000 per anum and he hasn't even got any GCSES. Then there is people on TSR borrowing £18,000 a year for University with no job waiting for them. The only thing waiting for them is high interest rates and a banker rubbing his hands with glee.

And then there is me. Someone who isn't even paying for his University tuition because its all Free!

MIT course-ware = http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
EDX mooc's = https://www.edx.org/
Udacity mooc's = https://www.udacity.com/

You have a choice really. You can be another rat in the rat race with a even bigger debt to carry than your peers or you can opt out for an alternative way.

One challenge we all face is finding opportunities in a international market which is highly volatile.

The solutions are a lot closer to home than you may think though.

One major factor is the cost of living vs the popularity of hubs.
If your going to live near a hub your cost of living is going to increase massively. The way to avoid this is to move your business online and become more flexible in your living arrangements. This leads me towards the mobile living movement.

There is a huge move towards mobile living. Under 25's find that they cannot even afford to rent out a flat on their meager earnings so what they are doing is converting Vans into Motor-homes. This allows them to move freely from hub to hub and save more & spend less.

This also increases a young persons horizons and energy for work. If we look back on how we spent our 20's wouldn't it be better if everyday could do something different instead of some cookie cutter grind to level 364 (364 days per year).

The other alternative is just move into a really cheap area like South Wales, Lincolnshire or Cumbria and aim your products & services at a international market.

University isn't the answer to life problems as politicians say it is. The middle class dream is nothing but a illusion. Majority of us are forced back into education because of redundancy or career fatigue. I think the future will be about setting ourselves free from our burdens which bond us into our own form of wage slavery.

There is no doubt there are some creative people such as a the original poster but in a capitalist world that creativity means nothing unless you can find a market which wants your products or services.

Taking courses is a good idea but if they get you into huge debt then maybe not.
0
reply
Cartagena
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#11
Report 4 years ago
#11
(Original post by Lashton)

Now, I am in the third year of my English Literature degree, I will graduate in July and I have already managed to find a graduate job which I will start in September.
That is a very positive outcome - well done

Sorry to hijack the thread, but can I ask what field of employment you have secured the job in?
From what I've read, it can be difficult finding employment as an English graduate, but you seem to have bucked the trend, which is great.

Returning to the original topic of discussion; There have been some really interesting pieces of advice dispensed in this thread. I don't really have anything else to add to it, except that should you manage to secure funding, carefully consider the advantages of returning to education, and don't necessarily consider it some form of Panacea. I thought that escaping to a new place for a fresh start at University would be wonderfully fulfilling and would help me reinstate a more positive frame of mind. Hasn't really worked out like that :indiff: but I am still figuring things out, so my experiences won't necessarily reflect yours.

One things that frustrates me, is that due to the constantly shifting nature of threads, big questions are asked, but we very rarely get to hear whether our advice has been acted upon, what decisions were eventually made, whether funding was secured etc etc..it's frustrating!
0
reply
Lashton
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#12
Report 4 years ago
#12
(Original post by Cartagena)
That is a very positive outcome - well done

Sorry to hijack the thread, but can I ask what field of employment you have secured the job in?
From what I've read, it can be difficult finding employment as an English graduate, but you seem to have bucked the trend, which is great.

Returning to the original topic of discussion; There have been some really interesting pieces of advice dispensed in this thread. I don't really have anything else to add to it, except that should you manage to secure funding, carefully consider the advantages of returning to education, and don't necessarily consider it some form of Panacea. I thought that escaping to a new place for a fresh start at University would be wonderfully fulfilling and would help me reinstate a more positive frame of mind. Hasn't really worked out like that :indiff: but I am still figuring things out, so my experiences won't necessarily reflect yours.

One things that frustrates me, is that due to the constantly shifting nature of threads, big questions are asked, but we very rarely get to hear whether our advice has been acted upon, what decisions were eventually made, whether funding was secured etc etc..it's frustrating!
Thanks Cartagena,

I have been given a place on the Teach First Leadership Development Program. It is a hard job and doesn't pay amazingly well, but it is my dream job so I am happy It was quite hard to get onto but I have made the most of university careers workshops and luckily these helped me with the application process. I think my previous work experience helped me out too, a lot of students have not got the same level of experience that I do. It took me a long time to get to this point but it was worth it!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts

All the exam results help you need

803

people online now

225,530

students helped last year

University open days

  • University of Dundee
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Mon, 26 Aug '19
  • University of Aberdeen
    General Open Day Undergraduate
    Tue, 27 Aug '19
  • Norwich University of the Arts
    Postgraduate (MA) Open Day Postgraduate
    Sat, 31 Aug '19

Do you have grade requirements for your sixth form/college?

At least 5 GCSEs at grade 4 (65)
14.41%
At least 5 GCSEs at grade 5 (70)
15.52%
At least 5 GCSEs at grade 6 (86)
19.07%
Higher than 5 GCSEs at grade 6 (181)
40.13%
Pass in English and Maths GCSE (21)
4.66%
No particular grades needed (28)
6.21%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise