I'm having serious doubts about going to university Watch

Anonymous #1
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Hi.

I'm 26 and scheduled to start university in a few months time. But I have some serious doubts and issues.

I'm going to study an arts degree. I will be moving out of my parent's home (for the first time), supporting myself on part time jobs and student loans.

I really don't think it's a good idea.

I'm not saying I'm too old to get a degree, but I'm definitely too old to do the whole "spending three years being relatively idle, living off loans and moving out of home for the first time" thing, right?

I feel like that's for teenagers. I certainly have the development level of a teenager, but it's just embarrassing to actively pursue a teenage life engaging in bourgeois art **** that makes no difference to the world.

A man of my age should be out there in the real world and squeezing every drop out of it, facing the cold hard reality of life. I should continue doing my current **** job and find salvation elsewhere, and finally grow up.

I feel like people will see my age and expect some level of maturity and life experience, but I don't have much.

Further to this, I'm not sure if I can even relate to young people anymore. I only really get along with people my age, who have also been crushed by the weight of life. I feel like I'm gonna be an odd-ball and be very isolated. Don't wanna be that weird old guy desperately trying to be down with the kidz.

I think people I know think it's very immature of me to be doing this. Maybe I'm just trying to make up for the fact that I didn't have this experience at the more appropriate age of 18-21, and unwilling to accept that the time has passed.

I dunno, I guess I'm writing this because I'm really having some serious existential doubts relating to my decision. Don't really have anyone to talk to about this.

Any feedback will be appreciated.
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Salostar
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First off, congratulations!

There's nothing wrong with going to university for the first time at 26, hell I was 26 when I first went! Everyone matures at a different level, and to be honest given the number of 18/19 years old I knew who went because they didn't know what to do/it was expected of them to and who half-arsed it, that's not a bad thing. And to be honest, most people won't care about your age, and if you are that worried you'll likely find a group of a similar age to hang out with.

You'll also be studying an arts degree, from the arts students I met (including my now wife!) idle time will be the least of your worries! (Seriously, my wife spent more time on a single piece of artwork than I did for an essay!)
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SarcAndSpark
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When you applied, what did you hope to get out of your degree?

Any degree, regardless of subject, can often increase your employability, or prospects of progression within a job. Equally, learning for learning's sake is a great thing!

You've got to move out at some point, and this will be a great opportunity. It's never too late to get life experience!

Not everyone on your degree will be 18, and there will be people of all ages at your uni. If you don't want to hang out with teenagers, then you can actively pursue societies or other opportunities that will lead you to socialising with people closer to your own age. Equally, age really is just a number- I recently went back to uni to do a PGCE, and there were people of all ages on it, from 21 just leaving uni, to middle aged career changers, and I made friends of all ages, so don't write people off.

There must have been a reason you wanted to do this in the first place- so think back to that and don't let others put you off. Equally, you are allowed to change your mind- so if you want to change your mind about this, you can.
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Anonymous #1
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Thank you for the replies!



(Original post by Salostar)
First off, congratulations!

There's nothing wrong with going to university for the first time at 26, hell I was 26 when I first went! Everyone matures at a different level, and to be honest given the number of 18/19 years old I knew who went because they didn't know what to do/it was expected of them to and who half-arsed it, that's not a bad thing. And to be honest, most people won't care about your age, and if you are that worried you'll likely find a group of a similar age to hang out with.

You'll also be studying an arts degree, from the arts students I met (including my now wife!) idle time will be the least of your worries! (Seriously, my wife spent more time on a single piece of artwork than I did for an essay!)

I do feel like I have a perspective that younger people don't have tbf, so maybe I'm underselling my maturity a little. I too went to university for one year because of "what else am I going to do?" and learned from that experience. I know that what I am doing is something I actively want to do and have worked towards. I suppose I just wish I came to that realisation and adapted the work ethic I needed a few years ago! I guess it's just a matter of not beating myself up over it.

Also think that having realised how hard life can really be, how hard it is to really make money and find fulfillment, and my experience working soul-crushing jobs has made me realise what I really want from life - I didn't have that at 18. Didn't even have it at 23! So I guess I'm in a better position now, having really thought about things and really thought about this decision and what it means.

Yeah, from what I understand I will be very stimulated and involved! So that's good.

(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
When you applied, what did you hope to get out of your degree?

Any degree, regardless of subject, can often increase your employability, or prospects of progression within a job. Equally, learning for learning's sake is a great thing!

You've got to move out at some point, and this will be a great opportunity. It's never too late to get life experience!

Not everyone on your degree will be 18, and there will be people of all ages at your uni. If you don't want to hang out with teenagers, then you can actively pursue societies or other opportunities that will lead you to socialising with people closer to your own age. Equally, age really is just a number- I recently went back to uni to do a PGCE, and there were people of all ages on it, from 21 just leaving uni, to middle aged career changers, and I made friends of all ages, so don't write people off.

There must have been a reason you wanted to do this in the first place- so think back to that and don't let others put you off. Equally, you are allowed to change your mind- so if you want to change your mind about this, you can.
When I applied, I wanted a radical change in vocation and to just really have a go at something I'm interested in and live the life I always wanted?

I'm pretty confident that obtaining the degree will lead to a job related to the course (provided I put the effort in) and even it doesn't, it's pretty vocational with lots of transferable skills (in an actual, real way and less a "CV cover letter and I need to say something" way haha) so that wasn't anything I was particularly worried about, thankfully!

Not trying to write people off, don't get me wrong - I'm actually thinking that the more artsy types will be on my level, have the same interests etc. as it is a kinda specialist course. Plus, even if we don't get along you're right that I can just find people my age!

I guess age really is just a number, and I don't try and think about it too much, but I do feel a bit insecure!

Yeah, I'll definitely have to have another really big think - I do remember why I wanted to do it in the first place, I just get consumed by nagging doubts and insecurities sometimes!

Thank you both for your insight!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you for the replies!








When I applied, I wanted a radical change in vocation and to just really have a go at something I'm interested in and live the life I always wanted?

I'm pretty confident that obtaining the degree will lead to a job related to the course (provided I put the effort in) and even it doesn't, it's pretty vocational with lots of transferable skills (in an actual, real way and less a "CV cover letter and I need to say something" way haha) so that wasn't anything I was particularly worried about, thankfully!

Not trying to write people off, don't get me wrong - I'm actually thinking that the more artsy types will be on my level, have the same interests etc. as it is a kinda specialist course. Plus, even if we don't get along you're right that I can just find people my age!

I guess age really is just a number, and I don't try and think about it too much, but I do feel a bit insecure!

Yeah, I'll definitely have to have another really big think - I do remember why I wanted to do it in the first place, I just get consumed by nagging doubts and insecurities sometimes!

Thank you both for your insight!
If you think your degree will be really beneficial to your career in the long run, then surely that on its own will be a reason to do it? You'll graduate at 29- with still about 40 years to go in the workforce.

It's going to be easier to do this now, than when you're older with potentially family commitments and lots of bills to pay. Also, right now, due to the demographics of the UK and the way higher education works, getting an offer is probably the easiest it's ever been. If you don't do this now, it may not be so easy to come back in a few years time.

It's totally normal to have doubts at this stage- most offer holders will be having doubts about now because it's starting to get real, and your choice of degree is a big thing to get right.
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ThatSameCraig20
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I started uni at 24, doing a foundation year at one uni before moving to a different uni for my proper degree last year at 25. About to go into my 2nd year at 26.

Uni in your mid-20s is fine. I admit that I had similar fears about being a bit older than the average student, but it's honestly not a problem unless you make it a problem. I've hung around with people of pretty much all ages so far. You'd be surprised at how easily you can get on with some 18-19-year-olds. A lot of them are a lot more intelligent and self-aware than we were at that age.

I was working a horrible 9-5 office job before I went to uni, and I'm so much happier now - doing creative things again, meeting new people, and creating new opportunities for myself.
Sure, at 26, I'd much rather be working and living in my own apartment etc. but if I was to do that right now, it'd be a much worse job with much worse pay, and a much worse apartment than it will be in a few years time when I have a degree and a wealth of new opportunity as a result.

Also, you don't have to spend your time at uni "being idle". You can use your slightly older age to your advantage and make the most of your time there - instead of spending every day recovering from hangovers and playing Fortnite in your pjs like a lot of naive teens do.

It was seriously the best decision I could have made in my mid-twenties.
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