Any mature students who later regretted their decision?

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Philip-flop
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As the title suggests. Is there anyone out there who opted for a career change by studying for an undergraduate degree and later regretted their decision?

I'm wondering whether going to university as a mature student would be the right thing to do for a career change. What if I hate my new career after investing all of that time? Is there anyone in their mid to late twenties who is worried about their future if they stick at a career that they hate? How do people go their whole lives in a career they detest?
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OhYesOhYes
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
As the title suggests. Is there anyone out there who opted for a career change by studying for an undergraduate degree and later regretted their decision?

I'm wondering whether going to university as a mature student would be the right thing to do for a career change. What if I hate my new career after investing all of that time? Is there anyone in their mid to late twenties who is worried about their future if they stick at a career that they hate? How do people go their whole lives in a career they detest?
I’m in the same situation pal! I’m 23, I’ve tried a couple of careers and have been miserable in all of them, I feel like my life isn’t going anywhere so I’ve applied for a degree 20201 but my worry is doing a degree and going for another career and end up hating that!
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by OhYesOhYes)
I’m in the same situation pal! I’m 23, I’ve tried a couple of careers and have been miserable in all of them, I feel like my life isn’t going anywhere so I’ve applied for a degree 20201 but my worry is doing a degree and going for another career and end up hating that!
It's worse when you're 28 have a "good" career and good pay but hate everything about it. At least you're still young enough to make mistakes. I assume you don't have many responsibilities either. I say you should go for it. The feeling of wanting to go to university never wears off.
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Kiraz
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I did regret taking the open uni route as first. I had one more year to finish my open degree with biology being the main subject and left after some student at the open university telling me that I will never be equal to her with her having extensive lab training in a brick university. I had 300 credits and applied for jobs telling them I had virtual lab experience but didn't even get interviews. I left and started with a brick uni but then I am now a lot older. I wish, I did start with an access course, then went to where I am now. I spent/wasted 6 years of my life with open university. Paid it all myself too working full time. Biology degree with open uni is for People who already works in the area. I wish somebody told me this at the start.
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by Kiraz)
I did regret taking the open uni route as first. I had one more year to finish my open degree with biology being the main subject and left after some student at the open university telling me that I will never be equal to her with her having extensive lab training in a brick university. I had 300 credits and applied for jobs telling them I had virtual lab experience but didn't even get interviews. I left and started with a brick uni but then I am now a lot older. I wish, I did start with an access course, then went to where I am now. I spent/wasted 6 years of my life with open university. Paid it all myself too working full time. Biology degree with open uni is for People who already works in the area. I wish somebody told me this at the start.
You live and learn I guess. But never see it as wasted time - they say one closed door leads to many more opportunities. The fact that you managed to study for a degree with a full time job is incredible. You would have learnt so much about yourself and what study/revision techniques work best for you this making your brick uni course that much easier.

Can I ask how old you are now?
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Rainpo
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I’m not the oldest mature student but absolutely. Only a half term into an access course and I already feel like my dedication to it has degenerated the overall quality of my life.

The hobbies I had been making money from (digital art and antique restoration) I’ve had to give up, I’ve left my job and I can’t socialise online anymore. I wasn’t exactly at the peak of success or on my way there but I had time for my best friend (who lives in California right now) and hobbies, while maintaining a steady income for myself.

I can only imagine how I’m going to feel after four more years at a higher and more demanding level

Really afraid I’m putting a lot of money, time and effort into losing touch with my hobbies and a longtime friend just to come out miserable at the end of it.

British pessimism maybe?
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Kiraz
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
You live and learn I guess. But never see it as wasted time - they say one closed door leads to many more opportunities. The fact that you managed to study for a degree with a full time job is incredible. You would have learnt so much about yourself and what study/revision techniques work best for you this making your brick uni course that much easier.

Can I ask how old you are now?
I was 32 when started with Open University. One of my professor asked me my age when we were chatting about what I could do next. He nearly fell off his chair. I am not telling my age another soul 😂
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Dee-Emma
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(Original post by Rainpo)
I’m not the oldest mature student but absolutely. Only a half term into an access course and I already feel like my dedication to it has degenerated the overall quality of my life.

The hobbies I had been making money from (digital art and antique restoration) I’ve had to give up, I’ve left my job and I can’t socialise online anymore. I wasn’t exactly at the peak of success or on my way there but I had time for my best friend (who lives in California right now) and hobbies, while maintaining a steady income for myself.

I can only imagine how I’m going to feel after four more years at a higher and more demanding level

Really afraid I’m putting a lot of money, time and effort into losing touch with my hobbies and a longtime friend just to come out miserable at the end of it.

British pessimism maybe?
That sounds like a pretty intense access course. I'm amazed it's impacting that much on your life. What subject?
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StriderHort
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I jumped career from admin/finance into horticulture when i was 30ish, I didn't go straight to uni, but i worked maybe 2 years in a few low level temp/volunteer roles (grass/hedge cutting mostly) so i already knew i liked what i was now doing and exactly when/why i would need to go back to college for more skill (Ie if I want any decent permanent/supervisory role.

I did 2 years at college (C&G/HNC) and was offered a place through in Edinburgh for the HND/Bsc.... THIS was maybe when I regret not stopping, I already had the skills and qualifications I wanted but decided to push myself to Edinburgh as it was likely the only chance id get. It ended up taking me 3 years to finish that 1 damn HND year, commuting was a nightmare (5-6 hours), money was very tight (savings had mostly gone at college) everything was stressful. Looking at the HND I ended up with, I don't think it was worth it for me, that whole experience has taken years off my health. By the time i realised this i'd already finished 97% of the qualification

I probably wouldn't make the same choice again, I don't fully regret it, but i can see it for the questionable choice it was in the end. (I'm on deferral this year, ill see how i feel about finishing the Bsc next year)
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OhYesOhYes
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
It's worse when you're 28 have a "good" career and good pay but hate everything about it. At least you're still young enough to make mistakes. I assume you don't have many responsibilities either. I say you should go for it. The feeling of wanting to go to university never wears off.
In all fairness I see where you’re coming from, but your assumption would be incorrect. I’ve been independent for years and have just left the Prison Service. That’s the main thing that worries me to be fair, the financial aspect. At the moment I’m getting a salary and it’s paying the bills, I’m not sure what I’d do when I’d be on unpaid placements that come with the degree🤔 but I agree with you on the feeling never going, since I decided not to go when I was in school every year I’ve thought about applying!
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Rainpo
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(Original post by Dee-Emma)
That sounds like a pretty intense access course. I'm amazed it's impacting that much on your life. What subject?
Biomedical science. It’s not too intense but the home learning is just imposing on our ability to get through the material to a substantial level, and the independent follow up takes twice as long than it would if we could cover it in a physical class.

It also doesn’t help that I still have to work 14 hours a week at a deli because my rent can’t pay itself (though it’d be nice if it would... :mad:).

Leaving my last job was because they wouldn’t reduce my hours (I was a bartender and they preferred full-timers over part-timers) and it didn’t really work since I mostly did afternoon to evening/early morning shifts. But that was how I could keep in contact with my best friend because I was living on a PST schedule.

It might improve after this term but, even to now, we’ve had five assignments which we just can’t get timely feedback on and take a long time to breakdown because picking up on the information we need is a lot harder when battling with the tutors’ internet or Microsoft Teams is having a breakdown.

So... If I’m not in an online class, studying for our tests or working, I’m usually writing for the assignments. That doesn’t leave the additional ten hours or so I’d have used a week to make a turnover taking freelance commissions.
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by OhYesOhYes)
In all fairness I see where you’re coming from, but your assumption would be incorrect. I’ve been independent for years and have just left the Prison Service. That’s the main thing that worries me to be fair, the financial aspect. At the moment I’m getting a salary and it’s paying the bills, I’m not sure what I’d do when I’d be on unpaid placements that come with the degree🤔 but I agree with you on the feeling never going, since I decided not to go when I was in school every year I’ve thought about applying!
Sorry I should have clarified what responsibilities are as it differs dramatically from independence. Things categorised as responsibilities are kids, mortgage, wife/OH and other dependents. Whereas independence is almost the complete opposite - it is merely being non-reliant on others.

Yes the financial side sounds like it would be a huge struggle. Will be strange working part time!
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marinade
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
As the title suggests. Is there anyone out there who opted for a career change by studying for an undergraduate degree and later regretted their decision?

I'm wondering whether going to university as a mature student would be the right thing to do for a career change. What if I hate my new career after investing all of that time? Is there anyone in their mid to late twenties who is worried about their future if they stick at a career that they hate? How do people go their whole lives in a career they detest?
It would be the same in many jobs without the degree.

The frustrating bit is starting again and it feeling like the references/experience/kudos has gone up in smoke and you're back at square one. But this is the case for so many people in theirs 20s/30s, but there's no mental gymnastics about a degree on top.
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by marinade)
It would be the same in many jobs without the degree.
I don't completely understand what you mean by this? What part are you referring to? What would be the same?
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DriftersBuddy
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I for one regret doing my business degree, I pretty much lost interest during my second year but I felt I had to get to the end anyways and I did come out with a 2:2 which isn’t too bad. There is a masters course I’ll be applying to which allows me to study CompSci which originally is my passion but I never really went through with it post GCSEs.

One thing I do want to say is just do research into anything you like and find a path towards it. It’s not all about going to uni, you have alternatives too.
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marinade
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
I don't completely understand what you mean by this? What part are you referring to? What would be the same?
Changing 'careers' at 25/28/30/33/35 and questioning whether it was worth it. Regretting it or thinking about will they regret it.

87% of the population don't like their job.
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Philip-flop
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(Original post by marinade)
Changing 'careers' at 25/28/30/33/35 and questioning whether it was worth it. Regretting it or thinking about will they regret it.

87% of the population don't like their job.
Yeah that's true. There are more people who dislike their job than those who are doing something they enjoy for a living.
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marinade
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
Yeah that's true. There are more people who dislike their job than those who are doing something they enjoy for a living.
I see you started a thread 9 months ago along a similar line. I don't know whether you still intend to do optometry or radiography or whatever is it, but regret can come from many different angles. I wondered what it was you thought it might come about, whether it was burnout, loneliness, not 'fitting in', not what you expected?
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Keele University
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(Original post by Philip-flop)
As the title suggests. Is there anyone out there who opted for a career change by studying for an undergraduate degree and later regretted their decision?

I'm wondering whether going to university as a mature student would be the right thing to do for a career change. What if I hate my new career after investing all of that time? Is there anyone in their mid to late twenties who is worried about their future if they stick at a career that they hate? How do people go their whole lives in a career they detest?
Hi Philip-flop!

I returned to university to study my MA in my early thirties and I can honestly say it was one of the best choices I ever made. I'd reached a point in my career where I enjoyed my job but didn't want to move onto the next rung of the ladder - and didn't really want to stay where I was for another 30-40 years.

I figured that going back to study would allow me to investigate another avenue of interest and answer a 'what if' that I'd always had about a different career path (academia). And as my course was only a year, I could always return to my previous industry/career if I didn't like my studies and I would only have had the one year out. As it turned out, I loved studying and by the end of the year, I knew academia was where I wanted to be - now I'm in the second year of my PhD and, whilst I do sometimes miss the income of my old career, I wouldn't change a thing!

Obviously with undergraduate it's a bit different as you're making a three year commitment but I think you realise pretty quickly whether a course of study is right for you. Trying something and deciding to change path is often seen as 'failing' but, in my experience, you'll undoubtedly learn something through having that experience - working out why something isn't right for you is often as useful as doing something you really love and enjoy I find.

That said, going to uni, especially as a mature student, is a big commitment - both emotionally and financially. So you could maybe consider doing a short course or free to access course related to the subject you're interested in to see if you enjoy that kind of study and 'test the waters' without making that three-year commitment? The Open University have a fantastic range of free sample short courses/modules at https://www.open.edu/openlearn/, for example. Or possibly you could opt to start your degree course part-time (or full-time with some casual work) to continue in your existing career in some capacity? During my MA, I worked part-time for my old employers to 'keep my hand in' just in case - it was a useful extra source of income too. Foundation Year courses can also be helpful to consider - especially if you're re-training in a new field of study - as they are often designed specifically for students returning to study, or to help those changing disciplines.

Hope that helps!

Amy
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marinade
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(Original post by Keele University)
Obviously with undergraduate it's a bit different as you're making a three year commitment but I think you realise pretty quickly whether a course of study is right for you. Trying something and deciding to change path is often seen as 'failing' but, in my experience, you'll undoubtedly learn something through having that experience - working out why something isn't right for you is often as useful as doing something you really love and enjoy I find.
I don't think that's true for large bits of the population at all. If someone is very smart and understimulated and the right mix of magic happens when they get on a course I think it can be exhilarating to some and it's nice to see. For most other people it's very much in the middle and often difficult to distinguish 'life' problems from university/course suitability problems. If it were the case TSR basically wouldn't exist. There are too many 'it worked out for me' type people around.

I agree with the rest of your post though.
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