Back to School as a 40-Something

by Angela Macgilivray
Student, East Chicago 

As a 40-something returning to school, I admit to being a bit nervous. It’s been over 20 years since I took a class. Will I remember how to study? How will I find the time?

angela-macgilivrayI am married and work full-time. I have family obligations. I signed up for classes back in April and I have been excited ever since. I guess you would compare it to a kid at Christmas. The anticipation of something fun, something you are looking forward to. But as I sit here the evening before my class starts I feel more nervous than excited.

I have long regretted so many decisions that I made about my education when I was younger. I got my GED rather than graduate. I have wished many times that I had gone away to college.

Instead, I went to community college but I didn’t take it seriously. After only one year I quit.

I entered the working world and have been job-hopping ever since. I definitely never fulfilled my potential. Now that I am older I truly feel that I am ready to work hard and commit to my education and myself. I feel that going to school now will be so much different, and better, because it is choice I am making for myself. Not something that I feel I ‘have’ to do or that I am ‘supposed’ to do.

So, I went all out. I got new notebooks and pencils, folders and binders. I have everything in a messenger bag, ready to go. I just have to pick it up and out the door I go. I am determined to be the very best student I can be. I can learn from those students that are younger and I’m sure I have experience that I can share with them too.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new adventure, a whole new chapter in my life. Age is just a number and you are never too old to follow your dreams.


3 thoughts on “Back to School as a 40-Something

  1. I understand how you were feeling. I started at Ivy Tech in the fall at 61 years old after being out of school since 1973! I too made some bad choices in my life and wanted to accomplish SOMETHING! You should be proud of yourself.
    Hang in there and remember there is people you can turn to at the school if you need help with your classes. Good luck!

    Terri Basden


  2. That is awesome! I hope your semester is going well so far. You can do this! Some days will be tough, but never forget your “why.” Come back and read this blog post when you feel discouraged. Reach out to your advisors and instructors along the way! I believe in you and I am so excited to read the blog post you write about what it is like to walk across the stage at graduation!


  3. Congrats to you and best wishes for a successful new adventure. I also am 40ish and will be going to school for the first time at Ivy Tech Lawrenceburg this fall.


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