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Learning New Things Later In Life

Updated on February 26, 2016

Returning to school

Mid-life. Close to 50 years old.

Is it wise to decide to go to graduate school at this age? A good 20 years left in my career, given the possibility of retirement continues to get pushed back. How much time each week will it take to get a Master's Degree? Is it worth it to give up time that could be spent with grandchildren, learning to play an instrument - or traveling?

How does one find the answer to this dilemma?

The pros - it can lead to job security, more money, a "desk" job (age does start to influence the body's ability to lift, move patients and hustle up and down the halls).

The negatives - the time involved, the cost - or incurrence of more student loans.

Does the older brain learn much slower than the young brains? Does the years of on the job experience enhance the learning ability?

All angles considered, returning for the advanced degree makes sense. Online universities offer great flexibility. The degree is scheduled to take two years to complete, but can be done in less time.

So my conclusion is for potential students to research the fields available in their field of interest, commit to one, and just do it. Go fast or slow, it's up to your schedule. I have chosen Western Governor's University, the Master's Degree in Nursing Management program.

My remaining concerns are scheduling time with the grandchildren, time with husband, and ensuing that I continue to pursue other interest such as writing and learning to play the sax.

I am aware that this is a short entry, but I'd love some feed back on how other's perceive this or how you did it.


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      Robert E Smith 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

      I am someone that found out a while after school that I have learning disabilities, thus explaining why school was so incredibly difficult for me. At one time I thought to become a counselor or therapist and gathered knowledge on the human mind and rational thinking but it was not to be. So beyond high school I went to Bible college. I took my time in that too. I came away from that with a mediocre skill in writing, an inquisitive mind, and a sense of who I am. Now I'm retired and as I reflect back on my "could-ahs and should-ahs," I think I have accomplished a lot. With that little realization, I even have begun to branch out and try other things like playing music (which I never thought I could so I never even gave it a try). It is a short entry but it was enough to get me thinking and talking. Hope it does other people too and you can always add on to it as the idea takes further shape in your mind. God bless, Bob.