Congratulations! Returning to school is tough overall. Compound this with everyday lives of students who have kids and jobs and you have full havoc on your hands. The pros outweigh the cons when you are 40, and returning to school. I want to list the pros first because I think they prove motivating to be motivating factors when contemplating going back to school at 40.
Pros of going back to school at 40
1. Completing your degree can help you professionally.
2. Even though, you are 40 and will be considered outdated by your younger future classmates, you are bringing something to the arena of academia which they cannot. WORK EXPERIENCE! Your experiences will help tremendously, especially if you want to be a Business major.
3. At 40 years of age, you prove wise. You will find that you contain patience and more of an eagerness to learn. You will find that you will be more zealous in completing homework as well as asking for help from the instructors if needed.
4. If you have a family and career, you already have the time-management skills, which will help tremendously while attending college.
5. You will find the initiative of pleasing your family while improving the life of your family can be a motivational factor. When others give up, you will know that failure is not an option.
6. You will not have the difficulty of obtaining a social life through the college. You already have family and friends. You will be able to concentrate fully on the academic tasks before you.
7. You will be able to relate to your instructors because you more than likely will be the same age or older.
8. Your confidence will rise to the mountaintops and why would it not? Upon graduating with your college degree, you will have the pleasure of knowing you obtained this tremendous achievement while raising children and maintaining your personal life.
9. You will show everyone around you that you are a “go-getter”.
10. You will be a fantastic model for your children and family.
Cons of going back to school at 40:
1. You will feel alienated at first because let us face facts here; you are older than most everyone in your classes, especially if you are attending day classes at your college.
2. You will have to juggle your college classes along with your already busy life.
3. Your boss at your current job may not be supportive of your college schedule. If this happens, you might find yourself switching jobs that will prove supportive or leaving the workforce altogether, at least until you finish school. This could quite possibly create a financial hardship on your family.
4. You will find your energy level not as it used to be when you were younger. Younger students do not have children to take care of, a house to clean, a job to work, and they do not have the daily tasks that you have. I would recommend energy drinks while increasing your daily exercise; of course, you will have to find time to fit in working out in a gym or more walks during the day.
5. If you have children and are a single parent, you will have to make accommodations for your children while at school.
6. You might have to complete an internship for your degree program before you graduate college. This can be a nightmare, especially if you already work. Imagine having to work your regular job to help support your family plus a non-paid internship. More times to none if you are already working a job, the college might waive the internship because let us face it; you already have work experience at 40 years of age. Make sure you ask your academic counselor about this.
7. If you are a parent, you are going to miss things with your children. Most students at 40 years of age are forced to go to school at night. This will eliminate momentous time with your children at night and bedtime.
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons of going back to school when you are 40 years of age. The best advice I can give anyone attempting this monumental feat is to never give up. It becomes quite desirable to give up when you are tired from your long day of work, dealing with your children, and knowing you have to sit in class for 3 hours at night.
You must focus on the future. What is a year or so of your life in sacrificing when you will be benefitting immensely from your sacrifice with a better financial future? Hang in there and keep reaching for your goals. You will find that at 40 years of age, you will appreciate the sacrifices and opportunities presented to you more than your younger classmates. You will eventually be able to look back on this ordeal as a huge milestone in not only your own life but also that of your family. Your family is depending on you and you cannot let them down. Keep going and good luck!