Too Old for School?

Dear Marie:

Thank you in advance for answering my question. I have been divorced for 3 years and I'm thinking about going back to school. It has always been my dream to have a college education but I never seemed to be able to make it happen. I married young and started having kids right away. Now I'm divorced and the kids are done with school and out on their own. I think it's my turn to do what I want.

As usual, my ex‐husband is saying I'm too old to go to school. My friends tell me to go for it. I turn 50 in a month. What do you think? Am I too old?

--Back to School in Colorado


Dear Back to School:

You're never too old to go back to school. This is the perfect time. Your kids are gone and you're not in a relationship. You'll have time to dedicate to your studies. Based on your letter, going to college has been your long-term dream. A dream is not to be taken lightly or thrown away because someone else thinks you can’t do it. This is a 'Bucket List' dream – something you want to do before you die. I applaud you for wanting to follow through with it.


Go forward with your dream. You'll accomplish something wonderful. Attending college will not only help you learn new skills, you'll also boost your self-esteem in the process.


Think about this -- my favorite OBGYN doctor went to medical school after her kids were adults. She once said she always dreamed of becoming a doctor but knew she had to wait until the kids were raised. She was in her 40's and going to school with students who were not much older than her own children.


After medical school, she needed even more training to become a gynecologist. By the time I became her patient, she was in her mid 50’s. She was considered one of the best doctors in the city. Beginning this journey later in life gave her a deeper sense of compassion for her clients. She had a deeper commitment because it was a dream fulfilled. She also had more life experience to draw upon than the younger doctors.


Twenty or 30 years from now you don’t want to look back over your life and see this dream unfulfilled.


Do it now!