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Am I mad? PG study in my 50s

(99 Posts)
NannaBanana Wed 21-Mar-18 11:44:32

I’m attending a postgraduate open evening today. I’ve always enjoyed using my brain, and there is a course that really appeals to me. If it went well, there are strong indications it could be extended to a PhD. But I am old (late 50s). Am I deluding myself? Has anyone else here started a university course in their 50s or 60s? I’d love to hear your experience.

stella1949 Wed 21-Mar-18 11:46:18

Certainly you should do it . You often see quite elderly people in their mortar boards and gowns getting their degree late in life. In your 50's you're still a spring chicken !

goldengirl Wed 21-Mar-18 12:04:36

I did a Masters in my 50s and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Go for it!!!

whitewave Wed 21-Mar-18 12:16:52

Yes I’ve done a second degree and a masters in my mature years - thoroughly enjoyed them both. Not doing anything at the moment though

NannaBanana Wed 21-Mar-18 12:26:04

Oh, thank you for the replies. Is there anything you wish you knew before you started? Anything that I should be sure to ask tonight?

Jane10 Wed 21-Mar-18 13:08:51

I did a doctorate in my 50s. Go for it. There was a slogan written on the wall of the cafeteria at the uni which read 'education is about making the mind an interesting place to live'.
It certainly is.

GrandmaMoira Wed 21-Mar-18 13:16:45

I'm in my 60s and doing an Open University degree which I started when I retired.

eazybee Wed 21-Mar-18 13:17:14

Do it. I am doing a first degree, much older than you, and loving it .
Ask about the level of lectures and tutor support, as the universities seem to be cutting back drastically in that department and aiming at far more online contact.

NannaBanana Wed 21-Mar-18 13:38:01

Thank you eazybee, I will bear that in mind.

Eglantine21 Wed 21-Mar-18 14:13:39

At least you'll have something interesting to talk about with your friends - not just what the the grandchildrens are doing 🙊

J52 Wed 21-Mar-18 14:32:12

When I retired after a professional career involving a first degree and masters, I did a 3 year post graduate degree in something completely different.
The subject had been a hobby for many years and was a real sea change from my previous occupation.

Teetime Wed 21-Mar-18 15:39:38

Absolutely never to late to learn and enjoy - I'm a life long student myself.

M0nica Wed 21-Mar-18 16:37:48

So many people do MA degrees when they retire that some universities actually tailor some of their courses to suit.

When I went back to uni, in my mid-50s DS was quite dismissive of one course I was thinking of doing, saying it was known as the 'retirement special'. In the course I did, I was the only one over 25 and we all worked together very well, including going on field trips, and staying in Youth Hostels.

PamSJ1 Wed 21-Mar-18 21:47:53

I studied with the OU for my degree in my 40s. My dad started studying with the OU in his 60s having seen how much I enjoyed it. We both had our graduation on the same day. I was 49 and my dad 72. He left school at 15 with no qualifications and went into an apprenticeship. Studying gave him a new way of looking at things. It's never too late.

Luckygirl Wed 21-Mar-18 21:52:44

I retrained when I was 50 and had a wonderful second career which was a joy.

Marydoll Wed 21-Mar-18 22:22:21

When I was in my late fifties, I applied for funding to study at the university of Lyons. To my utter surprise, I got the funding.
Standing in Schiphol airport, waiting for my connecting flight, I panicked, thinking I was too old to be doing this.
In fact I had a fantastic time and would do it again in a heartbeat. You are never too old. Go for it, NannaBanana

Humbertbear Wed 21-Mar-18 22:57:40

I went to uni in my 30s when I had two young children. I did my Masters soon after graduating and achieved a PhD at the age of 50. When I talked about studying for a PhD my husband said ‘you do realise you will be 50 when you get it’ to which I replied ‘ I’ll be 50 anyway so I might as well do it.’
Go for it, NannaBanana. I hope it went well this evening and you probably found , as I did , that students come in all ages now and that the younger ones can be quite friendly. Wishing you success with your studies.

Grandma70s Thu 22-Mar-18 06:07:32

My closest friend has a degree in physics from a Russell Group university, but had always felt she did the wrong subject. She is much more interested in the arts, so in her sixties she joined the Open University to do an arts degree. She got a First! You are not too old.

margrete Thu 22-Mar-18 10:06:28

No, you are not too old. I remember a student midwife I taught who was in her 50s. My stepdaughter-in-law did an advanced nursing degree about 5 years before she retired. I read of a woman in her 80s who learned Russian because she wanted to read Pushkin in the original. And my daughter did a Classics degree when she was 50+, that included learning Ancient Greek (she already speaks modern Greek). Me, I'm 80+ and have learned German, now going to French update classes. I don't think you are EVER too old. BTW I'm now trying to get to grips with a smartphone.

DeeWBW Thu 22-Mar-18 10:06:56

I'm sixty five and still enjoying education. For some people, the need to learn more never goes away.

Skweek1 Thu 22-Mar-18 10:09:23

Certainly never too old; I took my OU degree in Pure Maths and Computing (with a music course thrown in for fun!) and loved every minute - especially as I met DH at summer school. I'm hoping at some stage that I'll be able to take a second degree in German and Spanish, but at present finances won't allow, so do lots of on-line free courses. Keeping the grey matter active is supposed to help avert dementia, so let's hope! Go with it and enjoy.

Hellsgrandad Thu 22-Mar-18 10:13:09

Go for it Nannabanana. I was a bus driver and started study when I retired at 65. Now, at 82 I work part time as a tutor associate at a university and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.

varian Thu 22-Mar-18 10:15:41

This is a very unusual thread . NannaBanana asked for advice and absolutely everyone has given the same advice. No differences of opinion at all!

Go for it!

Houseseller Thu 22-Mar-18 10:19:26

Go for it best thing you could do. I started the Open University in my late 40's having been told by a friend that if they had received my application they would have thrown it in the bin. That made me very determined to get a degree. I had various setbacks along the way ( my husband died) but I made it. The OU material is brilliant. Good luck to you

Turquoise123 Thu 22-Mar-18 10:23:12

Slightly confused by your questions - so very many people start studying in their 50s and 60s . It's totally normal - often people have a bit more free time. It sounds like an excellent idea !

Now - if you were in your 30s with a full on job and three young children...hmmmm that might be pushing it ( but plenty manage that too and very good luck to them)