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Going back to school?

Going back to school, me? At my age... that's a tough decision.
I've got some course info for Collins College in Tempe, AZ

I'd have to move, that alone is big enough problem.

#1, big scary jump in a hole live alone scary.
With my medical conditions, living alone is not only terrifying, it's not advisable. I need someone there to call 911 if I'm ya know, going into a pulmonary episode. But it would only be 2 years or so. I can get one of those "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!!" medical alert push button necklaces I suppose. *Panic attack*

#2 Money... How the fuck am I going to pay for this? I have been out of school so long (Longer than I was ever in it to begin with!!!) I don't have a CLUE where to even start LOOKING let alone APPLYING for Grants and loans. (Preferably GRANTS, I'm still paying off Student loans from 17 years ago!!!!)

#3 Can we say I think I'm hyperventilating thinking about being a 36 year old student in a sea of 18 year olds?

#4. Somebody, talk to be give me advice! Should I do this? I'm really TORN. Emotionally, financially and mentally.

I'm looking at a Graphics Art BA (I'm already DOING that work, but need the degree to be PAID for it properly.) I'm also looking at getting a Game Arts BA at the same time... Just because the class look like a shit load of fun with computer programs and character design. Coming up with characters is what I am good at. I know a job in that industry is a total pipe dream. Hence why getting the Graphic Designer BA is #1 Priority.

Talk to me folks, help my anxiety please!



( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
Well, if you can get paid more for the job you already have by having a degree, then I'd say definitely. :) And actually a job doing games is not a pipe dream at all! I know people who have those jobs, so somebody has to, right? *g*

Don't worry too much about being older. It is a little weird, but there are usually plenty of older students on any given campus too, and they hang out together--check out the Non-Traditional Student Union if there is one, those are great. If you get in touch with them ahead of time they can also help you with applying for grants and stuff.

As for money, go fill out the FAFSA like, right now. Also sign up for FastWeb to get scholarship notices and things. Whatever the school is you mean to go to will also have links to scholarships and stuff on their financial aid website. But depending on how much money you've been making, you may end up with a Pell grant, which is a great way to get through school. :)

Where are you thinking of going?
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
I missed the Collins College bit the first time around! Never mind that question then. :)
Jan. 19th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)
Just filled out the FAFSA... Fingers crossed.

Jan. 19th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC)
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
I don't know much about grants or living in AZ or anything like that, but I do know you are VERY talented and anything to further that talent and make it more profitable, is a good thing. Also, don't worry about being 36 in classes with younger people. You are totally hip and cool and will be adored. (L)_(L) I adore you!

I wish I could be of more help.
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
What an awesome opportunity!
I went "back to school" at 32. You'll have the advantage of a stable attention span and the TRUE desire to get through classes; lots of your classmates will struggle with teen issues.. you won't have those handicaps. First love trauma? Can't sit still for an hour? Mom is so meeeeeen? None of that stuff - fewer distractions.
Go for it!
Jan. 21st, 2007 08:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's a mindset thing... I'm READY for school again mentally.
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
I did the FAFSA and that got me the federally subsidized loans. I'm not eligible for grants but if I was it would probably have seen to that too.

Fastweb is a spam mill. I have never gotten anything useful out of them. They continue to notify me about scholarships I'm not eligible for. Grrr.
Jan. 19th, 2007 05:57 am (UTC)
I might be eligible for grants, independent student, divorced single woman over 35 type stuff. *fingers crossed*
Jan. 19th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, you probably are- I've spent 5 years in college so far without a BA, so I think they pulled the plug on lil' ol' me.
Jan. 19th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, I meant to say, actually, to sign up for fastweb with an email address you use for signing up for things that send you spam (did that even make sense?)...it's handy to be able to go look at stuff, but I don't like them trying to contact me first. ;)
Jan. 19th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC)
Go for it. It'll be scary and difficult, but if you don't give it a shot, you'll alwas wonder about what could have been.
Jan. 19th, 2007 08:06 am (UTC)
It's definitely worth a shot. My sister changed careers by going back to school when she was in her late 30s, and she doesn't regret it one bit. You deserve to get the pay that goes with the type of work you're already doing.
Jan. 19th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Just go for it! My mom went to school after fifty and is doing very well. Of course your situations are a bit different, but still, it *can* be done.
Jan. 19th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC)
Arizona is a nice place, especially Tempe, however there are multiple colleges in that area so it may be a tad crowded depending on the area you go to. Plus I'm sure theres someone you know net wise that lives in the area that you may be able to room with.

You could potentially look around the area for roommates. I know asu has a page that advertises for roommates and I'm sure that the local area papers/net pages have the same.

Well for the money issue, you could check with the college if they have scholarships for the adult students. It won't be nearly enough to pay for it all, but if you speak with the councelors they could also point you in the direction of where to look for the grants.

Honestly I think its a good idea for you to go back to school. Its an exciting and fun chapter to go back to. Plus as you stated the better pay that comes with the degree. I say go for it.

Best of luck with this!
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC)
Of course you should go for education if it will be beneficial to you! =D I've been to school twice, once when I was nineteen and once when I was twenty six. Twenty six was, by far, the better of the two experiences. ^_^ (Plus, the eye candy was nice. ^_^ Somehow I wound up going on a date with a guy who was only 17! WTF?! I found it a lot easier to relate to the teachers and my real world experiences definitely added to the learning. A lot of the kidlets in class don't like it when you speak up in class or are actively interested but you know what? Screw them. If you're paying big bux for an education you've got every right to be excited about it and try to get all you can out of it.)

Anyhow, at the moment I'm contemplating which degree I'm going to go for and I'll probably do it correspondance through Athabasca University; you can't do a design degree correspondance but you CAN get a lot of the filler courses out of the way ahead of time. That's another option to consider?

I love being an older student and I fully plan to keep going back to school every decade for another diploma/degree/certificate whichever. Education improves your earning power and enriches your life. And! When you go back to school after already establishing a career, sometimes your part-time work can be consulting or freelancing which works around your schoolwork nicely. ^_^
Jan. 21st, 2007 09:00 am (UTC)
This is a thankfully a 2.5 year course and none of the "filler" classes are thankfulyl necessary. (No Algebra or sciences when HELLO, it's an ART DEGREE!) That was always my biggest WTF?!? the first time I went to college. I was going for MUSIC not ALGEBRA! O_o

And my head was NOT screwed on right back then at all. I was very literally burnt out of school very fast. Classes I hated, commuting 4 hours a day, working 30 hours a week. I was TOAST, that candle was burnt OUT. Poof.

This time, I'm hoping to be able to work only part time and afford the apartment stuff. I can live on soup and noodles for 2 years. Hell it might help me lose more weight in the long run. LOL Not being able to afford the treats occasionally will help.


If I have to work full time, then I'll have to make it work, but it's only 2.5 years, it's not long at all.

Not like 2.5 years seemed forever when you're 18.
Now it's a baby step time wise.

Amazing how different your attitude is at 35 than it is at 18. I will have no problem worrying if my classmates like me or not. It's not about being popular, not about 'fitting in', it's already a given I'm old enough to be their mother and I give a damn about thier angsty issues. I'm in this for me this time and only me.

Jan. 19th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
You would totally kick ass in school. I think you would do a great job. I don't think you'd be the only older person going back to school. If you can put up with the immature of some of the core classes, I think you'd kick ass. I'm behind you all the way! I had a teacher who started college when he was 35 with no degree at all and got his PHD in sociology. He was the best teacher I ever had. You could do it no problem. You're not that old anyway. *smooches* If it makes sense and you can afford it I say go for it!
Jan. 21st, 2007 09:02 am (UTC)
I'm doing everything I can to make this work. Even already checking out apartments and average rental rates.

Only sad thing.. I'll miss y-con for SURE. Class would start Monday 10.29.07 Day after con, no way I could make it at all.

Poopers. Other than that, persoanl fun downer I can sacrifice fun for a better life chance.
Jan. 19th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Why do you want to move to az first of all? :/ California has a pretty good state college system as I understand it. Do you already have an associate's degree? If not, I'd recommend heading to the local community college and getting one their before diving head on into a 4 yr school - also there are many people over 18 at community colleges - I swear there were more 30-something's than anything. I attended (and still do sometimes) a community college and the tuiton is dirt cheap and they offer night classes. I was able to transfer as a junior to a 4 year college with little problems and I saved so much money. Also, in the mean time, I am getting an associate's in graphic design while working on my bfa in electronic media at UI Chicago.

My main advice is stick with state/public colleges and avoid private colleges unless you get a scholarship that pays for at least 1/2 your tuition - otherwise it's not worth the extra financial strain.

The only time a private school can work in your favor is when you do graduate work - but at a bachelor's level, it's all about talent. I plan on going to AI Chicago (the one with the museum) for my masters in art therapy, but only part time...

I am currently going to UIC and got into the art and design program - because I am white, married and 24+ I get very little fin. aide compared to someone single. I worked hard and got a talent based tuition waiver. Loans are sometimes the lazy way out and people that don't want to write an essay or 2 or give up too easily. Start looking up scholarships now - I know you could get any one you like being a talented writer :) I recommend fastweb.com for looking up scholarships - also ask the school itself what scholarships they offer.
Jan. 21st, 2007 09:11 am (UTC)
Wow, lots to cover here.
#1.) the courses I'm looking for not offered locally, I'd have to commute to Fresno or Bakersfield.
#2.) My degree is in MUSIC. Fuck all good it does me.
#3) This isn't a 4 year college, it's a 2.5 year course, I don't have to take useless filler courses that don't apply to the degree. (Like Sciences, English and Math. I've already had those anyway the first time I went to college.)
#4.)I know it's all about talent at a private school, the first time I went to college I had to go through seven levels of interviews, auditions, try-outs, essays and that got me a half-scholarship. Music is a HARD business to get into and the School I went to was ranked right up there with Julliard so I know the trials. Also, I've talked to some of the directors over at collins, Showed them my portfolio and it all looks very promising and it's been a very positive experience thusfar, my stuff is now in front of the acceptance committee I'll know in a few days if I'm accepted or not. So yeah, know all about Specialized school hoops and hassels. ^_^
#5.) Boy I know about financial aid nightmares. I don't qualify for Pell grants either because I make $26.000.00 a year right now in salary (Which they don't seem to care I'll LOSE going back to school.) Single White Divorced Over 30 Females don't fair anybetter than younger married ones. Sadly, we are not Minority enough without being a different race. Being a Caucasian SUCKS when it comes to getting school aid. Equal Opportunity my ASS.

#6. Already applied for fed aid, and am going through the scholarships available on Fastweb, but am not wasting my time, killing myself over essays for $500 bucks. That's nickle and diming to death, I'd rather take that out in a loan.

I've sat and really looked at options and the pros outnumber the cons and the only roadblock left is working out finances.
Jan. 21st, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
cool beans
I say go for it D!
Jan. 21st, 2007 08:49 am (UTC)
Re: cool beans
Maybe you can apply to ASU (Arizona State) that's less than a few miles from Tempe They share a city border, the apartments I'm looking at are within walking distance of both ASU and The college I applied to. That we be nice to be in the same city huh? We could have Anime Nights. xoxoxo

Jan. 21st, 2007 11:50 am (UTC)
Re: cool beans
Ya that would rock! Ill look in to it :>
Jan. 21st, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Re: cool beans
Now keep in mind you'd have to live in dorms or your own apartment... I'm looking into small studio apartments for myself (Only room for one in those and I cannot afford larger) but it would be nice to be in the same town within walking distance to visit each other.
Jan. 21st, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
Re: cool beans
Ya i know lol but i dont know if it would happen?
Jan. 21st, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
One thing you can look into is to see what courses you've already taken for your first degree can be applied toward your 2nd/3rd degree(s). My sister's 2nd batchlor's degree took her less time than her 1st, so that can save you money.

#3 Can we say I think I'm hyperventilating thinking about being a 36 year old student in a sea of 18 year olds?

I game (at the local University and have made a number of friends there. There are undergrads, graduate students plus non-students (like me, & I'm a bit older than you.) People get along well enough. And when I was an undergrad, there were older people in some of my classes, and it was no big deal to me - if I thought anything about it at all, they would get more respect for being older and more experienced.
Jan. 23rd, 2007 09:16 am (UTC)
I think you should go for it; wherever you decide to go or do, I'm pulling for you^^
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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