2nd day at new school blues!!!

Hi Everyone,

Well I just started the fall semester at Georgia State University and I’m hating it. My first 2 years were comfortably obtained at a smaller 4 year school with LOTS of non-traditional students. I have completed 4 out of 5 classes so far this week and I am by far the oldest person in every single one of my classes. I was not prepared for the emotions that came along with that. I am old enough to be the Mom of most of these kids and it looks like possibly one of my professors. Anyone else in this situation or been in this situation? I could really use some help.



I went back to school at 34 to get a second bachelor’s degree. I was by far the oldest in my classes, and older than a few of my teachers. I didn’t care; I was there to get the degree, not to become buddies with my fellow students.

I found that my added maturity made the ridiculously heavy class load (20 credits the first quarter and 28 credits the second – all core classes) possible. In fact, I earned a 3.93 GPA, while my fellow students were whining and moaning about how hard the classes were and whether thus-and-such would be on the test.

Relax, be humble, and buckle down, and you will be fine.

thank you very much for responding.


I had a 90 year old woman in a history class of mine and a 50 year old woman in my only chem class. In the right atmosphere age shouldn’t matter. Would we be hanging out after class? Probably not, but we were all there to learn and age didn’t really matter.

I experienced exactly the same thing and at the same exact school! In fact, I was older than 3 of my professors). I just finished up my last prerequisite at GSU this summer. During the first couple of weeks at GSU, I definitely felt like I stood out because of my age (38). However, as I got to know some of the younger students I felt much more relaxed. I ended up doing really well in all of my classes and had many of the younger students come to me for advice/help. Once I got to Organic Chemistry as there were at least a handful of students near my age. I even had classmate that was in his 50s. This semester I’m volunteering, studying for the MCAT, and taking care of my daughter. However, I am also taking a Chinese language class at GSU and will be around campus. I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned about GSU as well as all the practice tests that I’ve accumulated!


I’m in the same boat with you. I think I’m the oldest too, but I don’t mind being in school with all the 20 year olds.


That would be really GREAT!!! I just transfered in from Clayton State. I am really out of my comfort zone here. There are tons of non-traditionals at Clayton. I am on campus everyday day (in the mornings), please can we meet? I am really having alot of anxiety. I think maybe having a contact person there would be of tremendous help.


Shoot me an email and we can definitely meet up one morning. I’m on campus M W F mornings. My student email is ebuchanan4…


I was the oldest in most of my MS classes… ultimately I managed nearly straight A’s while the 20 year olds whined and moaned their way to B’s. Just enjoy and don’t worry about age…


The question I have for you is are you hating it solely due to the fact that you are the oldest person in every single one of your classes or are there other reasons as well? If it is the former, I’m afraid your situation is not going to get any easier. If it’s any solace, I started medical school last year at the ripe old age of 42 and am in exactly the same situation in medical school that you are in as a pre-med at GA State. Your post closely resembles a post I made last year here on OPM and I received some encouraging advice from the OPM community (see the link below). For the most part, the advice I received was fairly accurate in that my situation last year was not as dire as I had predicted before starting school.


As if starting medical school at age 42 didn’t make me feel old enough, I’m also in the US Navy’s Health Professions Scholarship Program and just graduated from the US Navy’s Officer Training School in RI last week. Needless to say, I really began to feel my age there as well. I’m prior military service and the last time I went through a boot camp experience like that was before most of my current classmates were born!

I think your experience will be somewhat tolerable if you are married because you will have at least one peer (your spouse) that you can relate to and that will be a source of social support. If you’re unmarried, like I am, this journey is going to be a lonely experience at our age and anyone contemplating this journey should realistically bear this in mind.

Congrats on graduating from OTS! That’s a great accomplishment on its own!

Like you have done, I plan to start med school at age 42. I look forward to working with fellow students of all ages, shapes, etc. If nothing else, the younger ones will keep me on my toes and remind me to stay sharp.