is it ever too late ?

by caroline
(cape town south africa)

I managed to find a way of returning to university at 49 years of age. All my life I had low self esteem, and one of the issues was that I never completed my Fine Arts degree 25 years ago. In the last four years I have earned a BA and Honours in Linguistics at the University of Cape Town. I am now going on to the Master's program, depending on the results of my thesis.


It was very tough being with young people. in undergrad they were so young that they never ever spoke to me and didn't want to be seen with me, and liked to pretend they didn't know me but things have improved as I went along. I don't expect to be included socially and that helps. I was the oldest person on my graduation and if I add up the costs, and I was a business, I would be running at a loss ! I have not worked for four years, and I am close to retirement and should really be working etc. etc.
BUT
it has given me access to a world of ideas and critical thought, I wish I had always had, and a space where for the first time in my life I am good at something and I have had the class medal and done pretty well most of the time, recieving the benefits of increased self esteem as well as getting funding to study. I feel as if I only started really living four years ago, and hope that in time I will develop a philosophy which can describe the lost years in positive terms. In many coutries there is a 50 year age limit on funding, such as in Germany and the US and though I can understand this in a way, it is also sad. I may put back more into society in the remaining ten years after I graduate from Masters than some other people

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