Going back to school at 28

Next week I’ll be going back to school.

I’m 28, and the last time I was in a classroom was early 2007. I left university in my third year of a Bachelor of Arts degree. At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next, and for several years I still didn’t know. Go back and finish the degree? That didn’t appeal to me; I’d left for a reason.

So I let it sit. I decided not to worry about it (much) – I worked paid jobs, and dabbled in hobbies and talked to people. Every now and then I looked at NSCC’s offerings, thinking about their Landscaping program, as well as the Printing program, since I was absolutely in love with typography.

Time went by. I still wasn’t sure. I kept on working. Doing my thing.

Then last year I thought about taking a Business Administration program. I enjoyed the office work at Baddeck Marine, and so this past fall I looked into the Business Admin program at NSCC. The night I was going to go take a tour of the classroom and meet the teachers, I decided to check out Graphic Design instead.

Why? I don’t know. Intuition? That little voice in the back of my mind that I don’t usually listen to?

And, the second I walked into the classroom it was like “YES, YES YES.” Like, when can I start? Can it be now?!?

So I made the choice. Sure, there was doubt too, like I think there is no matter how sure you feel. It’s a Big Life Decision – it’s going to affect the rest of my life, and set me down a path. After sitting at the trailhead for a while, it was time to start hiking.

I went through the application process, which for Graphic Design has a portfolio component. And I got accepted.

Then I applied for the Skills Development program (which is, essentially, when EI pays for tuition), and was able to get it. And I had to line up a student line of credit through my financial institution (East Coast Credit Union), to afford the things that EI wouldn’t cover.

And then all summer it was just waiting for the time to come. And now here we are.

It is … weird. But also good. I’m excited about the course I’ll be taking (graphic design) and I just know I’m going to eat it right up. I’m pretty confident that I’ll do well – I was always a good student. Took good notes, studied, did well on tests. But still, there is always the nervousness and wondering how it will go.

But, two of my good friends from Baddeck will be at NSCC with me! One is taking Industrial Instrumentation, the other Culinary Arts. Both are also mature students like me. I’m sure there will be lots of chances to have lunch together or study together. It’s nice to know they’ll be there too.

I’m nervous, too, though, as we all are about any new thing. But, I visited the campus a couple of times last winter and spring, and spent some time in the classroom, so at least I know what the place looks like and a little bit of what to expect.

I’m curious about my classmates – who will be in the class with me? Will they be fresh out of high school? Will they be in their twenties like me? Or older?

And I love knowing that there is so much learning ahead of me. I’m a geek that way, for sure. That I’ll have lots of new knowledge and skills by Christmas-time, that I don’t have right now, is thrilling.

Have you ever gone back to school? Were you nervous? How did it all work out?

This entry was posted in Education, Jobs, Leah's thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Going back to school at 28

  1. Margo Moore says:

    Dear Leah:

    Enjoy the school year and good luck, I know you will do well. The last time I started school again as a student (I’m a middle school teacher) was in 2005 when I began my doctorate. Was I nervous? Yes! Was I excited? Yes! Did it change my life view? Yes! I am currently trying to complete my dissertation. Is that hard? Yes! Will I give up? No!

    Good luck in the new school year! I’ll be looking for your posts about the experience. By the way, you are an excellent writer!

  2. Pingback: Going back to school at 28 « caperblogger

  3. Bryan says:

    Have fun Leah, you`ll do great! 🙂

  4. RevNick says:

    I went back to school at 30. Big transition coming out of the workforce to go back, but, like you, it felt so write. Best of luck!

  5. Joe Green says:

    Way to go Leah! I’m envious. Make the most of it. Life doesn’t give us second chances, we have to *create* them, and you’re doing just that. Looking forward to seeing what you make of it all.

  6. nona macdonald-dyke says:

    You’ll do wonderful Leah.

  7. Lisa says:

    Hey Leah.. sounds exciting. How many years is the course? What kind of jobs do you get when you are done? COngrats on the next chapter in your life.

    • leahcnoble says:

      Hi Lisa! It’s two years. When done, I could get work as a graphic designer in a variety of places, from an advertising agency to a private company who needs a designer in-house. Or, I could go freelance, and have clients. We’ll see!

  8. cyiet says:

    Hey, you met me when I had returned to school. I picked up a BSc (I prefer to call it BS) my first time at university, then I went to STU to take Native Studies and it was the best decision of my life AND I got to meet Leah while doing so! I think if you found something you’ll enjoy, you’ll enjoy the experience regardless of age. Either that or I’m an old man and you never told me.

  9. Chris Thomson says:

    I’m sure you will really enjoy that program Leah! The instructors are great! I sat in on a class once when I worked NSCC for ACAP 10 years ago and I was tempted 🙂

  10. going back to school was the best thing i ever did. i think i would like to stay in school forever. there’s so much of a difference when you go back as a mature student – you have more perspective, plus you know you want to be there. nothing frustrates me more than seeing young students squandering their time in uni with a high school attitude.

  11. Omar says:

    Hi Leah,

    I just stumbled upon your post by chance, I was searching for people with the same experience. I want to do the same thing, go back to school and get a BSc in Computer Science. My problem is that, in my country, it is nearly impossible, so I have to go abroad to do so, which brings a whole new level of challenges.

    Anyway, I want to say thanks for such an inspirational post.


    • leahcnoble says:

      Hi Omar. Thanks for your comment. I hope you see some forward movement in your desire to go back to school, and that you’re able to do so. Life can be difficult. Persist.

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