Going Back To School When You’re Pushing 50


As a woman pushing 50, there are lots of things going through your mind. Perhaps that’s why I decided to go back to school.

I took a look around my empty ‘nest’ one day, sighing and mildly amused at how paradoxical the human psyche can get: I wait for the day the kids turn into adults so I have time for myself, but when the day comes, I wish for them back.

Then it hit me: Wow! I have time for myself.  But I can’t imagine spending it all day at home picking up a hobby while my husband is away at work.

So I decided to take up my higher education where I left off: my master’s degree.

I’m aware that this is hardly remarkable, considering that there are incredibly older people who have decided to pursue with their education despite seemingly insurmountable odds: poverty, small children to take care of, and all of that; and here I am, a suburban mom who just happened to have time on her hands.

But on a more personal level, I think this will resonate with other women of my generation (okay let’s be honest, not all of them); who were encouraged by their mothers to go to college to find a good husband.

It’s exactly what happened to me, although of course I’m incredibly happy with the hubby: good provider, good father, a good man overall; but I have also over the years had quiet moments to think about what lengths I could have reached had I put my undergraduate degree to use:  the career I could have had, the business trips that might be scheduled for me, and not having to depend on my husband for my shopping money.

But as quickly as the thought comes, I shake it out and pick up the kids, clean the house, and make sure everyone is fed.

But now, I am taking this step for myself, and luckily, everyone is onboard with it: the children keep making jokes if I’m going to become the caricature drunk mom at parties, the husband just wants to make sure I don’t stress myself out too much, and the older set thinks I’m asking for a whole new set of headaches where I had none.

If it is human nature to grow comfortable with routine, yet at the last minute yearn for something new, then yes, I am one-hundred percent feeding that nature.

Wish me luck.



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