If you’ve ever thought about going to college, there’s no time like the present to explore your options.
There will always be excuses, most of them valid, and it may take some significant planning to re-arrange your priorities and your routine. There is a right time for everything, but it doesn’t hurt to do a little research and find out what your options might be, even if you know you won’t be attending for another year or five.
I’m the first to agree that the easiest time to go to college is straight out of high school, when financial aid is often at its most accessible, and before the pressures of families and careers have really taken hold. The fact of the matter though is that there are no “traditional” college students these days. College students come in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes, with backgrounds as diverse as can be imagined.
As a former university administrator, I’ve seen retired people well into their “golden years” learning for the sake of learning. I’ve seen mothers apply to college at the same time as their daughters. I can’t count the number of mid-career professionals I’ve seen who have used education as a stepping stone to an entirely new career, figuring out at 45 “what they want to be when they grow up.”
The academic models available today are as diverse as the students themselves. There are fields of study in every topic with options that range from day classes, night classes, weekend programs, self-paced learning, and distance education opportunities. Some students are fulfilled simply auditing an occasional art class, or taking courses to learn another language at their local community college, while others are determined to complete their Ph.D.
There’s no one right educational model, but if you have ever toyed with the idea of taking classes or pursuing a degree, I suggest that you send away today for some information on programs that might interest you. Talk to an admission representative at a school near you or perhaps consider distance education options. Ultimately, you may regret putting it off indefinitely, but I doubt that you will ever regret pursuing an education.