Do you ever find yourself sitting at your desk, daydreaming of a different career path? Of course you do, doesn’t everybody on occasion? What if those daydreams are becoming more constant than just on Monday mornings between caffeine breaks and deadlines? The good news is that you’re not alone!
An increasing number of twenty, thirty and forty somethings are leaving the workforce and are heading back to school. In a 2011 study from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 41 per-cent of higher education students were aged between 24 and 64 years old. More interestingly, of those enrolled in higher education, 54 per-cent were women, a statistic that has been growing since the mid eighties.
The mid, mid-life crisis is something to be embraced and not denied, a true celebration of the times we live in and how societal expectations have changed. Far from the time when you were expected to start working as soon as you graduated high school and stay with that company until the day you retired, we are experiencing the flexibility to explore our own interests and happiness, which can arguably lead to a more fulfilling life.
Mature students also appear to be the hardest working students when compared to their peers. While just 5 per-cent of younger students were working full time and studying part time, a whopping 40 per-cent of their mature peers were working full time and studying part time. Not surprising when you consider the life experience and time management skills needed to undertake such a schedule.
So take a moment and appreciate the mature student next to you at your evening lecture. Forgive them for running late to your study group and sending emails late at night. They have probably done more in one day than you’ve done in one week in order to get that assignment in on time.