Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to School - The Mature Student Experience

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." Henry Ford

As I reflect on the quote above, I feel that it is really hitting home with me.  I have decided to go back to school.  I am in my mid-forties, and I am pursuing a post-graduate degree.  I made the decision to apply last fall, and the process of application was quite complicated and involved. After many months of waiting, I have been accepted into the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba.  I start working on my Masters of Social Work degree (graduate specialization in aging) this September.  Sometimes I ask myself, "Do you really need this hassle?", then I quickly remember why I want to do this.  

I have a love of learning.  I guess I am one of those "Lifelong Learners".  I have enjoyed learning ever since I was a child.  I have also felt that if I am not learning, I am not living.  This huge, vast world has so much to offer.  

17 years ago I had put in my application for admission to the Masters of Social Work Graduate Studies program.  My plans drastically (and happily) changed when I found out I was pregnant.  I decided to withdraw my application and focus on my new life as a parent and raising my child (soon to be children).  Now, 17 years later, I am going back to school.   I had a wonderful 17 years of parenting and focusing on my children, and now I feel that they are at an age where they are more self-sufficient and can handle most things on their own.  We will all be studying, as they are both in school. 

Some things are much the same as they were about 20 years ago when I attended university.  As I was walking through the halls, taking the stairs, walking through campus, it was all very familiar.  Same look, same smells, same everything.  The students looked to be in the same age group as they were 20 years ago.  The university I will be attending is very old, and there doesn't appear to have been any changes since I was gone.  What has changed significantly is the way that we register.  Everything is done online now, through Aurora Student services.  You have to be technologically savvy to register at University now.  If you're not, good luck with that.  You'll need to call upon someone who can help.

I will be taking two courses this upcoming term. The first is called, "Family-Focused Social Work Practice", and the second is, "Social Aspects of Aging".  I have ordered my text books from and I am eagerly awaiting their arrival.

I am looking forward to my new adventure of learning, growing, and developing my expertise in the field of aging.  

What are you planning to learn about this fall?

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

Angela G. Gentile  


Marcia Barhydt said...

Angela, you truly are a woman of great character. Best of luck to you back at school, gf!!

Angela Gentile said...

Thanks Marcia. Your support means a lot! Thanks for reading and have a great day.