search  current discussion  categories  teaching 

returning to school

updated tue 28 aug 01


vince pitelka on sun 26 aug 01

I did not get around to posting a comment on this sooner, but I did not want
to miss the opportunity. I returned to school as a grad student in 1985 at
the age of 37. I had emerged from undergrad school 14 years earlier in
1971, and as I anticipated the return to school and I was extremely nervous
about how I would fit into the graduate school dynamic. I had been working
as a studio potter, and I was unsure how that would be accepted in "art
school." What I quickly discovered is that the young students fresh out of
undergrad school were very unsure of themselves, and they often turned to
the older students for guidance. I made so many good friends among both the
young students and other older students. My three years in grad school at
UMass Amherst were very exciting and productive. There were other grad
students who were in their 40s or 50s (as I am now), and I do not recall any
of them experiencing any sort of problems.

Perhaps this depends partially on the school you select. I missed many of
the posts on this subject, and I do not recall whether the subject was
undergraduate school or grad school. In either case, some schools are more
receptive to older students, and it would be worthwhile to do a little
research. Any school which excludes older students is missing out. I have
a variety of older students at the Craft Center, including a retired nurse
who is 77 and who is a fireball. She keeps us all on our toes.
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home -
Work -
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803

Saic1984@AOL.COM on mon 27 aug 01

I agree Vince,

I counsel and work with grads from 21 - 61 and in the two plus years that I=20
am in Admissions, I've learned that people choose grad school "when their=20
internal clock tells them its time".

Andr=E9 (who went right out of UG)=20