How old is too old to get "a start"?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
How old is too old to get "a start"?
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 9:26am
Hi all,

First, some history: when I was 20, I was a junior in a music ed program with a very difficult prof who hated my guts. There was no way to get through this program without appeasing his appetites. It was so difficult, I had my first nervous breakdown that got me diagnosed bipolar. Well, he eventually kicked me out of the program, and I graduated from college with a fairly worthless music history degree. In the years that followed, I lived with my illness, and had an unskilled customer service job that I lost after two years because of too many hospitalizations. Well, then I went to grad school- in conducting instead of music ed, still not sure why exactly other than I love interpreting great works of music. When I finished there, I got a teaching job with emergency certification that turned out to be a big mistake. The principal did everything he could to destroy me after it got out that I had a mental illness.

Enough bellyaching. Now, for the issue:

I am now going back to school for teacher certification, but I am 31 years old. That's 10 years older than most people are when they get such certification. Just how guilty should I feel that I didn't do this sooner?


Beth "Petrouchka"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 1:21pm
Hi. I don't mean to sound cliche, but as the saying goes "It's never too late!" Good luck

with your plans! :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 1:28pm
Hi again! By the way, I'm intrested in becoming a writer, so I can understand your post.

We're the same age. Maybe this is the age to try something new? :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 6:25pm
You want to be a writer? Interesting. I actually have studied writing a bit, and sometimes have a yen to do it when I read Vonnegut, King, or Rowling. For me, that will have to wait. I just have too much to do right now! (I also want to get a Ph.D. in music history some day.)


Beth "Petrouchka", who is obviously overstimulated

P.S. Good luck with the writing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
Mon, 11-03-2003 - 12:36pm

I'm 31 years old, and still haven't decided what I want to be when I "grow up"!

You're never too old to achieve goals, and you most definitely shouldn't feel the least bit guilty about it!

I know first-hand of the set-backs you've faced, as I have a family history of bi-polar. Be proud of what you've achieved in life, and what you still have to achieve.

Good luck:)


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2003
Tue, 11-04-2003 - 11:23pm
Oh my! I hope there's no such thing as too late. I had to enter the working world when I graduated from high school and finally got to go to university full-time when I turned 30; after a divorce and a move to the opposite coast, mind you. I'm now 32 and having to reduce my studies to part-time so I can go back to work full-time because I need the money so bad (sometimes it's the husband who gets everything in a divorce). While most of my friends are married with kids, careers, and a house, I feel like I'm still trying to get my life started but... I've conquered a lot of obstacles, I've learned a lot about myself and about life, and I haven't given up yet no matter how slow I might have to go. So don't think it's ever too late. There are many people out there who don't get that infamous silver platter handed to them early on in life either. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 11-05-2003 - 3:05pm

Don't feel guilty at all!!! You should be proud of yourself for having the ambition and the gumption to do it!

If it's any reassurance to you, my DH is 35 and he's going to be enrolled in a BS degree program starting in January. He'll be changing careers and needs that degree to land a decent job. He has done some schooling before, but hasn't earned a degree yet. Hopefully this time he will!

I think many people who are older that get into school in their 30s tend to drop out quickly, but don't let yourself do that. Get through it with pride and ownership and you'll be very thankful you did it!

I've thought about going back to school for something, but I can never decide what it is I want to be when I grow up! ;o)


Loving wife to David (3-2

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2003
Thu, 11-06-2003 - 2:52am
You should feel proud of yourself that you have persisted and perservered in the world. I do alot of volunteer work with severely mentally ill people. Regular people do not understand the kind of efforts and disappointments mentally ill people have had and how much their illness undercuts them from having a normal life. As a result alot go down the tubes. You have not. You are perservering. This is great accomplishment. Don't let anyone else tell you differently.

Most people take for granted going to work, going to college etc. Some of the mentally ill people I work with would actually be jealous of you (getting a college degree, holding a regular job). Alot of the people I have worked with never got as far has you have. As a result they feel extremely, extremely alienated from the world. So I say if you really want to get a teacher certification, go for it!. Besides there are people who are 40 and doing career changes. It's not that uncommon.

Again, I think with the challenges you have faced you should feel proud no matter what happens. Seek out other people who hold this opinion of you and hang with them!