Should I go back to school?


Me with my dog, Lani, in front of my apartment building in New York City.  I was attending Columbia University at the time (early 1970s).

I have been pondering what to do with the rest of my life.  Should I go back to school and get my Master’s degree?  That would be nice, but what subject?

My major was sociology and my minor was psychology, when I received a Bachelor’s degree in 1968 from the University of Hawaii.

After graduation, I taught English as a second language in Thailand for ten months.

Then, I studied musicology at Columbia University, but dropped out after two years and did not get my Master’s.

Later, I considered becoming an elementary school teacher, but that didn’t work out.

Instead, I became a legal assistant, specializing in litigation.  That was an extremely stressful job, prepping for trial and consoling clients when the jury ruled against us.

Then, for a while, I wrote and published books and newspaper columns.  I also wrote for the radio and spoke as a commentator.

Now, here I am an old fuddy duddy of 69 years, entering the final phase of my life.

I don’t think I’ll ever return to school, mainly because it is easier to research topics on the internet.  In fact, online research is often more up to date than books you’ll find in the library or bookstore.  No need to enroll in a class.

Maybe, all I am good for is googling old boyfriends to see what they have been up to.  Some of these ex-boyfriends have done very well in life, while others have already died.

Nothing salacious, mind you.

20 Responses to “Should I go back to school?”

  1. Beate Says:

    That’s a great picture of you and your dog! 🙂
    Wow, you’ve done a lot of very interesting things in your life. I’m writing my Bachelor’s thesis right now and I know what you mean about the internet being more up to date than a book could ever be.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment.

    Have an amazing Sunday!

  2. Olga Says:

    That is so funny!

  3. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    My advice…do what makes you happy. Life is too short to do otherwise. As for school, you know I finished my second Masters at age 70. I went part time for six years. I wanted the history degree so I could properly research the context of my ancestors lives as I work on my family tree. So far, that’s working well for me.

  4. Christine Says:

    a wonderful look back, a good life so far.

  5. Cathy Says:

    I’m with Dianne – do whatever makes you happy! You’ve certainly done plenty to be proud of already. I don’t think you need to top that 🙂

  6. Granny Annie Says:

    Somebody would have to pay me if I was to go back to college. What good is another degree for someone 68 years old? I would take a single course now and then, like a computer class or gun safety class.

  7. Joanne Noragon Says:

    I think the chairs in classrooms are far too uncomfortable.

  8. L....w Says:

    I’m thinking about taking online courses in design so I would at least know the “levels of correctness” I don’t care to earn a degree, knowledge is all I care about. I don’t mind being self taught, to seek what I need to know as I need it.

    • SchmidleysScribbling Says:

      I entered a program so that I could select the best classes. If you work outside a degree program, you are left with the dregs at registration time. I didn’t care if I got the degree or not, I just went to school until I had so many courses they asked me when I would graduate and open a space for another student.

      • L....w Says:

        I hope online courses would be more democratized?? I wish I didn’t chicken out declaring myself an art major 40 years ago. I felt I didn’t have as much talent as my classmates in art studio classes. I now understand that I create using intuition, not sensing/feeling. The internet allows me to find like artists who struggle with the same handicap (as I call it). Also if the field was more technical than art, I would not attempt to be self taught lol

  9. Suzanne Says:

    Great photo! Your dog looks very fun.

  10. DeniseinVA Says:

    I love that photo! It might be fun for you going back to school. No stress this time round, just for fun.

  11. Kay G. Says:

    Oh, I also love this photo! Funny to look at old photos and think what was going on in our lives at that time, isn’t it? You look quite bundled up, I guess you don’t miss the cold, do you?

  12. R.J. Says:

    Some people enjoy taking classes when they retire so only you can determine if that is what you would like. Personally, I spent my entire working life taking graduate classes so formal classes don’t appeal to me. I enjoy learning things I can find online such as Khan Academy. Also AWE network on my FIOS TV has some fabulous world history and art programs. Lifelong learning can take place in a variety of forums. I read a lot, but classes have the added advantage of the social networking. There are two Osher Lifelong Learning Institute branches near where I live through two universities. I think I might enjoy that with all the other seniors. There is an annual fee, and a fee for each class, but they are much less than for regular university classes even at senior rates. Their schedules don’t blend well with my travel schedule, so it is something to consider for the future. The nice part about Osher is that members can construct and teach some classes. You could teach seniors how to write their memoirs.

  13. scenenotspoken Says:

    Thanks for sharing more of your life so far, Gigi. I was curious about how long you lived in NYC after seeing the photo and reading the first few lines of your post. I did return to college after many years and a couple of degrees and found it far less stressful because the pressure was not on getting a degree but learning something new. Much to my surprise I did even better than I had when younger! So you might surprise yourself too and many colleges offer adult learning courses or let older adults take courses for non-credit.

  14. Linda Reeder Says:

    I enjoyed reading more about your background.
    I could not go back to school. I get impatient just sitting and listening without being engaged. I would want to take over the class.
    I love my freedom too much to commit myself to having to go to class.

  15. dkzody Says:

    I love your photo, especially that coat. Swoon.

    As for returning to school, figure out WHY you want to do this before getting too far along. I would be loathe to have to study, write term papers, and take finals. Especially finals. Gosh, I hated those things.

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