Returning To school at MY Age

Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Humanities and Cultural Studies

Department or Program Chair

Chase B. Clow, PhD

First Reader

Robert Bradford, MA


One day one decides, after motherhood, career commenced, and day-to-day life is passing all too quickly, to listen to the inner voice that is saying, "Go back to school; get that college degree you have always wanted." The feedback is why bother, it is way too expensive, who has the time or the energy, how will the commitment fit into a full schedule and life, what could you possibly gain, who will you impress, aren't you too old? Yes, there are obstacles, but I and many others are proof a college education as an older adult is possible. Like myself, many adults wish to attain a college degree for a life-long fulfillment, enhancement of one’s own quality of life and lifestyle, career advancements, and a new path in one's life. I explore the different demographics of this quest, lend an overview of the academic work, the community involvement, the ecumenical worldview effects, the measure of equanimities, and learned ethics of caring for others. I touch upon my journey that leads to many life changes: academically, mentally, and emotionally. I discuss the relationship of the essential role of returning to school as an older adult, considering the experience as a vehicle for self-actualization, self-realization, identity revitalization, that together act as a vehicle for dialogue, transformation, and transcendence. Encompassing these things, it has culminated in, for me, a Spiritual Quest. The video that accompanies this academic research paper magnifies the transmutation of myself on the road less traveled but well-rewarded.

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