A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a woman named Mary.
She wrote asking for advice. See, Mary is in her late forties and is thinking about finally applying for the uni degree she’s been talking about doing for years. BUT she’s scared. She hasn’t studied beyond high school and she feels embarrassed about being a mature age student.
I was stoked that Mary asked for my advice, because this is a topic I think we can all relate to on some level.
So often I see people give up on things they want to do because their approach is not what most people would consider “conventional”.
But an unconventional approach isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can often be better.
I wanted to dive right into this topic, so I’ve filmed a little video blog for you.
If you’ve ever not done something because you were scared about how it would look, then this is definitely worth a watch.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how this email relates to the subject line “Are you eating your bananas the right way?” … well, it might be best to watch the vid to connect those dots!
Now, over to you. If you’ve ever taken an unconventional approach to something in your life, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
PS – Don’t want to miss my posts? I don’t blame ya! Pop your details here so I can let you know the next time I share a strategy like this one.
Dear Mary, I, too, wanted to study as a “mature-aged” student, having not picked up a textbook since 1985 in year 12 (and also having spectacularly failed every subject at school apart from English). I started my journey in 2008 at the tender age of 40 and graduated with a Bachelor of social work last year (2016) at age 48. I was PETRIFIED all throughout those 8 years, every day I reminded myself that I was a failure and this could be my latest “failure success”. It wasn’t until my very final semester that I finally allowed myself to turn off those voices in my head that were certain I was going to fail and turn on the voice of “go get it, it’s yours”.
Go get ’em Mary.
Im cracking up about the monkies but how clever.Iam going to start opening bananas like that too.
I’ve done alot that is not convetional.My latest would be getting pregnant for the first time ever at
46,nearly47.And been with the one partner! Left it late! Had a miscarriage but I got the chance to
be pregnant…….thanks for your emails and I’ve just started reading your book.
Just watched your excellent banana video. I am a very mature student (almost 40) and am in my first year at uni retraining to be an Operating Department Practioner in the UK. I have two young kids and the hours are long but this is the definitely the right path. The three year course is flying by and, although I am exhausted, I love it!
Go for it Mary.
I went back to do my “Diploma in Community Services in my 5os as a mature aged student. I was working, studying and traveling for my course. 6 months to go of a 2 yr course I had a fall which resulted in a Brain injury. 12 months later I decided to start the course again but had no idea how to start the computer. Had to do a computer course and then start my studies. In between I had my first trip overseas on my own to work in an orphanage. My idea was the regrets I would have had as I realized you don’t know what each day brings. Finished my course and now at 65 still trying to find my ideal job and not too scared to apply for what is on offer
Yes Helen! This is epic! T x
I love reading your blogs. Thank you. I am 51 and it doesn’t matter how old you are I think we are all the same inside. I’m off to eat a banana and I’m going to peel it like a monkey!
Loved this video very much. You hold such truth and honesty in all that you say.
I guess my unconventional ways in life is falling pregnant at 19 and returning back to uni to complete my degree. I got married in my mid 20’s and completed my family almost 3 years ago. In between that we built a new house, did some travelling & busy raising our 3 boy’s.
Conventional ways of life don’t always work for everyone & I definitely believe in that. Me/we do things a little different & that is okay.
Much love to you & bump, look forward to when you post again.
I was told by someone very dear to me at the time that doing my CPA will be very difficult as you have to put in many hours a week and the fact that I had a kid that was 3 years old at the time. However another colleague of mine persuaded me to do it and said that if you fail you can try again. If you don’t do it you will never know and it will always be a what if at the back of your mind..
Well guess what I took the plunge and in 3 years I qualified as a Certified Professional Accountant.
By the time I was writing my last paper I had an addition to my family and he was only 4 months old at the time. With a lot of tears and sleepless nights I wrote my final paper. However the day before I could write that paper I got a call from a so called friend and he told me not to stress about the paper as many people fail it the first time round. This paper was considered to be one of the toughest. Anyways I listened to this person over the phone and ended the call and thought to myself, to hell with you, I worked so hard and studies so hard with a four month old baby in my arms. Like hell I was not going to pass this paper.
Anyways I wrote the paper in October and only got my results in December and guess what I PASSED. Studying with two kids and especially one just being four months old is certainly not conventional.
Hey turia..Just want to say I teared up watching you…you’re so inspirational and such a special person. Stay strong and beautiful….Liza
Hey turia..Just want to say I teared up watching you…you’re so inspirational and such a special person.
Stay strong and beautiful….
I am also in my late forties and two years ago I decided to change careers which meant completing a Masters degree! This meant returning to uni with peers half my age!!!
Well, two years on I have recently graduated and yes it was scary and some times all too much … but at the end of the day I did it!!!!
P.S I reakon u r awesome xxx
Do it !!!
I finished my degree at 41
Never looked back
I finished my degrees a few years ago, I’m 52. I went from working in an office setting to becoming a private investigator. I’m working on two cases with serial killers. Me! A grandmother of seven! I love watching television shows such as Columbo and true crimes series. Now , I’m actially involved with these cases. I never thought I would be here at my age. I definitely am eating my banana the nonconvential way.
My wrinkles be damned. Don’t dream it, do it.
Tracey, this is so bloody cool! What a legend!! T x
Wow Turia I have never heard you speak you’re gorgeous!! This video cheered me quite a lot thank you xxx
Hi, I was in the same boat! Started a pharmacy degree at age 40 when my son, aged 5 then started school. Was it hectic? yes! Was it hard? OMG yes!! Did I ever feel embarrassed? NO!!!!!!!! Most people are supportive when you are trying to better yourself or your life for your family and if they are not……..See ya!
i Loved this, I was Expecting a Spiel on Eating brown spotted bananas ??
I went back in my 30’s and am now looking to retire from my job early 2019! Had I not gone back to school I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wish you all the best in your school adventure.
What did you study?
Sometimes unconventional is heaps better! I got married at 19, I had people saying “why!? You’re throwing your life away!?” But I still did all the things I longed to do, I finished my degree, got a dream job, I travelled the world and I just had to keep telling people, well it’s my life (and I don’t care if I’m eating the banana upside down it’s my damn banana! Haha). Now 9 years on I look back and I’m so glad I had someone to share the travel with and to help me through uni (even though I didn’t have the conventional uni experience). My mum was doing her degree when I was in high school and my dad was studying his master’s at the same time, they were both in their 40s so I thought that was quite normal. My dad is 53 and he’s just started his second undergrad- age really doesn’t matter, it’s your banana! Go for it Mary!
Feel the fear and do it! I’m in my 40’s, juggling a busy job, two busy boys and an MBA that I’ve been trying to knock over for a few years now. I dip in and out of my studies to fit in with my lifestyle, family and work commitments, and it is taking me much longer than I first anticipated to get through the course, however it is an incredibly satisfying feeling to be learning new stuff that I can apply to my work and everyday life. There is no age limit on investing in yourself or trying to be the best version of yourself. What you are doing is inspiring and not something you should feel embarrassed about.
Go for it. I completed my first degree 18 months ago (I’m 53), I’ve been working since I graduated and just this week I landed my dream job working in research. All unis have great student support and they also have (and cater for) a lot of mature age students. Tap into whatever services they offer and make the most of this great opportunity to learn. They also allow you to adjust your study workload as you move through your degree, so talk to people and make it work for you and your family/work/life.
My 8 yo son does Karate and moved up to the all ages class. For weeks I wanted to join in but was held back because of what people would think of an unfit 40 year old women fumbling her way through a class. One week as I sat down to be an observer again, I noticed an elderly lady dressed in a White Gi getting ready to go onto the floor with my son’s group – honestly, I think she would have been in her late 70’s at least! Needless to say, I was ashamed that I had allowed my fear of what others would think stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I signed up the following week 🙂 Go for it Mary!
I can relate! I am nearly 30 and am in my first year of uni. On one hand I feel frustrated that I didn’t get this over and done with when I was younger and that now I have to manage it along with all the responsibilities of adult life. BUT on the other hand I am thankful that I got to experience other things as a young adult and that I had a good 13 years in the workforce to find out what direction I really want to go with my career! At the end of my life, I think I will look back and remember a life that was even more enriched by the fact that I didn’t go straight from school to uni to a career with no time for growing-up and self-discovery in between. For me, doing it in an unconventional order created a more meaningful path. Love your work Turia xx
1. I’ve also heard that this is the “proper” way to peel a banana because not only to you have a ‘handle’ to hold the banana with but you also avoid the stringy bits. Double win!
2. I also went into uni as a ‘mature aged’ student – though I was in my 20’s and it was honestly the best thing that I did for myself. You find yourself more driven and mature with life experience to back you up. It’s not without its challenges, but I’d say go for it! Worse comes to worst you can always defer without academic and financial penalty if you realise early enough it’s not for you this semester.. just try again the next semester/year!
Mary the uni landscape has changed so much these days. There are many mature-aged students re-skilling and changing careers. You won’t feel out of place.
I started uni 2 1/2 years ago just before my 45th birthday. I am loving the learning and the challenge of stretching my brain again. Go for it! It will be amazing for your confidence.
I have school age children and I work part-time so I am a part-time student. This works for my family and I know you’ll find a way to make it work for you too.
Uni’s have so much to offer students in the way of support too. There are peer led study groups; maths help (if that’s relevant to your degree); essay writing assistance; counselling services if it all gets too much sometimes. Seriously, don’t die wondering. I wish you all the best for your studies and your bright future.
You are never too old!!!
I started a Diploma of Nursing in my late fifties.
Half way through the course I had a hip replacement and after a year to recover, recommended the study and completed the course!
The nursing course involved nursing rounds ( starting st 7.00 am and finishing at 300 pm and starting at 1.00 pm and finishing at 9,00pm )
I successfully completed the Diploma and enjoyed the challenges and the interactions with the young students.
You can apply yourself to many things you want!
Don’t be embarrassed to give it a go!
Enjoy the challenge that further education provides.
Reinvent yourself !
Turia , you are an inspiration to all. xo
I went to uni at 32 and it worked for me! I’m about to graduate at 35. I’m friends with lots of 21 year olds lol… I struggled with finances, anxiety, domestic abuse and a long-term defacto relationship breakup but I’m telling you if I can do it… anyone can. It can work! Remember you can study part-time if you want to as well to see how you go and build confidence slowly.
Nice you decided to respond to Mary with this anecdote. Indeed we can all relate. I’m 24 living in the Caribbean and I too face unconventional “challenges”. This video motivates me to grab my “banana” by the stem and enjoy that gift the most convenient way possible for me! Thank you Turia! You rock <3
I am doing a project at school. We have to choose a famous person and debate why they should be the one to guide a sinking hot air balloon to safety. I chose you because you’re such an inspirational and strong woman.
I really have been trying to get my weight under control for a really long time. I feel time is running out I am in early sixties I don’t do lots of things because of it , but for the the past 7 days I have been getting up at 5.45 am walking 20 mins to the exercise park and doing 5 mins on each of the 7 outdoor hard exercise then walking home 20 mins.I think about you Turia and say if Turia got through I can, I have not had traumatic experience just get on with it You are very inspirational and I love reading your blogs . I will look for something else to reach for to keep my weight off when I get there
I love this we all have something to work towards inspiration Turia
Turia – love your blog.
I will try switching the end I peel my banana from to see if it works better for me too !
My life is always unconventional.
I prefer it that way – I am an advertiser’s worst nightmare.
I only buy things that I need and I am generally unconcerned about how people perceive my appearance.
I generally wear shorts all year round
This get’s me in trouble with the conventional appearance police but I like to keep life simple – mostly utilitarian.
I frickin’ love you Turia! ♥ ♥ ♥
Turin, Loved the video.
Mary. Do it. I started my accounting degree when I was 45 and the same year my daughter started a nursing degree. I left school in year 10 so didn’t even have my HSC. It was scary and I was terrified I would fail so I worked harder than most as I thought I was too old to repeat anything. The thing I enjoyed most about the experience w the thing that other mature age students told me would be the worst thing, the kids. Yes, some were disruptive, but they soon disappeared. I was generally amazed at how they learned and how different it had been for me. And although I was definately the most mature student, by at least 10 years it was definately one of the best experiences of my life. Do it. You won’t regret it.