Back to blog

My Bachelor’s degree journey at the age of 47

Merilyn Tammaru

Going back to university as a mature student: My Bachelor’s degree journey at the age of 47

Why midlife is the perfect time for a fresh start in education.

Age, a mere number, or a gateway to new beginnings?

In the pursuit of lifelong learning, Uwe, a student of Responsible Entrepreneurship, shares his reflections as he starts a Bachelor's degree at the age of 47. "Why are you doing this?" This is not just the name of the blog; it is also the question that I have received on many occasions during the last few weeks since I started my Bachelor in Responsible Entrepreneurship & Management at the age of 47. In the beginning, I just answered the question and did not think much about it. But then it came again and again, and I began wondering why I got the question in the first place. For me, the more appropriate question would be, "How can you not start all over in the middle of your life?" - keeping in mind that the world is changing at a speed never seen before in human history. It seems odd, to say the least, not to learn something new and take for granted that everything I learned so far in my life will be correct and the absolute truth until I retire, a concept that in itself is odd in my eyes.

Let's start with age, to be more precise, with my age. I am 47 years old now, and then the question comes - "Why at your age…?" I mean, this sounds like I am already just a few steps away from closing my coffin. I see myself now, after being 26 years employed in a global furniture brand from Sweden, at the right age to take my first steps outside of the corporate world and start to learn and understand what more is out there.

Should learning stop after mandatory education?

Challenging societal norms about age and education

Redefining age and learning

Now, when we talk about age, I do not get the need in society to classify people according to their age and what they should or should not do, how they should be and how not, and what they should have achieved by now or not - you get the point. I think this is a concept that needs to be thrown overboard as soon as possible and replaced with something like - everybody is valuable and welcome at any age, just be yourself. I mean, all my time in the corporate world, I always referred to it as my apprenticeship, so that one day in the future when I have "done this" successfully, I will be out there in the real world doing my own thing.

Returning to university for new opportunities

Now the time has come, and for me, the most natural step is to go back to University - to be exact, the Tomorrow University - and learn all the new tools that are now available in the world, some of which could not even have been dreamt of the last time I saw a university from the inside - mobile phones at that time were exactly that, mobile phones with SMS functionality (I am still fascinated SMS still exists).

The benefits of a diverse learning environment

At the same time, being back at the University - and again especially in the setup that is offered in the Tomorrow University Campus - where the official language is English and students are from all over the world, will bring me into contact with so many people with diverse backgrounds and from all age groups. This combination, in my opinion, can only spark a massive amount of innovation, ideas, and energy to get things going and create something big and new.

Collaboration and innovation at Tomorrow University

The importance of continual education

At least for me, this has been the case. In the first weeks, we (my small learning group of 4) are already working on a social startup in which we want to support children in Tanzania with education - all sparked by the first challenge we have been confronted with at the ToU. Being in a group of like-minded people, it is fascinating how fast things can develop and take shape if you are not stuck in company politics and personal opinions. Focus on the topic and willingness to move mountains are just a WOW.

I think there is an enormous need for more people to stop and go back to University or whatever they want to do and start all over, and this not just once but regularly, so that you are always able to contribute - when you want and to whatever you want. It is such a great feeling to be out of this day-to-day, 9 to 5 thing and work on something that you feel fired up about.

The collective intelligence of diverse learners

As Tomorrow University grows, with experienced people like Uwe alongside fresh high school graduates, so does our collective intelligence portfolio of knowledge, and perspectives uniting the young and the experienced to come together and join forces to create solutions for impact and a sustainable tomorrow.

Merilyn Tammaru
Merilyn Tammaru

Join our learning experience

Related posts