Over 35 and Studying? You’re Not Alone.

I’m not surprised when I hear from someone having trouble balancing work, home-life, and studying, but I’m surprised that those who reach out to me give me the impression that they think that they’re alone in this dilemma.

I’m never sure how to strike the balance in my response: I genuinely hurt for them and want to tell them they are not alone, but sometimes I think that response comes across as “You’re problems, the ones that are crushing you, are not that special and everyone else is dealing with them too.”

So I’ve taken to phoning folks. Empathy doesn’t transfer well by email.

This seems to be more prevalent in the over-40 crowd, who have the stresses of raising children and, maybe, caring for an aging parent.

If you graduated college in the last five years and are considering sitting for these exams, do it! Now! You’ll be busier later.

If you’ve waited, that’s great too. I think most people I come in contact with wait a bit longer than they wanted to before sitting down with the exams.

It’s a funny mixture of, on the one hand “I can’t study because I’m so busy at work,” which feels kind of like it’s part of the public discussion—a first-place “busiest” medal to be worn to establish our rightful place in the meritocracy. (Ask a professional how things are going at a bar-b-que and, odds are, he’ll respond with some variant on “busy.”) 

And on the other hand, “I’m buried by my family responsibilities,” which not only is under-discussed in the public square, it’s actively concealed. On social media everyone looks so busy, yet so unburdened.

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