I am an "older" student, even in grad school. This hit home last night on two fronts. On one, I got a B on a paper, and was incredibly upset. The grade was fair, even generous, given what I turned in; it's just that I am used to As, expect As and really don't want to settle for less. I was not like this as an undergrad. I wasn't even like this in my 30s. I think more of myself now than I did then. I am smart, I am capable, and there really isn't any excuse for a B.
The 2nd front came in the form of an anecdote. My professor was on a tangent about gardening. Then she talked about how, the second you turn 50, you get that mail from AARP asking you to join, showing happy old people gardening. Then she looked around the room and said, "of course, none of you are anywhere near 50..." Ummm, yeah, right. I am at least 10 years older than the nearest person my age in the room... And am much closer to 50 than I like to think.
So, why aren't there more older students? is it because education has increasingly been seen in terms of career goals, and nothing else? if it can't get you advancement, should you skip it?
For what it's worth, and despite the difficulties, my B paper notwithstanding, I highly recommend going back to school. Do something different. Shake up your ideas and your life. Take Art, take music, hell take accounting if it floats your boat. Just go to school, so I can have some creaky, old company.