Life as an older student facing the unexpected and succeeding


I am a student in the Advertising and Marketing Communications Management program attending Sheridan.

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked onto campus that first day. I was pushing 30, so I knew the majority of my classmates would be younger. I knew they would have more knowledge with today’s technology over me, lets not forget, when I was in high school cell phones were beginning to become popular, MSN and ICQ were the platforms for social media and we had no clue what was coming.

This past decade I feel like technology has boomed faster than I could have ever imagined.

So yes, I walked on campus feeling more like I was traditional print versus new media. I will not lie, I was extremely worried. However like traditional print I am not dead, and I still have a lot to offer.

Very quickly I joined into the class room conversations, and just as quickly a few of my teachers warmed up to me. I was actively participating and asking questions whenever I was unsure of something. My efforts earned respect and very soon my fellow classmates invited me to join them on lunch.  They were very friendly and welcoming which was such a relief. Soon they were helping me ‘get with the times’ and I was having a very successful first year.

In the advertising and marketing industry, the ability to connect is a necessity, and in my first year I had made plenty of connections, within my program and outside of my program.

Now, being older and going back to school has some serious benefits. I have a friend who works for a large PR firm as an account manager in marketing and who has been a tremendous help as well, he is the one who directed me to WordPress to start blogging for the first time in my life. He also introduced me to twitter last year and has had endless amounts of advice to help me out on so many different situations. Being older I do have more connections than I did when I was 19.

So there it was the final day and my classmates and I were polishing off those last beers in celebration of a good first year before we all went are seperate ways for the summer.

Yippie!  Summer!


what now?

Soon I felt like I was being unproductive.

Do not mistake this as I am sitting around the house twiddling my thumbs. I went to baseball games and supported my local team, I went north to my cottage, I went out seeking summer employment, I have a girl friend, I was indeed busy. But the feeling was there, a feeling of emptiness. I was use to deadlines, research, creating ads, and now I was doing none of it. So I did something about it! I contacted my buddy who is a co-owner of a local residential heating company. I offered my services for free to help him build his two year old company through advertising. I gave him some of my ideas and he contacted his fellow collegue who was the other co-owner and the two contacted me shortly after and said they would love my help and in return they would pay me for my services.

I was so pleased that my ideas earned me a side gig making money doing something in my field, something I have passion for.

I was a first year student making money putting what I had learned to work in the real world.

For my new clients I not only create the layout and copywriting for their ads, but I as well research the market and their competitors. Oh and those deadlines I mentioned are back and I now I have a feeling of productiveness.

My summer consists of many fun activities but to keep my mind sharp in the field of my career choice, I continue to read my marketing magazines I subscribed for this past November, I have joined as a student member the Canadian Marketing Association.

I as well am keeping up with my twitter account -@playfairdave 🙂

I joined WordPress to begin blogging and get comfortable with this form of social media. I as well am currently seeking volunteer positions within my field for charity work.

Remember how earlier I mentioned, walking on campus that first day and being older and not knowing what to expect?

I sure wasn’t expecting to be standing where I am with so much progress and success after only one year.

I guess if I had to offer a moral to this story it would be, no matter your age, your knowledge or skills, it is never too late to go after something you want.