M.A. in Criminal Justice Student Says it’s “Never Too Late” to Earn a Master’s Degree

Angela sits under a tree with Bunce Hall in the background.

Meet Rowan Blog guest contributor Angela Damiano, a student in the M.A. in Criminal Justice Online program through Rowan Global. After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology, Angela set off into the workforce. Here, she shares her hesitation at going back to school, the differences she feels between being an undergraduate and graduate student and what she’s gained so far from her Rowan experience.

I’ve gone back and forth for years about whether or not I should go back to school. I graduated from Stockton University in 2014. There were times when I was very close to going and chickened out at the last minute. I was previously accepted to a master’s program at Kean, but decided to not bother since I had just got hired at a well-paying state agency.

Since then, I’ve moved on to another job I love, have my own home, and am planning a wedding. Some would say that this would not be the best time to go back to school, but at some point I felt compelled to go back and knew that if I had this urge out of nowhere, I should act on it.

Angela with fiancé Ryan Wasielewski on Bunce Hall steps.
Angela with fiancé Ryan Wasielewski

I did my research and thought very hard about what to go back for. When I finally settled on criminal justice, Rowan made a lot of sense. The program is online, which is perfect for me. I’m a busy gal with a full life and commute to work, as well. If I was going back, I knew that the program would really have to work with my schedule, and so far it has.

Angela leans against a railing on the side of Bunce Hall.

While a lot of people may encourage you to go back for your master’s, what they don’t tell you is that it can be very challenging once you are “an adult.” Although I still refuse to consider myself an adult, my life is very different from when I was 22. I always loved school and was excited to go back, but it is definitely very different from my undergrad. At first I felt like a grandma compared to some of my classmates, but then I saw a handful of students my age in the class. This made me feel more comfortable.

It’s very easy to doubt yourself when you haven’t been in the swing of things for so long. As the semester continues to progress, I’m beginning to not feel like a senior citizen. I just feel like a student. I was a student at 22, and I am a student again at 29. It may have taken me some time, but I am very proud of myself for coming back.

Angela holds her hand on her hip outside of Bunce Hall.

I understand “life happens,” but I would tell anyone, at any age, that if you have the urge to go back to school, you should act upon it. It is never too late. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, you will need to dedicate time to it, but you will be so proud of yourself for finally taking that leap. I am very happy I did and I am really enjoying my courses so far.  

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Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Related posts:

Finding My Place at Rowan as an Adult Learner

A Champion and Voice for Graduate Students: Amit Dhundi, President of the Graduate Student Government Association

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