Jan 23, 2008, 3:46 PM
Post #996 of 1172
Re: [Zash] does age factor into acceptance?
I'm 46, and in my first year of a three-year MFA program. I'm married, have a 5-year old child, and prior to being accepted I already lived in the town where my program is located. (Thank goodness there is a great program here.) In the Class of 2010, there is one man in his sixties, three people straight out of undergrad (early twenties) and the rest are mid-late twenties, thirties, and forties. (There are 13 of us total, fiction, poetry, and a couple of playwrights/screen writers). Only three of us already lived in town before starting the program; the others moved here.
One of the first people I met became one of my best friends. He's 22. Another woman worked for the same company where my husband works before she quit to come to school; she's in her mid-thirties, and also a chum.
The second- and third-year demographics pitch about the same; wide range of ages, backgrounds, regions. There are also M.A. and Ph.D. programs with people in all phases of life (and there's lots of cross-pollination in classes, workshops, readings, TA assignments, etc.).
What I've found is that the people whose writing I admire and who "get" what I'm trying to do with my work are the people I become friendly with -- not consciously, but just because we wind up talking about writing, reading each other's pieces, continuing the conversation at the coffee shop, inviting each other to parties, attending and discussing the same readings, working together on the lit mag, swapping articles, emailing observations... It's organic, exactly the way you'd expect to make friends in any setting. Age has utterly nothing to do with it, and I don't find myself wondering if I'm missing out on any social or academic opportunities because I'm old enough to be someone's, cough, really cool and youthful aunt.
I love my friends and I value my colleagues. Maybe I landed in a unique program, but it sure is great so far.
I hope you have a similar experience.