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Playing With: Back to School
Basic Trope: An adult character returns to school.
  • Straight: Alice decides to finally get her bachelor's degree.
  • Exaggerated: Alice needs to go back to Junior High.
  • Downplayed: Alice is working towards her master's degree online.
  • Justified:
    • Alice needs some additional training to get a degree, license, or certificate for her career.
    • Alice never got to finish school and wants to do that, so she can make a better life for herself and/or her family.
    • Alice wants some personal enrichment.
    • Alice can't afford graduate school on her own, but the company she works for is willing to pay for her advanced education as long as a) she keeps her grades up and b) it's relevant to her career field. She'd be crazy not to take the opportunity.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alice takes classes online or by correspondence.
    • Alice is 19, and entering college as a freshman.
    • Alice is only changing her major or transferring schools.
    • Alice dropped out of high school when she faced a Teen Pregnancy. She is now finding that getting a job is difficult because she doesn't have a high school diploma, and wonders about going back, but then decides it would be too difficult to go back to school with a baby or toddler to look after.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Well, all the book work. She has a couple of lab sessions, and for that, she has to go to the local community college campus.
    • She took a year off after High School to go backpacking through Europe.
    • Her credits aren't making the transition with her, so she'll have to start all over from square one.
    • Alice studies to take the GED exam and get her "Good Enough Degree."
    • Alice goes to school part-time, or enters a program geared towards teen moms.
  • Parodied: Alice's Pointy-Haired Boss actually pays for her to repeat kindergarten.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice enrolls in college, then changes her major, then changes it again, then drops out, then re-enrolls six months later, then transfers schools...
  • Averted:
    • Alice is not enrolled in school, and never thinks of going back.
    • Alice is enrolled in school from the beginning.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "I wonder if I should go back to college?"
  • Invoked:
    • Alice, a young girl who became pregnant in high school and had the baby is looking for additional money to support herself and the baby after the father leaves, her parents cut her off financially (or disown her), etc. She's finding that she can't get anything above minimum wage (and sometimes can't even get those kinds of jobs) because every place wants at least a high school diploma. She starts to think about going back.
    • Alice wants to move up in her career, but the only way to do that is to get an advanced degree.
  • Exploited:
    • In order to keep teens from dropping out due to Teen Pregnancy, a school is set up for teen moms that provides free or low-cost childcare, a more flexible schedule, etc.
    • TropeCo Inc. pays for its employees to get advanced degrees provided they meet certain requirements.
    • A community college pops up, with flexible class schedules, as well as online classes, designed to work around the work schedules of working adults who wish to get degrees or certificates, or who simply want personal enrichment.
    • A regular college or university does the previous point, especially if it's offering a graduate program.
  • Defied:
    • Alice decides to wait until her child is old enough to go to school before going back herself, seeing as she doesn't have anyone to look after the kid during the day, or that she can't keep up with both schoolwork and taking care of a baby or toddler.
    • Alice is afraid of failing, or what others might think, and decides not to go back.
    • Alice decides she has no interest in going back to school.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

Back to Back to School

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