I can think of a lot of reasons why it is awkward to go back to college if someone is old but I will try to narrow it to the typical cliches life has to offer.
1. Your classmates are younger than you, and they are sometimes annoying
In my own experience, I worked first since I felt my actions and existence during my college years was futile. Perhaps a lot of people may have discontinued going to college for various reasons (may it be valid or not) in order to earn money in which it is a necessity, but the time spent on working (depending how many years you have actually worked) is going to add years on your current age.
As you have already enrolled to a college of your choice and entered the classroom, you may have noticed that majority of your classmates are way younger compared to you (if you are blessed with genes that still makes you look young as if time stood still, then hallelujah for you, dood!) mentally and physically. Since they are young, you may experience a lot of things from them; some may ridicule you about your age and physical appearance, their immaturity to the point that they are irresponsible on the tasks given to them drives you nuts, their constant chattering adds to the ever present noise pollution that gives you a tremendous headache, their obnoxious and mean behavior in which they will take advantage of an elder professor in which it will arouse your sense of justice in which you will say they are unfair, and so on and so forth.
But looking at this, most of us, in some ways during our college days and in our youth, may have also done this as well and subconsciously had forgotten about it (due to a lot of things) which makes young classmates perfect time machines in which we can observe our younger selves portrayed by their antics.
2. Memory Gap
They say that as a person gets older, he or she gets wiser. But does that mean you also get more intelligent with each passing year that you are working and not studying? Perhaps we get wiser due to the things we experience at work, in which it will not really be applicable in an academic standpoint. But if you will compare an elder person’s brain to a fresh whipper snapper’s, their brain can memorize and retain more information easily compared to us folks. Most of the people reading this may not agree, but we cannot deny a fact that a brain of a person is like a blank tape; you can store as much information on it but as we get older, the blank tape will have wear and tear in which its performance will also be affected and it’s going to be hard to override new data on that tape since it will compromise and affect existing information, in which you may want not to mess with.
3. Your “peers” are missing
They say that “birds of feather flock together.” I’m no bird and I also hate those flying feathery fowls, but if you will notice, especially during your elementary and high school days that kids get along together because most of them are at the same age with one another. This same concept also applies for college because young people enjoy being with their fellow young ones since most of them can comprehend or relate to many things like current fads, news, trends, hobbies and experiences.