September 3, 2010

Going back to College

I am 38 (almost 39) and have started college, again.  The first time I went, I took out a student loan, went to school every day, went to work every afternoon, studied enough to get my homework completed and paid enough attention to get by.  What was I thinking?

I have completed my second day of class.  It is wonderful.  I think I am actually learning.  Something I don't remember doing in high school or college for the first time.  To read the text books and required articles, to do the homework to having in class discussions, I am truly enjoying it.  

In my experience, going back to school later in life, I am truly appreciating the experience.  Why do we send kids right out of high school to college?  Sure, some are prepared and excited, but really, I don't think most are.  Are they truly getting an education that they will savor?

It is a joy and a privilege to go back to school. I sent my application in last spring and was accepted.  My acceptance letter told me to get my transcripts and classes picked out as soon as possible because they fill up fast.  Well, I procrastinated.  Life got busy and before I knew it, June had arrived and I still hadn't signed up for classes.

I finally went into school to sign up for classes and the enrollment person gave me a bunch of information including a "new student orientation" information.  They have scheduled a get together for new students and their families to learn about college life, what is expected, and so on.  Hello, I am not a new student so I chose to skip this orientation evening.  Ooops.  Apparently there was information on what you needed to do before you went to class.

3 days before classes began, I went to school.  I knew I needed to pick up books, but I didn't know anything else that needed to be done.  I walked into the administration office and stated "I am old, please remind me what I need to do before the first day of school."  Everybody laughed, they took me by the hand and helped me figure it out.  All the while my 17 year old son sat in the corner totally embarrassed by his old mother.

This process didn't even hurt.  I had my picture taken for student ID and information on how to use the ID for campus programs and events.  I am a little old, I don't think I will be going to the pep rally anytime soon, but  you never know.  Although, it does get me a discount at the massage school, this I will use :)  They asked me if I needed a locker.  I didn't know, how much does it cost.  It was free.  I asked others in the room if I needed a locker, why would I need a locker?  They all said yes, take the locker.  At 38 I now have a locker with a combination to remember to store my winter boots and coats.  The younger girls said they put a mirror in their locker to check their hair and make-up before class.   Umm, is this task supposed to be on my radar? I am 38.  After getting lunches packed, two kids off to school, husband out of the house for work, working for the day myself and running to class, whether my hair is perfect or my lipstick looks great is not on mind whatsoever.  But, I have a locker with nothing in it and a combination that I wrote inside my text books so I won't forget it.  You never know, I may care one day about what I look like on my way home from school at 7:30 with a 45 minute drive to make dinner and get kids ready for bed, check their home work and prepare for the next day.