Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm Going Back to College!

That's right, folks. I will be going back to college in the near future, no later than fall 2009.
Now, that may not seem like a big deal, especially if you don't know me.
But to me, it is an enormous step.
You see, I just turned forty a few days ago.
I have not attended school since November 1986, when I left West Chester University of PA after a serious freshman struggle with nerves, unpreparedness for life, and homesickness.
Life has brought many changes for me since then, as it will for almost anyone after 22 years.
I have traveled and lived in five states and two foreign countries since then. I have dealt with domestic abuse, recovered from drug addiction, and started a continuing path of spiritual and emotional growth.
My areas of scholastic interest have shifted, as well.
When I enrolled in college out of high school, my major was French with a minor in Creative Writing. My career intention was to become an interpreter for a book publishing company or perhaps write a novel in French, which at the time my romantic idealist mind found the epitome of creative success!
Now, my intended major is Anthropology, with supplemental courses in ancient history, cultural studies, languages, and geography. I hope to use this knowledge to write about my travels, perhaps become a photo-journalist, work in a museum or explore opportunities with volunteer agencies who work in developing countries.
Nothing is clear.
This blog will chronicle my steps on this new journey...my triumphs, my frustrations...as I transition back into the world of higher education and out of the doldrums of "real life".
I am at the beginning.
I am still in the selection phase, although I have narrowed it down pretty well to a number of schools in the Mid-Atlantic region (where I was born and raised) or American universities abroad.
At this point, although I have begun completing online applications, I do not even have the money to actually submit them
Where does an unemployed (self-employed) adult find the resources to return to school full-time? BEFORE getting accepted into an accredited degree program?
Undoubtedly there are many things I still haven't figured out.
I just know that I have received a message, whether you want to say from God or the universe or whatever, that NOW is the time, and that this is a necessary step in my life.

I would love to hear from other adult students, regardless of what age or field of study you are in, to share the experience, to support and encourage one another.
Please feel free to comment on any aspect of your adult college experience!
Or just leave a message wishing me luck.
Thanks!




3 comments:

life goes on said...

Fear Not!! You'll do great! I went back when I turned fourty for an Assoc. degree and then agree a few years later to complete my Bachelor's. I'll be fifty in the summer and I've returned yet again for a Nursing Degree.

Just remember, not all credits transfer so if you want to continue on with your education plan for it. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Considering everything you've overcome in your life, this is a cake walk. Things have changed, but it's nothing you can't handle!

Good Luck!!

E. Sheppard said...

I just know you can do it. The very best of luck to you in your educational journey. I remember how excited I was when I went back. So I am excited for you too! I will be back here to see how it is going. Keep in touch, OK?

lamdeveg said...

I could never shake the nagging regret of having never gone on to higher education. I found myself trapped in a dead end cubicle job for far less than I was worth and came to a decision to stop settling and do what I needed to make my life my own! I turned in my 2 weeks notice, rolled my 401k into an IRA I could tap for expenses (penalties be damned, this was my life we were talking about) and enrolled in Community college immediately Summer Quarter of 09'! I have since decided to go on to get my Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State after finishing my GEC (General Education Cirriculum) at cheaper Community College and transfer in the summer or fall of 2011. I will be 45 by the time I graduate but will likely be starting at a salary double what I had made at any other time in my life and be doing what I truly love. As a wise friend of mine asked me when I balked at idea of dedicating 5 years to being a full time student at 40, how old will you be in 5 years if you don't go back to school? Here I am after 3 quarters holding a straight 4.0 GPA, an officer in Phi Theta Kappa Nat'l Honors Society and 2 time Dean's list member all while in the best shape mentally and physically I've ever been it! Life is what you make it and there is no dress rehearsal!