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Returning to School

School Days – as an Adult

Sure, I was in an okay job and I had an apartment and I was crusin’ thru life without any particular goals.  Education was always in the back of my mind, but since I was on my own, I did not think that I could manage financially.

Then one day while I was going through that same work routine for the 100th time, my brain kept telling me, “YES, YOU CAN!”  From that moment on, I started thinking positively that I really could go back to school full time and earn a degree.

Lucky for me, our local college had 40% adult students at that time.  They also offered financial assistance to qualified Independent Adult students.  So I camped out in the financial aid office for the next month until I finally got word that I qualified and received an Independent Academic Scholarship for tuition and books..YIPPEE!

Now all I had to do was figure out how I was going to come up with living expenses for 16 months.  I should say that I had 30 credits that were transferrable from the one year of college I had completed immediately after high school.  Also, I had been taking classes part-time for 2 years.

I calculated that I could finish in 2 full semesters, 2 summers,  and 2 mini-mesters.  At that time, tuition was billed by semester and NOT by credit hour, so I could take 18 credits and it would be billed the same as 15 or 12!  Good for me!  If I squeezed in every class I could and continued straight through the summers for 16 months, I could get my remaining 64 credits.

I recall vividly that first day of classes in the first fall semester.  I parked the car and walked through the campus looking at all those “young” students.  As I walked, I was thinking “What am I doing here?  I should be at work!”  But I determinely went to my first class and from then on, there was no turning back.

A very unexpected occurence took place as I completed my education.  I gained self-confidence.  Not only could I keep up with the younger kids, I could excel!  I was able to see myself in a whole new light.  And learning with the younger generation was an enjoyable experience.

After I returned to the workforce, I encountered other adult-student-wannabes, and encouraged them to go for it.  Education can be attained at any age in life.

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