Returning to College during Middle Age

I really don’t look at myself as middle aged. You think middle age and right away it’s almost as if your life is half over and maybe it is. But truthfully, if you think your middle aged then perhaps it is not with the right kind of mind frame that you go back to school. I myself felt this way when I returned to college but have been rejuvenated and feel even more youthful then when I first began.I am here to tell you that you can return at any age and perhaps have a better and more fulfilling education that you would have if you had been right out of high-school.

I became a wife and mother at the age of 19. Yes it’s young but for the most part it worked out. I had two more children and my family was complete when I turned 25. My husband at the time was taking college courses and had his Bachelor’s degree before age 30. Over the course of a few years I took some junior college courses but not with any real goals set. At the age of 32 I started to get serious about my education. At first I took one class, and then two classes until I had a full load of under division general education requirements. 7 years later at the age of 38 I knew I was going to have to make a decision. So far I had only been brave enough to go to school on a computer through distance education. Was I really smart enough to apply to a “real” school. Old insecurities came to mind which could have defeated me. Was I too old? Was I smart enough? I guess I had been shut in much too long and so I worried that I was not socially acceptable.

I remember inquiring on-line to a private school where a lot of my oldest sons friends attended. This college was ranked among the top 5. A private Christian college that had everything that I had hoped for to finish off my schooling. I put my phone number and address information on the form and pressed the submit button. A week later when the phone rang, I was surprised to hear that it was the school. I was invited down for an informal interview to see if they would be suitable for what I was looking for. Let me tell you, it is a heady experience when you see your achievements begin to pay off. Taking my unofficial transcript to the interview and being told I had more than enough units as well as acceptable grades to support this fact was the beginnings of something that has changed my life.

My first class in school was intimidating to say the least. My first A paper was enough to give me the confidence necessary to continue. A good education is much like a drug in that once you start you are compelled to continue on until you finish. As a “middle-aged woman, I have seen the positivity in attaining an education later in life. I appreciate more the hard work I have had to put in. I am older and thus life experience has given me more credibility with which to argue and to contribute with my cohorts and peers in class. I love learning and it has edified me in more ways than I can even attempt to explain. My GPA is higher than it would have been had I continued on to college right out of high-school.

And now that I have just a few short units to go,the world is open wide for me. I can still be at this stage in my life whatever it is I want to be. With maturity I can make sound decisions about my future. I can go to law school, or whatever other grad school that piques my interest. Or I can just be satisfied with how far I’ve come. Yes, there have been bumps and bruises along the way. I am still a mom and a wife but I am also a “learner for life.”