When that Missing College Degree Haunts your Life

It didn’t take a lot for me to decide to go back to school and earn my degree; not after thirteen years of going nowhere fast. I had always wanted to go to college, but due to my own poor performance in highschool and life’s circumstances, I had to settle for going to a vocational school immediately following high school. At the time it seemed better than nothing. It was a way to receive some job skill training and earn more than minimum wage. Perhaps I could even find a job where they offered scholarship programs and get into college that way.

Well, I did find a job that offered scholarship programs. I was succeeding at my job and well on my way to earning a spot in that program. Then life happened, I got caught up in being a young adult out on my own, and partying became my main focus. As is to be expected when any young adult starts partying heavy, everything else fell apart for me. I stopped going to work, eventually got fired, and found myself with nothing. Fortunately, by the age of twenty-five I had become completely sober. By the age of twenty-eight I was standing on my own two feet. Then, at the age of thirty, I realized that I really was no better off than I was when I graduated from high school.

As I started pondering my life more, I found myself thinking about that long-lost dream of going to college. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to go for it. The closer I got to deciding to go for it, the more intimidating the whole idea became. What was I gonna do in college, at the age of thirty? Would I be able to keep up with the younger students? Would I remember enough, after all the years away from school, to be able to do well? Mostly though, I worried that I would fail miserably. After about six months of procrastination, I finally decided to jump in feet first, and I started contacting the community colleges and universities near me.

And then? And now?

Well, within a few weeks of calling schools, I had found the one I felt most comfortable with and enrolled. I selected a community college which is on the state board of regents, and has a direct transfer program to the state universities. I felt that this was a good route for me to take, because of the smaller size of the school. I wanted to be somewhere that I could not only learn, but learn how to learn again, without the pressure of the university. Now, I am on my way to graduating in the spring with an Associates in Arts. I am a member of the honor society with a 4.0 GPA, and I have been named to the National Dean’s List. I have applied for scholarships and admission to the university that I always wanted to go to when I was younger, and forsee no reason that I should not be there within the next year. I might not have gone far in life between the ages of eighteen and thirty, but I have sure come a long way in the last year and a half.

I definitely recommend going back to school, to anyone who is considering it, or who feels like they missed an opportunity somewhere along the way. Personally, it has given me an increased sense of self-worth, opened my eyes to how many things I can still do in life, and I have enjoyed it immensely. Whether it is a community college, a university, or even a vocational school, it can never hurt to go back and get more education.