I will soon be turning 48 years old. Yes, I have started to feel the aches and pains of middle age and my memory is not what it used to be. My thoughts have started to turn to retirement. I have been looking for a change, something to challenge me, thus I am going back to school.
I am sure there won’t be many students on the college campus wearing “Dad jeans” and sporting a salt and pepper receding hairline with a pinch of a bald spot, but this guy will be. It will be interesting attending classes with students that are young enough to be my kids.
A Different World
These kids have never popped in an 8-track tape. They have never had to wait to use the phone because their parents had a party line that was shared with others. These youngsters have never been in a world without computers, cell phones, etc. I think I am in for somewhat of a culture shock. Nonetheless, I am ready.
The last time I set foot on a college campus with the intention of attending classes, I had my ex-wife in tow. Shortly after starting school, my daughter was born, thus the college train was soon derailed. Books and classes were quickly replaced by the cries of a young child, dirty diapers, and work, work, and more work. The dream of obtaining a degree quickly became an afterthought.
Fast forward 20 years. I now have a good job, a great wife, and a daughter that will, herself, be starting college in the Fall. In a completely better place in my life, I figured it’s time to give this college thing another shot. I am a bit worried heading back to class in a totally different world. Will I be able to keep up? Will I be able to juggle work and class? Will I be able to retain items from class? Hell, I will start hunting for something on one end of my house, only to forget what it was that I was looking for by the time I get to the other end of the house.
I think I can handle it. I have always thought of myself as smart, even though I have never really taken advantage of my talent, probably due to a lack of effort. I was never a student that would study all night. Like most, I am a procrastinator, thus I worry about reading assignments or writing papers. Will I still wait until late Sunday night to crack the books or put pen to paper. I hope not.
I have made it through life doing pretty well without a college degree, but it seems more and more people value that little piece of paper. I have always thought that my life experience was far more important than some framed document stating that I completed a bunch of classes toward a common goal of a degree. I still believe that, but I feel as though I owe it to myself to give it one more try.
I have even jokingly thought about joining a fraternity, but all I can envision for myself is Revenge of the Nerds or Will Ferrell streaking down to the quad. I can assure you that no one wants to see me streaking anywhere at this point in my life. Also, all I could think about is these young college punks referring to me as “Blue”.
I have about a month before classes start. I have a lot of work to do to attend an orientation, schedule classes, get parking permits, and speak to advisors. I wish I would have done all this right out of high school like I should have. Back when my parents would have paid for me to go to school and all I would have on my plate is schoolwork. At 18, I knew everything, of course. I also had a girlfriend that meant the world to me. What was her name again?