Adjusting to life as a college student at almost 40 has been interesting. It has been good.

The first time I went to college I was very concerned about everybody else. I was very concerned about how I looked, my weight, my hair, my cool factor. I was 18 and it was the mid-90’s in New York city. Going to classes was important to me, but not as important as making friends and finding a boyfriend. It was not as important as getting into the bar across the street from the dorm or slimming down another size.

Now I attend classes with kids out of high-school and I want to fling rubber bands at them. PAY ATTENTION, kids! Stop flirting with the other freshman! Don’t be such an asshole to the teacher!

Ok, actually I only really cared about other students in class the first week. Now? I am in my own world. There are several other “grown ups” (back to school types) in my classes and we stick together. Mostly because we have the same urgency. We want to learn, and not just learn, we want to do well. In my math class the handful of other grown ups encourage each other before exams and we celebrate when we make good marks. I’ve seen some of the younger kids look at us like we are bananas when we high-five over a perfectly scored quiz, but that doesn’t quiet down our enthusiasm.

I do get really hard on myself when I don’t understand something. My networking class is very technical. I love this, but I have a lot to soak up. I suffer from the desire to be an instant expert and that desire doesn’t do me any favors in a class like this. Sometimes I feel like an idiot when I raise my hand and ask a question, but the satisfaction of finally comprehending something usually makes any feelings of regret fade away.

While I am at school to learn I did give myself time to join one club. I had such a wonderful connection to the club that I ended up being elected Vice President after the first meeting. Sweet!

I still can’t believe I am taking classes and doing all of this. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done and it continues to be hard to do and manage every day. But I keep thinking about how fantastic it is going to feel when I finish.
women-in-stem

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