After a ten-year gap in my schooling, I’m finally back in college. Previously I went to college for three years, changed my major at least three times, ran out of money, and dropped out. I’ve been working full-time ever since. Most people that know me have grown used to me saying I’d go back to school eventually. What I didn’t realize was that some of them didn’t believe I’d actually ever make it. This summer, I ran into one of my mom’s friends, and told her I’d be attending school in the fall. She replied, “Oh, you’ve been saying that for years.” Somewhat annoyed, I explained that no, I was in fact actually going to school this fall. But people are like that sometimes, and it’s important not to let negativity (or apathy) come between oneself and a goal. I’m very thankful that my close friends and family are so supportive.
Anyway, hurrah for school! I’m a part-time nontraditional student, so getting back into things (and trying to remember things I haven’t used in ten years) is a little crazy. Thankfully, there are tools out there that didn’t exist ten years ago. YouTube and social media were around, but not in the way it is today. Smartphones hadn’t been invented yet. (I had a cell phone, but I rarely carried it around, much to my mom’s frustration.) But now, if I don’t understand something in my math class, I can look for a YouTube video on the subject and have someone explain it to me. I can get apps on my smartphone, such as Khan Academy (which I highly recommend). Best of all, I’m more mature than I was ten years ago, and studying is actually important to me. Having the drive to succeed is something I didn’t possess back then.
Additionally, I’ve learned not to take my education for granted. This is an opportunity that I didn’t fully appreciate when I was 19. I was kind of a shy wallflower, afraid of being different from everyone else, and trying desperately to fit in and be accepted. I don’t care about that now, so I’m not afraid of asking questions and getting stuff done. No one is going to care about my education as much as I do, so I’m going to make the most of it!