Posts Tagged ‘college dropout’

Photo by {N} Durand

I may possibly be on the brink of insanity (again).  Today after lo, so many years, I’m returning to college. This isn’t the first time, but I certainly hope it’s the last.

I started college while I was in high school …I went there in the morning for classes and then headed back to my high school in the afternoon for my “regular” schoolwork  Originally, I had hoped to earn a degree in journalism — the whole idea sounded quite exciting and glamorous. I had no problem envisioning myself covering news stories like heated political protests in the midst of a crowded city street or crouched beneath a whirling tornado in the middle of a cornfield somewhere. Like any 19 year old, I was an immortal risk taker and was all for a little excitement. But when I told people of my hopes and dreams the typical response was, “Ohh…that’s such a competitive field.  Do you really think you do it? And aren’t you worried about getting hurt?”

Yeah. As I got older, I actually did having concerns about errant Molotov cocktails or a couple of cornstalks getting embedded in my forehead. Plus I was a wimp. If the job market for journalism was competitive, it was much easier to give up before I even tried so eventually I dropped the idea.

But not to worry! I was able to land a fabulous 5 dollar an hour job working at an optical lab located in the moldy basement of a strip mall. From there I went on to work in sales support for a bunch of perverted men at a booming computer manufacturer, and eventually I was employed as an account service representative at a medical instrument company located near the Mississippi River.

After Stella and Noah were born, I quit my job and began working from home so Ron and I could forego putting our kids in daycare. I figured out how to do all kinds groovy things on my own like web design, graphics, and freelance writing. I even took a few college classes in web programming but ultimately figured out that really wasn’t my bag, either.

So now, 7 years after that last college stint (now that I’m practically at retirement age…), I’ve decided to dive back into the whole college thing and get the English degree I should have gotten decades ago. I cannot even tell you how many times I have wanted to kick myself for not doing this earlier  (and by the way– I’ve learned that it’s actually super hard to kick yourself).

One thing I have been able to take away from my initial mistakes and fears is wisdom. I have learned that my kids need to get a degree. Any kind of degree — even if it’s a BA in Peanut Butter Sandwich Making. They need to do it because it does open doors. It will make difference in what an employer will pay. It can make the difference between getting a job in a moldy optical lab in the basement of a strip mall or landing work in a clean, spore-free environment.

So, wish me luck today as I head out the door with my sharpened pencils, spiral notebooks, brand new Hello Kitty backpack, and the used textbook in “good” condition I scored from Amazon for a mere $20. In a few days, I’ll let you know how my first day went.

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