My journey through college has been a long one, not because of the distance, but because of several detours. If you’re like me, you graduated high school and decided that you would:
a. take a break from school (a break meant to last one semester but turned into several years),
b. get a job first to save money so you could move out of your parents’ house,
c. learn a quick, easy trade and leap into the rat race.
After I graduated in 1998, I chose all of the above. Originally, I planned to earn my associate’s degree from a community college while working full time so I could save money to move into my own place.
When I told my college advisers this plan, they warned me that the average time for a working student to earn an AA degree is five years. I scoffed at their warning. I thought I was smart enough to do it in two years.
It took me 10.
I learned that living on your own meant you had to pay bills (and on time!). Within a year, I went from being a full-time student and part-time employee to a part-time student and full-time employee. Eventually, school fell off the radar completely.
At age 35, I realized that a degree is a valuable asset. Not only can it increase your earning power, but the training and education that upper-level courses provide are key to gaining proficiency in your chosen career field.
So now I’m back . . . and boy, did I miss a lot! I’ve also noticed that my experiences as a 30-something college student are different from those of younger students. Because I like to find humor in life, my observations inspired this list of signs you’re a student over the age of 30:
- You’re mistaken for the instructor when you walk into the classroom on the first day.
- You actually have enough gas in your tank to get to class.
- You carry a real notebook (the paper kind!) and pen to class for note taking.
- You think APA is a type of doctor.
- Classmates come to you for career advice.
- Your cell phone is on just in case your kids have an emergency.
- You have to bring a snack to class because you can’t take your meds on an empty stomach.
- You know that algebra really is useless to most people in the real word.
Do some of these describe you? If so, it’s okay to laugh! As for the rest of you young whippersnappers, take it easy on us older students. We still work long days.
About the author: Keith Freeman is a full-time employee, a full-time student and a newly-hired full-time husband! His major is English, with a concentration in Professional Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications. He currently resides in Lakeland, FL.