What is it like being an older adult returning to college


In one word -FRIGHTENING! When I started my journey four years ago, I was scared to death. I haven’t been in a classroom setting in nearly 30 years! How as I going to do this? How was I going to balance my life, my marriage, my family, my job and school. At first I almost convinved myself that I had bitten off more than I could chew. “This is nuts” I said to myself. “Who was I kidding?” My husband had to reinforce me virtually everyday during my first two quarters. he kept telling me I could do this and it has always been important for me to return to school.

The first day of class I sat in the back and observed everyone. Then I realized that everyone there at Strayer University was as old as I was or older. It brought me a sense of peace and contentment. Still I wasn’t 100% convinced that I was doing the right thing. I had so many successes in my professional life that the thought of possibly failing nearly paralyzed me. I just putting one foot in front of the other.

Then came the first assignment and then the first exam. Talk about sweating. Geez, I didn’t know how much test anxiety I really had. I could barely breathe, my palms were like a faucet just dripping with sweat.  “I can’t beleive I am doing this to myself” I kept thinking. The first exam was over with and I aced it! Yea! BUT, the test anxiety issue never stopped. Even as I completed my Bachelors at Strayer University, I still have test stress. It’s the fear of failure that gets to me. I have enjoyed maintaining a 3.8 GPA that is petrifies me to get anything below a B. The onlky class I got a B in was my first MATH CLASS. LOL. everything else is A’s. My family no longer gets excited when I tell them at midterms I have an A or at finals. They have gotten used to it – Bummer. I could still use the YES SHE DID IT! Why? Because I know what I went through to get it. Show this old girl some respect will ya! 🙂

It was a real struggle to organize my life. The only way I knew to do it was with a calendar. I wrote everything down. (I briefly tried to do it without a calendar, but no go.). My work is scheduled to the T, school is scheduled to the T, even my home life. I schedule everything. The joke around my house has been since I returned to school -Get you calendar out and tell me where you can fit me in. Oh well. 🙂

The hardest part was dealing with the lack of sleep issue. Oh yes, that was the ultimate for me. I am used to getting my 8+ hours a night and bam that changed! I had to learn how to handle late night studying with getting up early for work, then coming home and taking care of my family, and then school. It took me a couple of quarters to get that down pat, but I got it.  It was hard convincing my family that they had to take a different role. 🙂 But they eventually got it.  LOL. Sleep has become secondary and sometimes third in my life.  Actually, I think I am doing better with less sleep. (Never thought I would say that).

Well, time to get back to studying. Update later.

Kathie

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