College…I Hardly Knew Ye…

I don’t have a college degree and it’s something that has irritated me for as long as I can remember.  In high school, I was a quasi-nerd and hung out with guys that were on the fast track for 4 year colleges and collected their BA/BS’s in the requisite 4 years.  I was career-oriented and on the fast track for the emergency services field.  I ended up with a 25 year career in that field.

So today, I finally got off my literal and proverbial ass and drove the 30 minutes to the same community college where I took my first college class (while a senior in high school) in, ready for this: 1978.

Save for 18 units at another local community college, and a brief semester in Law School (tested in as a “special student”) I have no real college experience.  I’m 51.  I’m giving myself however long it takes to get a Bachelor’s in, oh, I don’t know…maybe English Literature (subject to change).  In the short-term however I’m going to attempt to get a certificate/license in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and perhaps switch fields while I pursue my degree.  All of this while I write a memoir and novel and work full-time at a high-end retail establishment.  No big deal.

I’ve got one daughter in her freshman year of college in DC and a son who is a junior in high school considering West Point or the Naval Academy.  I can do this.  I’m terrified and excited, but my biggest challenge frankly will be me and my commitment… specifically to the discipline it will take to do this.

But I’m over the biggest hurdle.  I actually went to the college, got my old ID number from 1978, got a counseling appointment next week, and tonight I will apply online.

I’m 51 and I feel like a nervous kid again.  That’s a good thing.



About Conversations With The Moon

Divorced father of two amazing young adults. College student, plodding away at a liberal arts degree. Formerly a Fire Captain and Paramedic. Dabbler in fashion. Liberal. Believer in Karma. View all posts by Conversations With The Moon

One response to “College…I Hardly Knew Ye…

  • mjthecreator

    Wow, that’s really inspiring and I’m sure you can do it. Following a dream, if it’s really your dream, will get you through it. I used to work for an internship program and some of the interns were in their late 20s and even 30s after having careers in the military, manufacturing, you name it. I think that they got a lot more out of the program than the people who went the traditional route, and college right out of high school is definitely not for everyone. Given the crappy job market when I graduated and my own lack of self knowledge and direction after graduating college in 2010, I had a bunch of “gap year” and retail job experiences that could have really lent perspective to my college experience and are helping me to make the most of grad school. Experience is experience, and I’m sure especially studying literature, you will add great perspective and wisdom to the class. And I do think, despite the flaws of the higher education system, there’s something intrinsically valuable about the liberal arts for all stages of life. I’ve heard you don’t really need a college degree until 30 years out so maybe you are dropping in at just the right time 🙂

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