Back to school, back to school…

12 January 2015

I think any time I start some sort of academic pursuit, I end up quoting or referencing Billy Madison…

So today I’m starting my second week of classes. This means I should be getting into, hopefully, good routines — starting to remember how this student thing works again. Also, it probably means that sometime soon, I’ll be getting my first real homework assignments. And I know for a fact I’ve got my first quiz coming up this week.

Getting back into school has been sort of intimidating on a few levels.

Yes, my age definitely plays a part in that. I knew going into this that making friends, or even just relating to my classmates, was going to be more of a challenge this time around. Given my hermit nature, this isn’t really a huge deal. It’d be nice to make some friends, but it isn’t my top priority right now. Plus I’ve got my family near by to go be social with.

Another factor has just been combating the pressure I’ve been putting on myself to do ridiculously well in my studies. As an adult student, and one that already has a bachelors degree, I feel like I should have this base level of knowledge that’s higher than my classmates. But honestly, I was a B level student — sometimes less because I let other factors take precedence over my studies the first time around. I do want to do my best, but I also need to accept that my best might not be a 4.0.

Lastly, I’ve had to get over this notion that if I don’t succeed — whether with a perfect gpa or obtaining my new career right away — that this was all a waste of time and money. Yes, I do want to do well and respect the financial investment I’m making. However, I have to remember that this is a step in a larger journey in which I don’t actually know my destination. (Aka LIFE, people.) I also have to eliminate this notion in regards to other people’s judgements. I can’t compare my path or journey to any one’s else. And returning home, returning to undergrad as an adult — none of that is a sign of failure. I acknowledge that if I really wanted to stay in Chicago, I could have found some way to make it work. But ultimately, to do that, I would have sacrificed a lot, and possibly felt remorse.

I’m in school because I chose it. I had the freedom to choose a second bachelors. And I need to hold tight to that. As with many things in my life, I am very lucky and blessed to be where I am.

So for all those who are wondering: school is going well so far. It’s going to get tougher, but I think I’m ready for it. I just want to prove to myself that I can do this.

*Of course, I wrote this up last night, and today there’s a 2-hour delay and my noon class is canceled… 

  • Mindy Nickel

    Best of luck with your classes this semester!

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