Monday, July 15, 2013

School Daze

In my previous blog entry, I mentioned that I was exercising again. In addition to that, I'm taking on an additional project this fall...I'm going back to college. With the economy the way it was and with the challenges that I had physically (making it difficult for me to get out and about), nothing was really happening with work opportunities. I had a couple of good possibilities but they didn't pan out, so I planned for college mostly as a contingency plan, in the event that the work opportunities didn't present themselves. And they didn't. So, it's off to school I go.

The thing that got me down this road was an impulsive decision at the beginning of this year, as I was filling out my daughter's financial application online. I got this idea that since it didn't really take a lot of time to fill out the application, I would fill one out for myself. I figured, "what the heck?"

I took about 15-20 minutes to fill out the financial paperwork (FAFSA application - any parent with college students knows what I'm talking about). I followed that up by getting online with the college to investigate the registration process. My daughter told me that I needed to apply for a student account with the college and then go from there.  The last time I did anything like this, I had to physically walk onto the campus and physically get the paperwork and mail it in.

It's so easy for kids these days.

So I created my college online account, and once I had that done, I checked out some classes and picked out those that would suit me fine, and put them on "wish list" type of section. Selecting classes is like shopping online, where you put your items in your shopping cart, but the difference is that the items you select may or may not be in stock when it comes time to paying.

I did all that was required of me at the time and then it was a matter of waiting for the college to get back with me to give me a date upon which to register. I was given a date of May 10, which was three months down the road. I thought this was fine, that I could register three months before school actually started, being proactive and all the fun stuff that goes with it, until my daughter told me that her registration date was a month earlier than mine. It turns out that returning students get the first pick of classes, and then returning students get the leftovers. I guess it's better than being a slacker. Slackers are those kids who drop out, or get a low GPA, and have to jump through a lot of hoops to get back into school. Colleges are a lot less lenient than they used to be when it comes to that kind of stuff.

So I waited. Thankfully, the day finally arrived and I went online to register. I felt like a 14-year-old girl trying to buy Justin Bieber concert tickets. The classes I picked were FULL.

Eventually, to my surprise, I was able to find some classes which were also simple classes, making it easy for me to ease into the college routine.

Since then, I've been on campus a couple of times to take care of paperwork and to take care of stuff that you need to do to get things in gear. It's a great feeling to be there. As I step on campus, the spirit of matriculation which permeates the air descends upon me, and I feel smarter.

I feel enthusiastic.

I feel hopeful.

And I feel old.

I feel this way when I meet some of the kids that are enrolling with me. Most of them have parents who were little kids when I started college the first time. What amazes me about these kids is how they can wake up in the morning without needing CPR to remind them how to breathe.

Is there something about this generation of young people who refuse to use their lips when they speak?

The other day, I stood in line with one of these students. His elevator obviously didn't ride all the way to the top. My new friend gave me his whole life story within fifteen minutes and was soon giving me pointers on dieting.

Yeah, that was fun.

I don't expect to see him in any of my classes.

I am starting to get excited, even though I couldn't say I was feeling that way a few weeks ago, until I watched a Tom Hanks movie, where his character loses his job and goes back to school and eventually hooks up with his teacher (Julia Roberts).

I really enjoyed this movie - not because he hooks up with Julia Roberts (although that would be pretty cool for most guys), but because it shows how starting over is nothing to be afraid of. In the movie, he learned some new things, made new friends, got a job that he could do well while he was in school, and yeah, the Julia Roberts thing.

It made me realize that in order for me to build a new life, I have to get rid of the crappy foundation upon which I've been trying to build my old life.

So, now that I'm almost as old as the school administration building was when I first started college, I say "here's to rebuilding."

I start August 12.

I wonder if they still sell Chick-O-Sticks at the student bookstore?

Stay tuned...and have a great day...

Go me.


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