Wednesday, August 12, 2009

going back to school

I went up to the college today. My plans for a master's degree were scrapped after spending a lot of time thinking and talking to people about it. The truth is that my husband and I would like to stay in our hometown where we live now, and an M.A. in emergency management isn't going to do much good here. I have been looking at nursing school for about three years, and this year we decided it was time to go for it. Every year before just hasn't felt right to me, but this year I researched my options, scheduled the necessary pre-requisites, worked a lot of overtime, and saved up for tuition. We decided that attending the community college for my A.S. in nursing was the best option, and I can do an RN-to-BSN program down the road. It will still take me three years to do this, and that's if life doesn't throw me any curves along the way.

I went up to purchase my books and try to get into another class. I've chosen to go full time this semester to get as many prerequisites done, so I can go light next semester if I want. I felt old as I walked around campus, and I found myself realizing that, this year, it will be 10 years since I started there the first time. I now have a number of college degrees, a paramedic certification, a husband and apartment and two cats. I also am thirty pounds heavier, have an overwhelming amount of student loans(hence all the overtime worked to pay for college this trip around), and am working four days a week while trying to go to school. I was noticing all the other students buying their books; girls who are thin, with long hair and not-tired eyes, clutching hands with saggy-pant wearing boyfriends. Seventeen, eighteen years old; they all seem to be majoring in criminal justice. Many of them will never finish college; that's just the way it is at a community college such as this one. Others will go one, use it as a starting point to leap off to bigger and better places and things.

But what about me? I remember the older students in my classes; we hated them, they wrecked the grading curve and had the understanding that experience is worth more than knowledge in many areas. I figured, quite honestly, that they were failures of their own making; single mothers trying to make their way through, people who had chosen not to go to college in the first place because they were dumb. I was seventeen and I wonder how many simply looked at this world and realized they were not in their proper niche.

This time around, there won't be clubs and activities, and I'm not particularly interested in socializing. I need a degree, and I'm going to get one, and hopefully discover Dean's List along the way. Ten years later I have a wealth of knowledge and experience, a man who adores me, and a job that makes school and study possible. This time around, I look forward to the adventure.