I’m an older student returning to school. When I first made the decision to come back it seemed like a good one, but now I’m not so sure. I feel so inadequate. I haven’t done math in years, and I’m older than some of the teachers. I want to get a good job after I finish, but maybe I’m already too old.
Sincerely,Down in the dumps
Look up. I mean it. More than half the battle in finishing school is in the attitude you not only present to the world but the attitude you show yourself. If your goal is to get a degree, you must never give up. Besides, who said that there was a perfect age for going to college anyway?
That’s why I went. I was 42 when I began and 48 when I finished. And yes, it was difficult. There were times I wondered if it was all worth it-sometimes I still wonder with the way the economy is-but you know what? I’m glad I finished college.
My self-esteem grew. I was fairly shy when I began college, but I’d decided early on that I was going to learn all that I could and do the best that I could. I told myself that I was going to choose a seat in the front of the class so that I could really listen to what the teacher was saying. I told myself that I was going to answer questions, and deal positively with the times I looked like a fool when I got the answer wrong. I was going to be engaged. I was going to learn something. (Besides, there is a little secret I want to pass on to you about sitting in front. First, it’s easier to answer questions when you can only see students in the front row. Second, teachers like students who participate. And with many teachers, you’ll get a better grade if you do as they ask).
I did my best and the results are living proof-I ended with a 3.7 GPA. The saying, “C’s get degrees” didn’t sit well with me. I thought, “C’s? I don’t want to see a single “C” on MY transcript,” and you know what? I didn’t. My lowest grade through college was a B-.
I also realized discouragement was just a test to see how far I could really go. Testing in class (as in life outside of class) was, and still is, difficult for me, and it might just be for you. Don’t let this get you down. Study as much and as hard as you can, and if you still don’t get an A or even a B on your first exam, don’t sweat it. If you are participating in class and doing all of the assignments to the best of your ability, you will get a good grade. Why do you think I escaped with a B- in anatomy?
And no, you’re not too old. There’s something to be said for having experienced a bit more life, having a bit more wisdom, getting a degree when it would be far easier not to. There’s something to be said for a new career where you are finally doing what you love and making the money you deserve. There’s something to be said for that.