Already I have completed my first week of college. It flew by at an astonishing pace, and I have received my first three grades…three perfect scores. This week has left me wondering whether an older college student tends to be better at school than a younger one.
The first week of classes was a flurry of activity – learning university rules, course requirements, setting aside study time, meeting professors and classmates, talking to my counselors and completing and turning in assignments. This semester I am taking writing and communications classes as my major is communications.
As a high school student, I remember things being very difficult and boring. I just wanted to finish high school so I could get on with life. After a ten year break from school, I was much more appreciative of education as a slightly older college student in my late 20’s. Furthering my career was important to me, but I became exhausted from trying to go to school while working full-time and being a wife and a mother to two small children.
Now, as a much older college student, my children are grown and I have years of life under my belt. My first major project is looking quite easy because it’s a business-related project and I have run a business before and have that experience. I have thought this project is probably much more difficult for my young classmates than it is for this older college student. At this time in my life, I feel so honored to have the opportunity to get an education, and I am absorbing every bit of learning that comes my way.
My daughter and I live together, and she is currently working on her Master’s degree. She tells me that as a 20-year-old she didn’t have a clue about what she wanted to do, but now at 31 and with years of job experience behind her the classes she is taking are relevant to her current job, she is learning much and her interest level is much higher as an older college student.
Studying is not the chore for us now that it was in our 20’s. Our education is fun, important and something we can apply immediately to our present jobs. It has occurred to me that possibly an education is a waste on young adults. I know that is not completely true, but it certainly is not the same “gift” to them as it is to an older college student. A college education does enable young people to become more employable, but it takes an older college student to truly appreciate the opportunity and apply it immediately. After all, as an older college student I am not getting any younger so I have to use it now.
It would be great to see another older college student in my classes. Why do we feel we have passed our time to learn just because we have reached our 40’s and 50’s? I was 50 years old last week and I am still 50 years old today, but today I am one week closer to my Associate of Arts Degree in Communications. I would rather grow older and smarter than just grow older. This older college student has a plan, yes indeed.