getting schooled.

I passed my Composition course!

I’m starting my Fundamentals of Information Security course today, and is it silly to say that I’m really excited? Like this is the first official class for my specific major and I’m really looking forward to learning more about the field I want to be in.

I never thought I’d be this hyped up to be back in school, ever. I never thought I’d be ABLE to go back to school. But I’m realizing now that maybe I just wasn’t meant to be in school at the time I was there. I wasn’t ready. And I wonder, looking at these kids who roll right to college a few months out of high school, if those kids are really even ready.

So, a little background. I originally went to college for an English/Journalism degree back in the 90s. I graduated high school, I had the summer off, and I went to college. Most of my college was paid for by student loans, of course. I had a few other grants and things that I didn’t have to pay back, but it barely covered anything. My grades were – okay. Passable, but not spectacular, so I didn’t have scholarships. My mom refused to get a PLUS loan, since that had to be paid back by the parents, and we couldn’t afford to pay for school. Essentially, if I didn’t take out Stafford loans, I wasn’t going to be able to go. And I wanted to go to college. It was the only way I could get a “real job”, according to my mom and my grandparents and every adult in my life.

(Funny thing, though – my mom was an executive assistant and didn’t go to college. So was she saying that SHE didn’t have a “real job”? Looking back on that now, that makes no sense.)

So, off to school I went. I lived in the dorms, even though I was only 30 minutes from home. I didn’t have a car, I didn’t even know how to drive. (My mom refused to let me take drivers ed in high school because she didn’t want to put me on her insurance.) It was the first time I was sort of “on my own”, and I was SO excited. I could do what I wanted! So I did.

And as a result, after almost two years, I had to leave college because I failed out. I partied, I hung out with friends, I didn’t attend class. It was entirely my mistake, I didn’t have the willpower to focus at the time. I was all about living for myself, for the first time in my life. Well – what I THOUGHT was living for myself. Looking back on it, I don’t know what I was doing. I was hanging on the best way I knew how.

And after that, I worked. Retail for SO MANY YEARS. Then office jobs, etc. And all those student loans got pushed back, forbearance after forbearance. I finally paid them off in 2015. And I didn’t even finish school.

The whole time, I regretted failing out. I was foolish, I was stupid, I fucked up. That’s what I told myself for DECADES. Finally, after a lot of therapy and a lot of talking, I realized that yeah, I made a mistake. But I wasn’t stupid. It just…wasn’t my time. It wasn’t for me, at that point in my life.

I should have taken one of those “gap years”, and worked, and saved, and saw the world. I should have probably taken five gap years. Not traveling and playing around, like most people think when they think of a gap year. Just worked, saw how the world worked, figured out what I really wanted. I was better equipped to make a decision about what I wanted to do with my life at 21 or 22 than I was at 17, even mroe so at 25. The Universe knew that.

Now, in my late 40s, I know myself better than I did at 17, and I feel more confident and focused. Now is the time I was meant to go to school. Not at 17. Do I regret flunking out? Sure. Do I hate myself for it anymore? Absolutely not.

3 responses

  1. @chronosaurus

    Your time is NOW! Take this, throw it down, and let them know who the boss is.

    I have plenty of faith in you.

    🏴‍☠️ 🐻

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