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Old & Going Back to School

by LittleFish BigPond 4 years ago in student
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It's about time.

Back to school?

After a certain age, we look at our lives. Is there something that you really wanted to do but didn’t? Now is the time. You may have always wanted a different career but raising a family and bills got into the way. You may think it’s not possible, but actually anything is possible if you want it bad enough and cast aside your excuses.

I went to nursing school in my early 20s, single mother, just getting out of a bad marriage. It was a local community college, but it had an excellent nursing program. My classmates were quite a mixture. There were your typical 18 year olds, fresh-faced and on their real first life adventure. There were people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and yes, people in their 50s. I thought wow, why? Why do such a difficult course at 50? I got to know them and my question was answered. Nursing was something that they always wanted to do. They got married, worked jobs, raised their kids, but never forgot their passion for their true career choice. Now was their time. They were older, children raised well and they were finally doing something for themselves. Bravo, I thought, but could they do it?

Everyone has heard along the way how demanding nursing school is. It actually is. I remember my cousin being really pissed off at me for telling her that she could handle it. She went a year or two after me. I didn’t lie, she did handle it. However, she had also been in the Air Force and proclaimed that nursing school was WAY harder than basic training. I will have to take her word for that, since I wasn’t in the service. But isn’t everything easier when you’re younger? You're used to school, have more energy, still in the school routine. We were in our 20s, so of course it would be more difficult for us. This is why I worried about my aged 50-something classmates.

As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. The majority of students that dropped like flies were the younger crew. There was one who did a stellar job and moved on later to be a nurse practitioner, but she was a super-student, the exception to the young crew. The older students, for the most part, did exceptionally well. They were dedicated, they studied every day, they attended every class, they were reliable, showing up on time with their work done and eager to do their best job possible. They kept their grades up to and beyond the minimum requirement for all nursing students. I was pleasantly surprised, one of my instructors wasn’t. She explained that as we go through life, learning becomes easier because we teach ourselves everyday to do new things. Anything from a simple recipe, to a home repair to a required skill at work. Being older, they have inevitably become lifelong learners. They also learned to organize, learned time management and how to pace themselves. Going back to school was a lifelong dream. They had way more dedication than the younger students. The younger group sailed through high school, busy with young people extracurricular activities, sports, dating, and being used to just cramming the night before the exam in order to pass it. That’s not how higher education works. The older group wanted this for a lifetime, they previously mourned their dream and when they got the chance, they were determined to succeed. They had to, they had mortgages and bills and one shot left. They took it, they exceled, and you can do it too.

With the age of technology which scares a lot of us, life has become much easier with the computer age. You just have to get over your fear and you do that by doing it. Every local community college has an intro to computers class. Take it. Grab a teenager if you get stuck, they really do know it all about computers, at least. Once this step, if needed, is taken, the world is literally at your fingertips. The world wide web. The internet, where just about any classes you want to attend are online. You don’t have to drive to class, you don’t have to go to the library, everything you need can be found and done with your keyboard. You no longer have to give up your job or spend every night at night classes. Some things have gotten easier in life and more things are possible.

Who knows when retirement age is? 62? 65? 70 or later? If you have a dream of a new career, don’t think it’s too late. Everything you’ve done up to this point has prepared you to make a change, if you really want it.

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LittleFish BigPond

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