In the early 2000’s I decided to skip college for a art school, then a chef training program and eventually living the free life of “not giving a damn”. The decision was part necessity, part lack of motivation, on my part. Then before I noticed life happened. I traveled a little, following rock bands like Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction around the country. I worked every type of restaurant job possibly imagined. I even owned my own business at some point in time. Crisscrossing the United States gathering experiences, some good, some really bad as I went along this things called life.

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In fact my adventures included somewhere along the way a minor forced vacation in prison, courtesy of the U.S. government. Meeting my husband, having children, marrying my husband all before the age of 30. My free wheeling days as a self styled American gypsy hipster were in fact short lived. Life is hard, my dad would say. After not being satisfied with my current occupation as a stay at home mom, I threw my hands up in the air and decided it was about time to go back to school and give it the ole college try. Little did I know that I was part of a trend, at the time of older students returning to college. I imagined being the “old woman” back off in the corner of the classroom, compared to the 18 and 19 year old fresh faced classmates. The justification for going back to college was the idea of a  dream job career in Television production. My wonderful husband encouraged me to pursue anything in Film. My excitement for the first two years attending a local community college in order to save money was fueled by like minded adult faces in the crowded class’s. However my first semester at UNT reality set in ushering in a familiar anxious dread. Many friends and family along with advisers warned me of all the young competitive smart kids out there who grew up on the internet unlike me. I mean when I was in my prime, if you wanted to know something you had to look if up in a big book called an encyclopedia. Usually found at your local library. For me balancing pragmatic concerns with genuine interests is no simple or easy task for me, since the two unfortunately rarely merge.

Before I even stepped foot in a classroom at UNT, I projected my own since of failure into an imaginary room, chastising myself, comparing myself to others. How could I possibly relate to a 18 year old kid, who was closer in age to my daughter then me? Then I hear my husbands voice over all of the noise. Reminding me of how I am not there to make friends and relate to children. I am there for a degree. So put your head down, smile and nod once in a while, and never stop looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Thirty something’s return to college.

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