College Choices – How Difficult Can They Be? #UndergraduateAdult

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Powell via creative commons license

I was the one who didn’t go to college right out of high school. I did my college searches while in my junior and senior year, but I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. Picking the college was complicated. My parents didn’t want to spend oodles of money on my education, they wanted me to go to a state school. I wanted to follow the pack. I think our disagreement over which school I wanted to go to caused me to decline my continued education. My indecision scared me. It was easier to go out and find a job.
30+ years later, I find it is easier to pick a college than to find a job. How ironic, the way life has a turnabout when you least expect it.

How I picked my college after all these years

First, I needed to know what I wanted to learn. I’ve had a career for all these years. I’ve even changed careers several times. It wasn’t a matter of what I wanted to do with my life. Things change when you get older. A bucket list appears sometime around your 40th year. There are experiences you want before you won’t have a chance to do them. Maybe travel and see the world. Meet some Hollywood stars. Sail a boat in a harbor. Fly a plane just once. So, when I began to think about going back to school, I didn’t ask myself what I wanted to be when I grow up. I’m already a grown-up. What do I want to learn was the question I asked instead?
I began watching the college catalogs that came in the mail. I would look at the courses offered each time, in search of classes of interest to me. These catalogs were mostly of community colleges. I would see a few courses, but nothing that really excited me.
I looked at other colleges as well. Thinking maybe I needed a school that had more to offer, say Southern NH University. They had their courses that interested me, but the school was too far away. I didn’t want to travel. Then I came across the website for my final choice.
I don’t know if I fell in love with their website? Or, maybe it was the fact that they had degree programs aimed at Undergraduate Adults. I had to check it out. These courses were all online. Huh… Before I knew it I was clicking the link to find out more. By the next day, a student advisor was emailing me back and forth and explaining how easy it would be for me to go back to school after all these years. I had thought that when I couldn’t make my decision after high school, it was a missed opportunity.
My advisor is great! She talked me through the process of getting my high school transcript, applying for financial aid, and registering for classes. I was so excited when my first day came.
It’s been a lot of work; I have a minimum of two years to go. I think maybe four if I go on to a bachelor program afterward. Though at two classes a term it might be a six-year plan. But think of all the subjects I will be learning in the coming years.
This is something a teenager wouldn’t understand until they hit their 50th year.