After 25 years, I'm going back to school and today is my first day of classes at the local junior college.
The fact that I never finished college has hung over me for years (decades, even). It's been a heavy feeling, like one of those anvils destined for Wile E. Coyote's head.
Feelings of shame and embarrassment about not completing my higher education have plagued me throughout the years, but I was always too paralyzed by the administrative maze I'd have to maneuver to figure out how to get my transcripts, take the assessment tests and register for classes alongside students fresh out of high school.
A dozen years into this mothering gig, I've learned a few things and consider being a mom its own higher education. The words of encouragement and confidence I'm trying to instill in my son have permeated my very own existence. Reflecting on the mantras I've said repeatedly to him throughout the years, I realized those mantras can and should be my own, too.
You can do anything you set your mind to.
Do the best you can.
Just give it a try before you decide you can't do it.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you're right.
It's never too late to start. Just start.
Over the past five years, I've attended workshops and classes and realized that I have a big thirst for learning. I initially doubted that I'd be a good candidate for going back to school, but after talking to a friend who is a professor at a local university, I am convinced that I am indeed the ideal student. I have lived life and, therefore, have plenty of life experiences under my belt. I'll be there because I want to be there and not because I have to be there. I'm also motivated to graduate before my own son graduates from high school, giving me a six year window to get my degree in hand.
Today marks my first day of sociology class and the focus for this semester will be on "Close Relationships and Family Life." I'm not the least bit nervous and feel like I've been preparing for this very class my entire life.
I'm ready for this next step and can't wait to see where this next chapter of my life takes me.
I bought a new notebook and sharpened my pencils to mark the occasion because that's how I've started every back-to-school year since I was a little girl.
I'm embracing the it's never too late to start mantra and finding great comfort in those words.
It's never too late to start, so I'm starting.