Friday, June 18, 2010

I Concur!

Elizabeth Shepherd recently posted this on her blog - "Positivity vs. What You Tell Yourself: Taking Baby Steps" (http://non-traditional-students.blogspot.com/). She has some good advice for new nontrads or soon-to-be nontrads.

I want to throw in my two cents worth. Returning to school as an "older student" is scary, no doubt. Been there, done that, in the midst of it right now. Each day I am reminded I am "not getting any younger". On Sunday, I will turn 48. That will be a huge reminder that I am not getting any younger. By the time I graduate next year, it will have taken me 31 years to get my Bachelor's degree. Another huge reminder. I want to go on to grad school. When I graduate from that, I will be in my early 50's. Think that's not daunting? Many people retire in their 50's, get laid off and can't find work in their 50's, or are discouraged because they are passed over for promotion in favor of someone younger. The odds are certainly NOT in my favor.

If you're ready to go back to school, I have three words for you - JUST DO IT! What have you got to lose? Like Elizabeth says, start out with baby steps, one thing at a time. Start out with one class, perhaps at the community college, perhaps just a class in something you like - maybe writing, or computers. That will get your feet wet and you'll get used to the whole classroom experience again. Or, if the last time you were in the classroom was in high school, this will give you a feel for what college is like. Being in a classroom is like changing a diaper - you never really forget what it's like (and sometimes it can get kinda stinky!).

Don't be afraid to conquer that fear. There is a whole world out there of older students who have stood right where you're standing. Some are just starting out, some are about halfway there, some are wondering, "Why in the world did I decide to do this?? Am I nuts??", and some just graduated and can tell you it's all worth it. Stand up, take one baby step, then the next and move forward. As long as you are moving forward - that is what matters. Just do it. Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

AIU said...

Zickbee, I really enjoyed reading your "two cents worth." So many people never have the courage to take that crucial first step to further their education. They stand at the door of opportunity just waiting for it to open up to them. Life is too short to simply wait for others to hand you your destiny. You need to ring that doorbell yourself, or if need be, break down the door!

Taking baby steps to attain your goals is probably one of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard. Going back to school can be intimidating if you look solely at the big picture of, "I will get a degree and change my life." I'm in favor of looking at smaller pieces of the big picture instead. "I will take one class a quarter and dedicate myself to it." "I will prioritize my time each week to allow for my homework." "I will meet new classmates and network with them."

As a Research Specialist at American InterContinental University Online, it is my job to read through student survey comments and so many of them mirror your exact feelings! They are already settled into their life, but want something more -a degree. Reading our alumni's survey comments just proves that baby steps and facing fears is all worth it in the end. Congratulations on all of your hard work and achievements, you are proof that it can be done!

Thanks,
Christina J. Bowers
Institutional Effectiveness Research Specialist
American InterContinental University -Main Campus
Tel. 847-586-4512 (-ext. 64512)
CBowers2@aiuonline.edu