Gentle Reader, the reason I moved? I decided to go back to school. It had been a decade, and it was suddenly very important to me that I be enrolled in classes before my thirtieth birthday, so I put it on The List.
The Task: Enroll In Classes.
The Execution: Dear Lord, Gentle Reader – they don’t make it easy, do they? Every step of the way, I found further complications. Where would I live? Would I find work? My grades from a decade ago were so awful that my current financial aid was blocked. The fact that I’d tried to go back in winter and had to postpone until spring caused various administrative snarls. It was a nightmare.
When my then-future roommate Tram – also a recent returnee – gave me a tour of the campus, I was appalled. The place was overrun with children. They were impossibly beautiful and vigorous, and I keenly felt my age – I was made vastly aware of the dark circles under my eyes, my decaying joints. Between the bureaucratic runaround and the predatory youths, I was sore distressed.
The classes I’m in are ridiculous, and my schedule is a dream. I don’t have to be at school before 11, and I’m never there past 3:30; I currently have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off, which would be fantastic if I had a significant amount of homework or studying to do. I’m trying not to get into bad habits, because I know that everything right now is ludicrously easy and my return, once I got into the swing of it, has been very gentle. It’s been fantastic, so far.
Unexpectedly, I’ve started making friends – more than one. I had intended to just keep my head down, do my work, and move on, but people are being enormously friendly and welcoming. Of course, being a smoker has always helped with that – when you’re all in exile together, conversations naturally strike. I’ve also been taking comfort in the fact that there are a lot of older people on campus. In fact, I’m not anywhere near the oldest in any of my classes; there’s a solid base of late-twenty-somethings/early-thirty-somethings trying to make a new life. I’m not alone.
The Verdict: Would I do this again? I’m going to have to, aren’t I? But yes, I would. I’m reasonably certain that the bulk of the red-tape I had to fight my way through was a one-time thing; a lot of it was due to the mischief my 19-year-old incarnation had gotten up to. That, and a decade away from study, were the biggest barriers. Apart from all that, I’m enjoying my classes, as silly as I may find them, and I’m enjoying the atmosphere. I feel more confident and capable than I had anticipated, and very positive and serene in general.
Mind you, it’s only my third week.