After almost fifteen years of resting my academic brain, I am a college student once again. (Check out my Facebook page for my official back to school pic.) It takes some people longer than others to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. I’m a University Studies Major, which is basically a choose your own adventure major. My core curriculum is in Fashion Merchandising, Business, and child development.
I had a crazy first week of school, and as any good blogger would, I’m going to tell you all about it. If you’re also a thirtysomething college student you can laugh with me. And if not you can always laugh at me. Here are a few things I learned during my first week back in school…
1. It’s physically strenuous.
As I type this, my shoulders, back, and legs ache. Ok, to be honest, everything aches. Somehow it never occurred to me that walking two to three miles a day while wearing a 40 pound backpack would be a problem. I’m still relatively young, and in relatively good shape, so I just went for it with no prior training. WRONG! I should have trained for this like I’d train for a 5k. Wait, no, training for 2 weeks and then giving up and drinking a bottle of wine probably wouldn’t have helped.
2. Heels are not an option.
I love heels and wear them almost daily. I wear wedges in the summer, and chunky-heeled boots in the winter. Period. All of my pants are hemmed to accommodate a two to three inch heel. Oh, and one more thing, I never wear sneakers unless I’m at the gym (which is never, so that last part is irrelevant). Since Algebra is back in my life again here’s an equation for you:
Heels + 40lb Backpack x 5 days= A trip to the chiropractor
My back is not 20 anymore, so now I’m the proud owner of some black Nikes. I don’t hate them.
3. Kids these days are chronically uninterested.
I’m a 34-year-old woman in a sea of 18-year-old kids. I could literally be their mother. And I’m not using literally in the way they use it because that figuratively drives me crazy. I mean literally. I don’t expect to become best friends with any of them. I expect them to sound whiny and entitled, because all kids that age do (Lord knows I did). What shocks me is their ostensible apathy. These kids are expending so much mental energy trying to act like they don’t give a damn that I’m not sure how they have any left to do their classwork. This is an actual conversation I overheard in my Fashion Merchandising class:
Girl 1: “I feel like I should actually wear real clothes this class…because it’s, like, a class about fashion.”
Girl 2: (Sighs) “I just can’t bring myself to do that.”
Girl 1: “Yeah, I know what you mean.”
Maybe I wouldn’t have found that so irritating if I wasn’t so tired. From waking up at 5:30. To get myself and my FOUR children ready and fed and on the bus for school.
4. “Hey, aren’t you Zooey’s* dad?”
I live in a college town and I’m in my thirties, so it stands to reason that I know several college professors. Before school started I carefully went through my schedule to make sure none of my professor friends were going to be teaching me. However, I didn’t cross reference every professor with every possible way I could know them. It turns out I know my Writing professor. His daughter is in my daughter’s class and rides the same school bus. I probably don’t have to list for you all of the ways that could be awkward. I’ve decided to embrace the awkwardness in this situation. I’ll let you know how that goes.
5. I Forgot Algebra.
As a person who took college calculus in 12th grade, I originally scoffed at the idea of taking Remedial Algebra. Then I took the Algebra assessment test and got an embarrassingly low score. Still, I thought, it’s no big deal! Algebra is just hidden somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain. Surely I can find it and dust if off and breeze through this class. Nope. I am learning it all again, from scratch. A negative times a negative is…pretty much how I feel about learning this crap again.
I would love to keep going, but I have to go research rolling backpacks right now because ouch my achin’ back!
Are you a thirty-something college student? Tag your Twitter and Instagram posts with #30somethingcollegestudent and tell me what you’ve been up to!
*Names have been changed to protect me from an awkward conversation with my writing professor.