When I was 16, I quit school and got married. I had my first child a year later.
I always planned to going back to school, but never had the time, or money. In 1995,
I took my two youngest children away from abusive husband and father. I found a job in
a local motel cleaning rooms for $6.50 an hour. It was only part time, seasonal work. I ended up taking on a second job at a local restaurant waiting tables on the grave yard shift for 2.35 an hour plus tips.
My friends convinced me that if I wanted a better job I needed to get my GED. I decided to give it a shot. I never thought I I’d even pass the testing stage, since it had been so long since I’d been in school. In June of 2002, I went to take the tests. To my surprise, I passed and was handed my GED. This was great accomplishment with great timing. Because I was just told about a factory that was hiring and you needed to have at least a GED. In July, I was hired, and worked there until the doors were closed by the bank. Then, like many other older workers, I found myself looking for new employment. Since many of our skills were out dated, we needed more knowledge.
If some one would have told me twenty years ago that I would go to college, I would have laughed at them and asked them what planet they were on. I’m too old to go back to school, especially since I never finished it in the first place.
I had a lot of mixed feelings about my first day of class. I thought I would be in a classroom full of high school graduates. But to my surprise, I wasn’t the only old one there. Joanne, who was in my logic class last semester, was 72. So far in each of my classes there have been people my age or older. There was a guy on the news just the other day who promised his mom that he would learn how to read and write. He is 70 years old and in first grade. I’m proud of the fact that he, like a lot of others, has the guts to go back to school despite embarrassment about age.
I have learned through this experience that college is not just for young people. I believe you are never too old to learn. I also believe that knowledge is important no matter how old you are. I believe, with this new knowledge, we as the older work force will find better employment.
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