I believe in Change at Any Age

Jonna - Westminster, Colorado
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
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“I believe in change at any age.”

I am a fifty-one year old college freshman beginning a new chapter in my life. The thought of returning to school is both frightening and exciting. Not knowing where to start scared me to death. How do I register, pay for classes, what classes should I take, and will anyone make fun of me because of my age? I have too many questions with few answers. So without telling anyone in my family, I jumped in with both feet to get my questions answered.

I decided to make a change and pick up my education where I left off 36 years-ago. I started my family young, 16 to be exact, so school was out and diapers were in. Not completing high school made me determined that my kids get their education and not follow in my footsteps. Preaching nonstop to my children that “knowledge is the only thing you can take with you” finally sunk into my head. With that said, I decided to practice what I preach, so here I am starting college at near retirement age. I believe in change at any age and for me that meant continuing my education.

Picking which college to attend was harder than I thought it would be. I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean without a life jacket. It truly was time to sink or swim. I was looking for a college with a small campus as well as affordable tuition that was close to home. Researching campuses online I finally made my decision and moved on to the next step, online registration.

The college web site presented its own setbacks. Being new to the computer world made a simple application slow and at times painful, I felt like a toddler taking my first steps. I took this as my first college lesson and moved onto the FAFSA website. I was able to finish all the necessary paperwork and it only took three days to complete! Now the waiting game begins. Did I fill everything out correctly? How soon would I know, would I get funding and if not what would I do next?

After what felt like a lifetime I received the answer I was hoping for. Five months of planning and it was time to tell my family. First my youngest, a junior in high school, she looked at me like I had lost my mind. Once my son stopped laughing he thought it was a good idea.

It has been eight months since I started to reach for my dream, it is official I am a college freshman. I believe with determination and the desire to succeed dreams come true. It has taken me 36 years to go from high school drop out to college freshman. I believe in change at any age and for me that means continuing my education.