So the experiment to write every day turned almost immediately to every week, which then turned to every month, which is now seeming to be every semester. Although if you look at my track record, you’ll notice that I skipped right over the ‘every month’ part and didn’t manage to write anything for the rest of the semester.
Except it’s no longer the first semester of school, it’s now the second semester of school, and while I didn’t get a chance to put many ideas to paper, I at least managed to do pretty darn well. But I’m here as an arbiter for those souls over 30 years of age who wish to go back to school. I speak to those who’ve been out of school for over a decade, those who’ve chosen to better themselves with the pursuit of higher education. Listen to my words, you wise old souls, and heed my gospel.
School is hard. I mean, it’s really fucking hard. Granted, I’m studying electrical engineering, and word on the street is that’s pretty tough but goddamn. But after having done a semester, I think I have some choice words for people who are thinking of taking the plunge. Here are some cliff notes to help you decide if you want to go back.
First, unless you have a massive stockpile of money, you’re going to be broke and you’re probably going to have to work or take out loans. I’m focusing a lot of energy on avoiding loans. I was lucky enough to have a good year to save up a pile of cash, so if things go well, I should have plenty of money for the rest of my time at college before I head off to University. My grades are good enough that scholarships are a possibility, and I’ve put my name down for every grant and bursary imaginable. There’s money out there, you just need to go out and get it. Also, working a few hours a week at a kitchen keeps the savings account topped up. Not to mention that my mom owns the place we’re staying at, and is charging way less than the place is worth.
Needless to say, I’m both privileged and lucky to be in the spot I am. If you ever find yourself in that kind of lucky place, thank those who got you there by working your ass off.
But hey, you got the money thing figured out somehow, and you’re off to school. Now what?
Number 2: You’ve applied at you have some time? Get to work. I mean it. The fact that I studied online through a number of outlets before I started school has put me so far ahead of the game it’s not even funny. Come the summer time, if I’m not working two jobs, then you can bet your ass I’ll be studying for the next courses that’ll be coming up. Oh, the ol’ math book won’t be going away just because Mr. Sun is out and about.
If you haven’t looked at a textbook in years, then the pace of post-secondary education is going to be a shock. It’s the second biggest complaint I here from people, young and old. But, if someone were to take the time and get familiar with the material first, well, then you’ll have a great berth of knowledge to cushion that shock.
Thirdly, the only thing people seem to complain about more than the hectic pace of school is the people presenting the materials. Yes, you’re going to be taught by teachers, and you might not like some of them. Nothing solves problems like complaining about them.
“I think that they’re disorganized and not prepared”.
“I’m getting nothing from their class”.
“They are just sooooo rude and arrogant”.
Just a sample of some of the things you hear from other students. Hold on a second, I have a special news bulletin handed to me…
Special News Bulletin That was Just Handed to Me
I’m reading here, yes, it’s saying that no matter how much you don’t like your teacher, complaining isn’t going to do anything. Absolutely nothing will come of it. I’ve had some great teachers so far. I’ve had a couple who weren’t so great. You know what I can do about it? Nothing. Sure, I could complain, I could make a stink, I could bring it to the Dean of the program and point out the injustice having to put up with a wiener of a teacher. Even if I do succeed in getting the teacher reprimanded, they won’t go anywhere until the semester is done. Great, you’ve spent a pile of energy helping the people behind you. While incredibly altruistic, you could have been studying.
Speaking of which, my half an hour is up and I gotta get back to the books.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. Alright, one-half hour a week. I can manage that, I think.