Marriage & Relationships, Self Improvement

5 Powerful Things I Learned Returning to College in My 40s

I’d always meant to, the thought was there, the want was there, but the motivation, well, the motivation had left the room and took a long vacation, until…

Our oldest son received his acceptance letter from the University of Oklahoma.  That was a great day for him and a proud parent moment for us.  It started the wheels turning for me and I kept thinking, “I could do that, why haven’t I continued my college education?”  I had earned an associate degree nine years earlier and left it at that.  

And then… my husband got laid off.  After eight years of employment preceded by 23 in the Navy Submarine force, we found ourselves questioning everything.  Here was an intelligent, capable man who went into work and left with no idea when the next paycheck would come.  While he worried about providing for our family I witnessed his confidence shaken to the core.  It hurt to watch him question his abilities.  It sealed my decision to return to college, get my degree in business, and help put us in a position and mindset that we would be okay.  We would both have the ability to provide for our family whether or not the other was actively employed.

I am so glad I went back to school!  I stopped making excuses and completed my degree.

Here Are 5 Powerful Things I Learned 

Seek knowledge & wisdom 

You are never too old to learn

I honestly thought, at 43, I would be the oldest in the classroom. Nope, there are a lot of returning adults. That’s a great thing! Keep challenging yourself, keep growing. Excuses like, “I’m too old,” or “but, I’ll be blahblah next year.”  Yes, you will be and so what?! It’s coming whether you go for it at not.  Go for it!

Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing 

Too many times we get complacent with where we are.  That place becomes harder to change. By going back to school, you will find yourself changing, learning new things, meeting people of all ages, and gaining valuable new experiences.

Doing the hard work is rewarding

It wasn’t all rainbows and kittens, some late nights and locked away weekends studying or writing papers are inevitable. In the end, passing each class was a great reward. Receiving my degree was such a great feeling of “I DID IT!”

College students of all ages are awesome

I met some amazing people. Helpful, kind, funny, determined, they worked together to push me, challenge me, and be my cheer squad. College students are a great group of people determined to finish what was started.  My age was a non issue, everyone was in the ‘college student’ group.  What a great group!

My husband and sons are the best!

Our boys were 18, 17, and 1.5 when I started back to school. They were amazing! (I’m not just saying that because they’re mine!) They watched their little brother when I went to class or studied. They made dinners and picked up the slack when needed. They were encouraging and pushed me to do my best. Their love and support kept me moving forward one semester at a time until it was finished.

Knowledge is power so they say.  Going back to college gave me knowledge and empowered me to take a path I had only dreamed.  

I encourage you to challenge yourself, if you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time to start.  You’ll be so glad you did.  You can do it!  Go do great things.

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