Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and have a talk with my 19 year old self. I would have some choice words for that girl: the one who didn’t take college seriously, who didn’t value the opportunity and who wasted plenty of time and money. Back then, I did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I took all these classes, but nothing stuck with me. I preferred to sleep in and blow off class rather than focus on my education.
At 33, I am still a year and a half away from earning a Bachelor’s degree. I have several college credits from different schools, but since not everything transfers, I nearly started over when I returned to school. Having to study and go to class on top of managing a house and three kids is not easy. It is definitely possible, but it takes effort. When people find out I am a student mom, they often ask me how I do it. Truthfully, I don’t know. I do it because I have to. It’s not all bad, either. There are some great advantages and clear disadvantages of being an adult student.
- You are an adult. You do not take your education for granted; you understand much more than you did 10 years ago, both in material and concepts.
- Your parents are not paying for your education. Being financially responsible for your education means you work hard to get the most out of the experience.
- There is almost always free food at school.
- Some of the teachers are your age. It’s nice because they understand the unique challenges an adult student faces.
- You are an adult. To many of your classmates, you will be the “old” one.
- Your parents are not paying for it. You are.
- The free food is usually fattening, and you do not have a 20 year old’s metabolism.
- Some of the professors are your age, which serves as a reminder that had you done this straight out of high school, you could be a professor now instead of a student.
- Your kids do this to your notebook:
No matter the challenges I face, I would rather be getting my degree in my thirties than not getting it at all. And to be honest, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. But that’s okay. To the moms thinking of going back to college, I would encourage you to go for it. Expanding your education is something you will never regret.