Two years ago at age 51 (yikes!), I decided it was time to get my degree. I went to work right out of High School for various reasons. I was so shy it was hard to put myself out there. I hadn’t liked some of the kids in my graduating class and couldn’t imagine spending another 2 (or more) years in their company at a local community college. In other words, I let the bullies keep me from getting an education beyond High School. Finances also played a part in my decision.
I worked steadily for 33 years, advancing along through the secretarial ranks. I did run into a few places (Kodak) that wouldn’t even let me apply because I did not have a degree. [In hindsight, given what’s happened to Kodak, it’s just as well I didn’t get in there!] In the summer of 2010, while I was working for a small start-up company, I realized I would soon be out of a job (they were out of money). I began to scramble for other options. I decided as long as I was on unemployment, I would enroll at Bryant and Stratton College in one of their online degree programs.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “the percentage increase in the number of students age 25 and over has been larger than the percentage increase in the number of younger students, and this pattern is expected to continue. Between 2000 and 2009, the enrollment of students under age 25 increased by 27 percent. Enrollment of students 25 and over rose 43 percent during the same period” (nces.ed.gov).
Today, I attend school part-time and work full-time. It will take longer to get my degree at this pace, but that’s okay. I have a 4.0 GPA and will graduate by December, 2013. I am pursuing a degree in Interactive Media Design (web design). It’s a difficult program, but it’s also very interesting and challenging.
I often get the impression that my (much) younger classmates (and sometimes the teachers, too!) think I’m crazy, but this is something that I am doing just for me, and I love it.