2019 - The Year I Get Back Into College!
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
This is going to be a rough post for me to write, because it means finally admitting to myself, and to my future readers, that I really let a lot of my life fall by the wayside in the last 9 years. For years I acted like getting back to college was my number one priority, and I wanted nothing more than to finish my degrees and get into my ideal career. Truth is, it wasn’t my number one priority, I’d wager it wasn’t even in my top 10. Turns out, I was afraid; afraid of jumping in, afraid of not being smart enough, afraid of failing. As time drew on, I became even more afraid because I had bills to pay and couldn’t attend physical classes. I always wanted the full college experience of living on campus, attending classes, and maybe taking a part time job at the campus library or something. Those wants became unattainable, became something I caused myself to miss out on, and somehow I managed to convince myself I was too old to go back. Convinced myself I was too old to finish college with any time to actually establish myself in a career, too old to even think about getting my Ph.D in anything, too old to make anything of myself, period.
This year I decided to stop being afraid, and to take charge. I complain about so much in my life that could be rectified by simply following my dreams and getting college out of the way. I could get into my dream career, do something amazing in research, do something worthwhile. Now, I don’t hate my current job. In fact, it affords me a lot of leisure time that other jobs just wouldn’t. It’s a great job, with great people, and the pay is definitely worth it. It’s just not what I envisioned myself doing when I grew up. As a matter of fact, growing up, I had many, many different ideas of who and what I wanted to be. I started out wanting to be an archaeologist, which then turned to a paleontologist, which made the leap to astronaut (I may still hold this pipe dream), and that proceeded to morph into some sort of amalgamation of biochemist and physicist. There were many others in between, but they all had something in common. That is, they all held one common theme: Science. My passion for science is what pushes me and motivates me; it's what keeps me going.
I made the commitment to myself at the beginning of the year that I would be back in school by no later than Fall semester. Ideally, I would like to be back in by Summer semester, but we’ll see how that pans out for me. I will be trying my damnedest, but the fact of the matter is that over the course of time, I’ve forgotten a lot of what I used to know. Math has been somewhat of a struggle for me, and I’ve failed the placement test once. I’ve failed sample tests on my own a few times, and it’s been really discouraging. Luckily for me, I found a great, free resource that I am taking full advantage of.
The place I found is a website called edX, and it’s a free online resource that offers classes taught in every subject by world-renown professors and colleges. My first course is Introduction to Algebra, and from what I’ve seen, it covers the exact areas I need to work on for the placement test to at least pass it.
This section of my website is going to document my journey (read: struggle) to teach myself what I can before I throw myself, head first, into the collegiate waters, and then my journey to get my degrees. I'll document all the chapters I study, what books they're in (if in a book instead of online), and how I'm honestly feeling. I've been told all my life that I'm smart, but I fail to apply myself, so now it's time to really buckle down, focus, and achieve everything I've ever wanted. Wish me luck!