I’m Going To College…Where’s The Xanax?

On Monday, I’ll be taking my first college class in over 20 years.


This wasn’t planned and in a lot of ways it was a spur of the moment decision, even though it was a long harbored dream. A dream that I tried very hard to kill. I’d frequently lament to the DH that “someday” I wanted to go back to school and become an English major and I’d also not to subtly comment how jealous I was that he got to work on his second degree while I was still waiting for my chance to work on my first one.

I never claimed to be mature.

After I graduated from high school, I went to a local community college. Fiscally speaking, a four-year college was out of the question. I’ve long had a love affair with books and the written word and dreamed of becoming a published writer but without college, I assumed that was not to be.  So with a sigh, I picked the most interesting option I assumed was available to be at the time…medical assisting.

That was a mistake.

I passed my classes but I didn’t exactly excel. I assumed that was because I was working full-time while going to school but in retrospect I think I didn’t thrive because I wasn’t passionate about what I was studying.  The medical assisting education was never used…unless you count it coming in handy when one of my kids had a split lip, a broken arm, or a broken tooth…or when I lanced Skippy’s abscess on his gums.

Cut to 2012 and my new friend, Chris, telling me what she’s learning at a local college as she earns HER degree in English.

I’m so jealous of her.

(Reminder:  I never claimed to be mature.)

Chris invites me to attend an event hosted by the English department of Western Illinois University. I go and I drool. I meet the head of the English department and I drool some more. I meet the Poetry Professor. The head of the English department invites me to audit one of his classes. I go and I’m on Cloud 9.

Dang it. I still want to earn a Bachelor’s in English.

But it’s impossible and it’s too late.

I share the dream with the DH…and some close friends…and on Facebook. Suddenly the dream doesn’t seem so silly or out-of-reach. Next thing I know, I have a Pell Grant and I’m registered for Music Appreciation, Poetry Writing and Composition 101.

My online class starts on Monday and I’m scared.

If I don’t do well, I will have wasted an obscene amount of money.

And everybody will know I’m a failure.

And I’ll lose all credibility with my kids.

How the heck am I going to handle working, school and the kids as the DH finishes up HIS last semester? I’m still kind of cheesed that somehow the Monkey got away with eating a ketchup and tortilla sandwich today while I was out of the house for a couple of hours.

It’s REALLY tempting to quit before I start but I’m pretty sure I’ll regret that decision before I start. And if Meathead told me he didn’t want to go to college because of fear, I wouldn’t let fear win.

So I guess I have to do what I would tell my kids.

Work hard. Ask questions. Give it everything I got.

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