New Old Student

I know this will come as a shock, but I am going back to school! Again! THIS TIME, I am GOING to finish WHAT I started (an English degree, now with an emphasis on Creative Writing), WHERE I started it (The University of Georgia).  I am very excited!  I get more excited when I get emails from my advisor.  He probably puts his head in his hands when he gets emails from me.

I needed to email him back and I wasn’t sure how to address him. He signs his name “Jim”, but his full name is at the bottom of his email.  I sign my email “Jennifer”, but my full name is at the bottom of mine. I asked JC, who happened to be in the room, “How do I address my Advisor??? Do I say Mr. So and So? What if he has a PhD? It doesn’t say so. He signs his name “Jim”. Help!”  I was not prepared for JC’s response.  He smiled and said, “You address him the way he signs his name to you.  In fact, you are most likely older than he is.”   DO NOT SAY THAT! I screamed.

I do not like my age.  I haven’t liked it for several years before I got to it.  I cannot accept it and actually, completely reject it.  I refuse to be 50.  In my distorted view, I can’t possibly be older than 23. In reality, my oldest child turns 23 at the end of June.

Things have changed a lot at UGA since 1989.  Like registration.  I have no clue what I am doing.  My advisor asked me what section of such and such I wanted to be in for fall.  I had to say,” Look here, Jim, I’m sorry. It’s going to take me a minute to get acclimated to this scheduling stuff. By ‘section’, do you mean day and time the class meets, or are there different sections of the same class, or just what the hell are you talking about, Jim?”  I can tell that Jim and I are going to be best friends by the end of this.  I already love Jim because he said that for now, we could just avoid math.

I have not a single issue with going to school with a bunch of college age students.  I cannot wait to be back in Park Hall!  I made some of my very best friends at UGA-some of the people that I love the most-that I would do anything for-and we are still friends today. I do not expect that to happen this time. That would be weird.

I have already started warning my family.  When it’s time for me to graduate (in a  couple of years, because, hey, I am commuting from Atlanta) they will get to sit in the hot, full Sanford Stadium and watch me, at age 52 or 53, walk to receive my diploma!  Nobody seems very excited about that part.

I do hope that maybe I can help someone who may be struggling.  Seriously. Who wants to be 50 and going back to finish their undergrad? Don’t get me wrong! I am grateful that I am able to do so. I am also grateful that I want to! I think a lot of people would say, “what is the point?”

I’ll tell you what the point is.  I was taught to finish what I start.  And I did not finish this.  It has bothered me for over 30 years. The only way for me to deal with it is the right way: to finish it.

5 thoughts on “New Old Student

  1. Dana

    I did this as well ( as you know) before you and I were in-laws and it was tough the last semester as I was trying to finish while working. I wanted to quit many times but your brother helped me get through it. The degree has meant ZERO in the job market but Everything for my self esteem. You will not regret it and if you need encouragement at any time call me or your brother!!

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