My Experience as a Student of a Community College at the age of Sixty-Three
| I Was Not a Traditional Student
by Sondra Crane
My mother had told me years ago, after I had my first child, when I mentioned that I was sorry I did not graduate from college - I remember it as if were yesterday, "the years go by anyway, and if you only take one class a semester you eventually will earn your college degree". I did not listen to her at the time. I thought I knew better. I had always felt sorry I did not take her advice!
The years passed, as she predicted, and I had two other children. My husband died at the age of 40, and I had to raise the children alone. I often thought about the advice my mother gave me. If only I had listened, I would have become teacher by now, and earning money to raise my family.
Time passed. I remarried. Life took another bad turn. My husband died sixteen years later. Once again I was alone. I cried. I was despondent and lonely. Now, it was my children who advised me to go back to school and get my degree.
It took me another 5 years , and a lot of nagging by my kids, to finally walk into Seminole Community College and find out how I could become a college student at my age. By this time I was sixty-three.
Admission - The Road to Becoming a College Graduate
I was introduced to a Student Counselor, I asked her questions and she replied.. She made it sound easy for me to return to school at my age. After a two hour visit, I was ushered into the registry department to pay my enrollment fees. I was finally a registered college student. I felt as if I were flying. my dream would finally come true.
My mother had told me years ago. It is never too late to capture a dream. It took me all this time to listen! Admission was easier than I thought.
Required Classes For My Associate of Arts (AA) Degree
The following weeks were astounding. I was on Cloud 9. I was tested in Math and found I needed to take High School Algebra. My previous grades were low. That took one semester.
After passing Algebra I was able to enroll in college classes. I studied Intermediate Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Geology, Physiology, Drama, and Public Speaking. I loved each course.
1. Public Speaking I had to write give my Speech in front of the class. I received an A+. I was a writer and writing came easy. I was outgoing and not nervous to stand in front of the class to speak. Actually my age worked for me.
2. My daughter helped me to learn high school Geometry. I had to pass this class in order to move on to College Algebra.
3. I took Acting and performed in a play in front of an audience.
I did not rush or care if the two year degree took three or more years to complete. I loved learning, studying for tests, getting high grades and my life. My dream had finally come true.
Social Activities I Enjoyed
I did whatever the other college students did. I ate lunch in the lunchroom. I was invited to sit at their table. At times they came to me for advice. Age was no barrier at Seminole Community College. I made friends with everyone including the cafeteria workers, students, Dean of the College and the professors and the handy men. Everyone knew and waved to me. I had a ball.
When we had a guest speaker I attended. If there were other types of entertainment I was there. I fell in love with every part and moment of the college and enjoyed walking the Campus. I was in the school library at least once a week. lapped it all in. It was one of the best moments in my adult life. I highly recommend it.
I went to the college theater and attended a play, Because I was a Classical Pianist in my youth, I attended each Piano Concert. My zest for life and living compounded. I felt younger and happier than I had been in a long time. It carried over to this very day!
My children and friends took me out to lunch the day of my graduation. I was given hugs and kisses and graduation gifts. Balloons were tied to the chair and I had tears of happiness in my eyes. I was a sixty-eight year young college graduate and felt like a kid
i walked down the aisle in my cap and gown on graduation day. The Dean hugged me and told the audience nice things about me and they all stood up and clapped. I was crying from joy. I have tears in my eyes now as I remember that day.
I reached my goal. I graduated with an Associated Degree at the age of sixty-eight with Honors! I did it!
I was about to begin a new phase of my life. My lifelong dream would come true. I was on my way to became a Freelance Writer in my Seventy's. I never felt younger!
I became a freelance writer.
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