This comes to you very late at night as I wait patiently for the Adobe Creative Suite to download to my tired little laptop. My little laptop is probably not 1/2 as tired as my poor aching brain. For I, dear people, became a full-time student yesterday. I just realized that not only did I not take pictures of my kids first day back to school but I forgot to take one of myself ! Damn. We’ll have to fix that and just fake it. What I had forgotten with my 14 year sabbatical from full-time learning is how much information gets thrown at you and how tired it makes you. Deep down, bone doggy tired. Back to when I had a newborn tired. Almost back to when I had a toddler and a newborn tired. But I am also so excited. I find knowledge exciting. For knowledge, I will endure the aching brain.
Endurance – that is a word I will need to embrace over the next months in my search for knowledge. Some other words that might make the list are patience followed by perseverance, tolerance, acceptance, and Ibuprofen. Being a mature student for the second time around has its benefits and its deficits. The main benefit is that I am taking this very seriously. Fettucine Alfredo heart attack serious. Lady Gaga Pokerface serious. The future of my family serious. I plan to get everything I can out of this course. All the knowledge, skills, contacts, personal development opportunities, software and whatever else I wring out of my tuition cheques. My journey to increase my knowledge base will require serious commitment and a willingness to learn to like coffee. I will need to remember the reason I took the first step and hold close the excitement I feel right now. When words like frustration, anxiety, doubt and hesitation I will need to remember that I can finish this.
The deficits of being a mature student ? I have a lot on the line. My family is counting on me to get everything I can out of this so I can get a decent job. My husband is a Millwright and a gainfully employed one so we are in no way destitute. But we’d like to go to Disney. We’d like to get new furniture. We’d like to enroll the kids in more activities. I would like to feel that I am actively contributing the health, welfare,financial stability, future and development of my children and my family. I would like to feel as though I helping to make a dent in the debt we have accrued in the name of my husband and mine’s education. I would like to feel engaged, inspired and committed to a career that is fulfilling and purposeful. I want to make my mother, my husband, my kids and all the friends who have offered their unfailing support for this adventure proud of me. Not too much pressure eh ? It is self-induced which is another deficit to being a mature student. We have more to lose and no time to make it up. Our search for knowledge needs to succeed.
As my mother astutely pointed out today, I was much like the young ‘uns in my class back in the day. The day of being a mature student at 24. No idea of what this was really going to take. No idea of the hard work this was going to entail. Regardless of the educational backgrounds that students in this graduate certificate program bring to the table, I am starting to wonder if they realize what this is going to take or is my perspective somewhat skewed ? I am in no way disparaging anyone. They all appear to be committed to success on some level. I just wonder if they realize what a gift they have in front of them. What an opportunity they have within their grasp. The chance not to waste years and years bouncing from job to job instead of building a career. I wonder if perspective is a word they can have on their list at such a young age ? Or is this the gift of the mature student ? The appreciation of the value of knowledge.
I’m not sure what wise person first said knowledge is power but a truer phrase has hardly been spoken. While I feel a bit dazed by the moderate amount of information we’ve received so far, I feel the power building. The inspiration to be creative and to build upon what skills I already have. A chance to take control of what was a directionless future and turn it in to one of opportunity. When I contemplate the number of people in the world kept powerless by ignorance, either through political oppression or personal circumstance, I feel a true sense of gratitude and understanding. An understanding that my opportunity to gain knowledge is a gift in so many ways. To live in a country where I have a choice of colleges. To have been genetically blessed with a quizzical, creative and questioning mind. To have a family willing to support me in this pursuit of knowledge. To have the opportunity to model for my children that the search for knowledge never grows old no matter how mature the student might be. For that, I will endure the aching brain.