Going to college when you’re 40 can be just as scary as going to college when you’re 20. We all ask ourselves the same questions:
Will I fit in? Will they like me? Will I be able to follow all the classes and get good grades? And then one especially for those older students: how will I combine student life with family life?
It’s been 2 months since I started and I’m not going to lie, the first 6 weeks were tough. I had a few panic attacks along the way and crashed my car an hour before the exam I feared the most. But looking back, I survived those first 6 weeks, I survived the exams (and the car crash) and to top it all off, got some really good grades … especially for the scary exam. School is proving to be really good for my self esteem. It’s getting more interesting now, with some fascinating classes like digital media and digital culture. I get to brush up my French, will finally learn how to properly use Word and Excel (because, yes I am thát old, that when Windows 95 was first introduced, I’d already graduated high school) and overall train my memory.
But what also helps so much, is that my classmates are really, really nice. They treat me like I’m one of them (even if I could be their mother … of course their very hip and trendy, young mother). I don’t feel alienated because I’m twice their age. I feel accepted as part of the class, and that makes me feel younger. I’ve never felt my real age anyway, I refuse to grow up or grow old. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel so out of place in a group of 20-year-olds? We have a lot of group assignments and I’m lucky to have met some really nice girls who take their studies seriously, but also like to have some fun.
They have already helped me more than they realise, by making me feel like I can do this (even when I think I can’t).
The 4 of us decided to do a Holiday Swap. We each made a moodboard of things we like and then picked a name randomly. The set-up was to buy some fun things for that one person, based on their moodboard or on how well you’ve gotten to know that person by now. Shopping for someone you haven’t known for very long isn’t always easy, but when you spend all day every day with them, you kinda have an idea of what they like. Last Friday we did the swap. It’s like Secret Santa: you don’t know who bought for whom.
I picked Robin, a blogger on mustberobin. She loves running and working out, eating healthy, drinking coffee, tea and soup and having a good time. She’s always full of energy and it’s very contagious.
Robin picked Katrien, blogger on Me, myself and cocktails. Katrien is extremely motivated about school and it’s rubbing off on me. She’s bright, an amazing writer, she loves make-up and cocktails (who doesn’t!) and everything glitter. If you speak Dutch, check out both their blogs. They rock.
Katrien picked Anne-Sophie. She loves to travel, is very bright and doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up and that’s ok, cos neither do I. She’s also very athletic (a gymnast!). And she picked me.
We share a tram almost every day, so we’ve been able to talk a lot and get to know each other. And what she got me was absolutely perfect. I lost my brand new scarf the 3rd week of school and, because we were in the middle of renovations, all my winter stuff was packed and I had no clue where my other scarves were. So she got me a new scarf! So pretty, so warm, so thoughtful. Her dad is also gluten intolerant, so she knows the struggle and got me some gluten free marshmallows and even baked us all gluten free apple pie! And to top it off, a chocolate hashtag, because we’re all Cross Media Management students and we do like those hashtags!
This was such a great idea. I’d love to do it again sometime.
Thanks girls for making going back to school at 40 more fun.