Yesterday was my first day of class, and even if I hadn’t been anticipating the date for several weeks in a row I would have KNOWN it was the first day of class by the enormous zit that appeared on my face less than 24 hours beforehand. It’s like my body sensed the proximity of being in a classroom environment and served up a comforting physical attribute that would help me fit right in! Ha ha ha THANKS HORMONES FOR ALL THAT YOU DO.

I was all fretful ahead of time about various stupid things, because that’s just how I roll (in a useless little circle, that is, while bristling with paranoia over unlikely events), and I was particularly worried about not being able to find the classroom. It’s true I am cursed with a comically terrible sense of direction and have been known to get lost in a restaurant while returning from the restroom, but this fear transcended normal levels of concern and took up giant acres of my brain-space yesterday until I was basically just sitting at my office desk, my foot hammering off nervous energy on the floor Riverdance-style, eyes unfocused, while I entertained a rich and terrifying fantasy of wandering the halls for hours in search of the elusive C-164 room, before eventually arriving halfway through the class, creaking open the door and attracting the hostile stare of every student within while the teacher barked at me to find a seat, which I wouldn’t be able to do because they were all taken, and also for some reason I am naked, OH MY GOD.

So ANYWAY, naturally I found the class in about two seconds and took my seat (in the front row! Nerrrrrrrrd) and surreptitiously peeked at my fellow students and tried to determine if I was in fact the oldest person in the room. (Answer: maybe the second oldest, but I had cute shoes on so I win over the slovenly sweatpants-wearing 19-year-olds, right? Why isn’t there a Twibbon for these poor young people, outfitted in what amounts to a droopy Snuggie with random words emblazoned across their poop-holes and their personal body parts threatening to emerge? #PRAYERS4URASSCRACK).

The first hour or so was a little tedious as the teacher felt compelled to go over the syllabus line by line, while I twitched with irritation over people raising their hands to ask things like how do you log into the distance learning portal (apparently I have become the sort of person who cannot understand being unprepared for class, and between that and the front-row seat choice I DON’T EVEN KNOW ME ANYMORE) and what was the bare minimum for participating in the online discussions (it’s like these people don’t even know the joy of arguing on the internet!), but once the actual lecture got underway, I—well, I really enjoyed it.

I mean, it’s sociology, not really a subject I’m personally super excited about, but it was a good lecture and I got a weird kick out of madly taking notes, and I just . . . I don’t know, it just felt good to be there. Doing something so different from what I usually do, taking that first little step. It was awesome, really. And I still got home in plenty of time to play with the kids and put them to bed, how about that?

Here’s to new experiences, new challenges, and new knowledge! Let us not speak of the new tuition bills.

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Emily
12 years ago

Heh. I’m procrastinating on doing my online sociology class’ response paper by reading your blog … and also by making fun of my 19-year-old online classmates.

Ter
Ter
12 years ago

Congrats! I’ve toyed with the idea of going back but between the barely getting by money situation and this wedding stealing what little soul MMORPGs left behind, I don’t have the oomph. Plus, by the time I’m done teaching my own classes, I’m ready to forego literacy and intelligence for a while. If I ever get the guts to sign up, I’m thinking PhD. Yep, I’m cracked :)

Erica
Erica
12 years ago

rock on! enjoy the journey.

Emma
Emma
12 years ago

Yay! I believe so many people would get much more out of the whole collegiate universe if they didn’t go straight to college after high school. We appreciate it more, know what real life entails, and have more on the brain than our co-eds, noctural activities, and destructing our bodies from the inside out…

Sarah
Sarah
12 years ago

Good for you! Phew…now the first day is under your belt and you can relax a bit.

kirida
12 years ago

My husband teaches at a community college and he says that the nontraditional students (i.e. those not in sweatpants) are the best. He’s so tired of the younger crowd who think it’s okay to text during class or turn in their papers half-past whenever Teen Mom is over. You will be great. And you could check into what scholarships are available.

Amanda
12 years ago

Sociology is a great class. I think you’ll love it!

JennB
12 years ago

Congratulations! I’ll be joining the same team in the fall as I start my MBA – hopefully… Got to pass or at least DO the GMATs in March and the math, it has me terrified. So does the tuition bills, but hopefully doing this program will qualify me for BIG. PAYING. JOBS. and then I can just pay off that tuition lickity-split.
You should take a writing course and f-ing slaughter all the kids in that class.

Erika
Erika
12 years ago

I’m saving money now so I can go to nursing school next year. I will have to quit my job for one year. I am terrified, but SOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
12 years ago

So. Awesome.

kalisa
12 years ago

So proud of you & excited for you! They’ll be hating you for screwing up the curve in no time.

Maria
12 years ago

My sense of direction is so bad that before I went to my first classes at my state college, the state I had lived in all my life to that point, I did a dry run the day before to make sure I knew how to get there and wouldn’t be late. And that was just to find the campus. TOP THAT!

In all seriousness, you go girl. I’m sure you’ll do great, and cute shoes always help!

Angella
12 years ago

So, so happy for you, Linda. You’re DOING IT.

{An aside: When you talked about your ability to get lost the photo of you and Kristin with dueling iPhones came to mind. ;) }

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
12 years ago

I, too, can get lost in a restaurant! And starting in Jr. High, I always went to the school ahead of time and did a dry run on my classroom locations. Nowadays you can’t do that; the schools are LOCKED. I’m jealous; I wish I could go back to school. But I have more than enough going on right now, so…

Betsy
Betsy
12 years ago

So proud of you!

Brenda
Brenda
12 years ago

WTG! I’ve got my University Studies book beside me that I should be reading instead of reading blogs. I’ve only got 2 hours before the bus gets here so I’m enjoying some quite time before the kid gets home. I have 1 class I go to on campus and had the same anxieties as you. Luckily the class was in the main hallway and most of the students are 30’s-40’s. Just a few young whipper-snappers. Enjoy!

Megs
12 years ago

I adore you.

I’m pretty sure we’re meant to be BFF except you don’t know it yet. Therefore that makes me a weirdo and you weirded out. Whatev!

:) Seriously though, I love your blog and your humor! Good luck with school; it’s gnarly but I keep hearing it’s worth it.

Leigh
Leigh
12 years ago

Isn’t it awesome to be in school and be grateful for the experience? I finished college (and grad school) later in life because that’s how I roll and because there were all those drugs that needed taking when I was younger.

You know how people reminisce about college and say “If I knew then what I know now…” Older students GET TO DO THAT!

Suzy Voices
12 years ago

Congrats on a successful first day! And for remembering your clothes.

Judith
Judith
12 years ago

Yeah you!!! And, of course cute shoes trump youth every time.

Alexa
Alexa
12 years ago

So awesome!!! And dying laughing at the Twibbon. :)

Pete
Pete
12 years ago

I’m thinking being naked would have gotten you a seat. :-)

Megan
12 years ago

I teach English – Composition to be specific – at community college. I’ve taught at 4 year universities also. I can pretty much guarantee your teacher was happy to see you. Having students who have been somewhere besides high school is a joy.

And just so you know, teachers worry about all that same stuff – will I be able to find the classroom? Will my keycard actually open the classroom? (I had to call security to open my classroom door today.) What if I can’t remember everyone’s name? (It always takes me weeks.) What if I say something stupid? (pretty much guaranteed.)

You are not alone. :)

Anne
12 years ago

I am so very impressed with you. You’ve been challenging yourself over and over with physical things, and then you somehow keep that up and flip over and challenge yourself in a whole different kind of learning and growing. It blows me away how much of yourself you are able to put towards improving yourself in so many directions all at once. Sometimes I’m proud if I manage to not leave the house in tan slacks and black socks.

Rock on, Linda.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

You are not alone. I finished my Master’s more than ten years ago and I STILL have nightmares about a)getting lost in the school b)forgetting about a class until the final exam c) forgetting to wear clothes to said class etc, etc, etc. (Neurotic much? Yes thank you)

Janssen
12 years ago

I am so thrilled for you! What a great experience. Going to college as an adult with a life is different and in many ways better than being a 19 year old undergrad, I think.

Kristy
12 years ago

Learning is good. I work in education and am also a Master’s student. Its not the piece of paper that is the joy…it is the journey, the expansion of one’s horizon. Hokey pokey but true.

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian

Good for you! I can’t wait to go back to school…

I’m dying to figure out where you’re attending. UW? Seattle U? Seattle Pacific? TELL US!

Mostly so I can figure out if anyone I know is taking class with you. :)

That’s not at all creepy. Right?

Jay
Jay
12 years ago

As a college professor let me explain that we don’t really like going through the damn syllabus line by line either. But if we don’t, there will always be some 18 year-old dillhole who complains ‘But you didn’t TELL us we had to actually turn in our work to get an A.’ Older students are usually good though. The chances that you’ll have your Mommy call us to dispute your grade are pretty slim. Just don’t ask for special treatment just because you have a family, a real job that isn’t at a mall, and a real grown-up life.

Oh, and for the record I’m not ready to teach my classes tomorrow either.

amber
12 years ago

So exciting! I wish I would get off my butt and go back to school. As for sweats with words on the butt, ugh. Like any 20 yr old needs MORE attention drawn to that area?

Lisa Rae @smacksy
12 years ago

Congrats to you. How wonderful that you enjoyed it.

And Jay the professor who commented above and used the word “dillhole” is my favorite person of the hour.

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

I’m already in week three of my classes! We made it in!

And it’s weird, but it’s SO much harder and SO much easier than it used to be … AT THE SAME TIME.

Rachel
12 years ago

I’m only 26, but I’m still OLD in some of my college classes. It’s funny how much time changes you as a student! I went from the kid who regularly skipped class to the obnoxious one that always makes comments and *GASP*, participates! And in real clothing too, not Uggs and goofy rolled up sweatpants (what is with that look anyway?) I like learning now though :) Still hate actually sitting in class, but I like learning! Good for you for chasing your dreams!

Emily
12 years ago

Yayy! Good for you, Linda! No, AWESOME for you.

(Sweatpants. Ugh. I hope they all were at least wearing shoes, and not slippers?)

Kris
Kris
12 years ago

Woot! You survived the first day with your dignity intact. Congratulations!! :)

Niki P
Niki P
12 years ago

I just got home from my first economics class. I was the oldest person in the class and I was also dressed in a suit and cute shoes which was far more than I can say for the other gals in the class-WOW.

Good for you, good for me and now I need to go do my homework.

Niki P
Niki P
12 years ago

Oh yeah- I was in the front row too. Dorktastic.

Victoria
12 years ago

Awesome! Good for you!

PS I friggin LOVED Sociology, hello double minor!

Carrie (in MN)
Carrie (in MN)
12 years ago

Congrats on surviving your first day! Seriously – you are kicking a** these days. I think we should have a competition on who is the most comically direction challenged. Do YOU have to print out a Mapquest on how to get to AND home from an unfamiliar destination?

kat
kat
12 years ago

you are awesome. period.

Sassy
Sassy
12 years ago

Congratulations! I went back to college to finish my undergrad degree in my late 20’s, graduating 10 years after high school, and often felt so much older than others in my classes, but I also had this whole other perspective than I would have had I not been working for years before then. And I appreciated it so much more; I loved being a student and often daydream of returning again. Enjoy every moment. And kick some ass!

Erin (Snarke)
12 years ago

So excited for you! I miss school (I? Am also a nerrrrrrrrrrrrrrd).

lindsay
12 years ago

Very cool.
I wore sweats for four years straight at college… and the other day I was wishing that I had ‘dressy’ sweatpants that I could wear in public. Anyway at our school all the athletes wore sweats and I remember how the student paper has an article in it about how we were all so slovenly, and we were all like *shrug* Jealous! Give it try one day. You may love it.

Kathleen
Kathleen
12 years ago

I loved this post, because I knew exactly how you felt. I went back to school a few years back to earn my certification in massage therapy. Before I got into that program though, I had to take a math class and a biology class. Although the math class reminded that I’ve liked, um, mathy things, the biology and massage therapy classes were awesome. The biology class was the first one I took, and I just soaked it all up. I loved learning again, and I definitely had more appreciation for it this time around. It was good to see that you can still learn new things, study hard, and excel in a subject. I earned my massage therapy certification, but I’m still not licensed in MT. To be honest, some life things changed, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be licensed in MT…but taking those classes was completely worth it…even the tuition bills! It proved I can still do the school thing and learn. Very awesome feeling.

Ang
Ang
12 years ago

How’re you finding note taking? I’ve found that, due to 12 years of mostly computer typing, every time I try to handwrite something over three sentences I turn into Crampy McClaw. I could never sit an actual exam ever again without extensive physical therapy before and after!

carla
12 years ago

I wish I could say something more insightful than “good for you,” but that is exactly how I feel. I think sociology is such a fun subject, but even if you don’t, I know you are (and should be) proud of the step you are taking toward your future. Have fun! (ps when I was getting my masters, I loved/hated the ‘older’ moms in my class- each was so sweet and helpful, but oy! overachievers!)

NancyJ
12 years ago

How Exciting!! I’m really jealous now because I’ve always wanted to go back to school and LEARN something. My two years for a secretarial degree – well I knew it all, I just needed the freakin’ diploma.
Maybe my husband will be more receptive to me taking college courses instead of getting the braces I’m insisting on for my rapidly crookeding front tooth?

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

Awesome! I’m so excited for you! Your description as always made me giggle :D

Jenny
12 years ago

When I first went back to school as an adult I had a near panic the night before over . . . bookbags. Did the kids these days carry them? Or just their books? Would I look completely lame and idiotic carrying just my books when everyone else had a bookbag (Or backpack. OR satchel. WHAT THE HELL.)? Or what if I carried a bag when everyone else carried a book? So. . . yeah. Adult panic over school. Understandable!

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Congratulations! You rock. And Sociology was one of my favorite classes ever. I am very proud of you (says the first time commenter and long-time reader).