I started college at the age of 18 with not a worry or care in the world. I, like I feel the majority of kids who are just out of high school knew that I wanted to go to college, but had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I thought of college at the time as more of a fun experience, rather than working to get to class, do the work, get the degree and establish a career for myself. That mentality definitely showed in the form of my GPA for my first semester of my Freshman year at Sam Houston State University.
It is so funny to me looking back on that time now that I am back at this same school sixteen years later! Most of my classes are online, but I am required to come to campus for one class, and let me tell you how much you change as a person when you tack sixteen years on to your life and add a two year old and a full-time job!
One thing I have noticed is the excuses that come from students as to why their paper is not ready yet, or why they might not have gotten to that quiz, or why they are late/or did not bother to show up to class at all. The number one reason for missing class? “I slept through my alarm.” It makes me chuckle every time I hear it because that was myself and my exact excuse sixteen years ago. Little did I know that excuse does not fly in the real world. When I hear it, what I want to say is, “oh you slept through your alarm for a 9am class? Well I was dreading my 5am alarm to get my crying two year old up, changed, fed and ready for daycare by 7am and then on the road to Huntsville to be in this very class by 9am, just to turn right around and head back to Houston to my full-time job until 5pm, then pick my daughter up from daycare for the evening and then start the day over again.”
I applaud these kids for even coming to college, I think it is the step in the right direction. I do think they will have a lot to learn, just as I did. This is all part of the process of life, and it is a beautiful, crazy thing. If I could go back sixteen years ago and tell myself one thing it would be to just enjoy setting your alarm to 8am and rolling out of bed to get to class. Enjoy finishing a couple of classes on campus and then getting to go back to your apartment to take a long nap. Enjoy those things, but also do not take for granted the slow pace of life. For what is to come in the future is extremely hectic, but also beautiful and the best time of your life.