Can I put out there that it’s already spring? Where did the winter season go? Oh, right, it ended prematurely when I signed up for five courses and field work this semester. I’ve been pretty wrapped up in my books, assignments, papers, tests, and/or the procrastination of lately, and I haven’t made time to sit down and write. I’ve opened up my blog, logged in, stared at the screen – wondering if I should post about a trip, an idea, some thoughts – and then I’ve walked away from it.
I’ll be wrapping up the semester in just a few weeks, and I’ve noticed a pretty solid theme of ‘holy crap, I’m getting old’. Spending my days with 20-something year olds (or younger!) is weighing on me. Especially when I have to disclose my age in a conversation, during a project, or when I need to explain that the 20%-worth of our group paper is important to me because I’m not 18, I can’t afford the time to do it again. I’ve had countless ‘yup, I’m definitely in my 30s, not in my 20s anymore’ moments and each has been a stark reminder that I’ve got at least two more years to go.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my age with respect to my time. I’ve been thinking about how I use my time vs. how I’d like to use it. I’ve questioned my program of choice (all four years of it), the required courses vs. what I want to learn vs. what I think I need to learn, and I’ve certainly questioned all the time I have NOT spent in the mountains so far this year.
I recently talked to (complained to) a friend about how I’m getting sick of school and the copious amounts of information I try hard to learn, that I’ll never have to use again. Ever. And all the time I’ve poured into learning this info. It’s a little hard to swallow sometimes. My friend told me this, “…look at school like any other business decision, does the investment pay off?“. (Fun fact, I was a commercial banker in the past so putting anything into business context tends to make things crystal clear.)
His question triggered a series of realizations that I think I’ve always known, but lost sight of during the semester:
In my biased opinion, those are some solid reasons to stick around and keep doing what I’ve been doing. My friend gave me the hope I was not expecting to get, and helped put things back into perspective. I realized a few more things; when I lost sight of the ‘why’, I became pessimistic about almost everything, including: lost time, course content, my age, the lack of adventures in my world, and loads more.
You’re probably thinking this seems like a selfish conversation to be having when I’ve had the luxury of quitting my job, going back to school, and setting my own goals & working towards them. And you’re right. Thanks for the reminder.
Funny how a bad day can turn into a bad week can turn into a bad month, and before you know it, you lose sight of basic things. I’m glad I got all of this down on the computer screen. I can look back at it this summer when I’m annoyed about studying the foetal pig dissection.
Speaking of summer, it’s time to get back my sunny disposition. I’m pretty sure I left it somewhere in the mountains.
This made me laugh because I had some of the same feelings when I finished my Master’s degree when I was 43. My son was the same age as some of the students in my classes and I was older (by a decade) than some of the profs. Sure, I couldn’t always relate to the students and my adult life added some interesting challenges to group work but achieving a personal goal and contributing to the pool of knowledge made it worthwhile. Chin up, the sun will shine again and you’ll soon be in the mountains.
I wonder what’s worse, not being able to relate to the students? Or being able to relate to them? Good to hear you survived. Thanks for the note Eryne :). I suspect things will be easier once I cross the halfway mark.