My too brief College Experience after 40: Satisfaction and melancholy

Recently, I had the chance to participate in a college program for veterans at one of the nation’s best colleges (who sadly isn’t paying me to advertise for them). It was everything I thought it would be. While I was robbed of a couple of days (thanks American Airlines) when I finally sat down and had the chance to talk to both some of the sharp minds teaching and the bright minds learning, my heart was full.

And sad. This dream, realized far too late, was coming to an end. And I didn’t want to wake up.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

You probably do. Whenever anyone encounters something they like, they automatically want more of it.

I’ve taken college courses before. In Orlando. On army installations. But nothing like this. This was next level learning.

And now it’s over.

The first reflex is to look to the past. To ask yourself what you could have done differently.

When I got out of the army and came back to Orlando, I bombed my placement tests. I had a long path in front of me, and the first part of that path involved going to school for credit when I was already struggling to pay the bills.

“*Bleep* that” I said. “I’ll just start writing”

And as you can see, it hasn’t turned out too well. My strengths lie in the extraordinary abilities of my friends. Nothing more, really. With every single breath, I’m blessed to know them. But that’s the truth.

They say “It’s never too late”. That’s a lie. It’s completely possible for a window to close. And it’s closed for me.

While age was never an issue, even with the non veteran students, age on the outside is (more on that HERE).

I’m grateful for the experience. It was beautiful and a lot of fun.

But goodness, I wish I could have discovered it much sooner.

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