500 Words At A Time: Minimization

“Yep, you’ve been a busy boy.”

“My friend told me something different.”

“Was it cold in Minneapolis?” *

“Uh huh and what has Barb been doing?”

I’m not asking for recognition or even attempting to state that going back to college as an adult, husband, and parent should be lauded as an accomplishment worthy of some sort of notice. Oh wait, YES I FUCKING AM!

I have no idea why kids leaving from high school right into college get all of the laurels and attention. That is what they are “supposed to do” and by the way, most of the experience is wasted on them. AND they have something that most adults do not have, free time and little if any responsibilities outside of going to classes. Thus, why should their accomplishment of graduating be any more or less impressive than an adult, say ME, going back to college?

It shouldn’t. In fact, I think that because I have a shit ton of responsibilities and obligations outside of classes, that I and every other adult who chooses to go back to college should be lauded publicly. “Look upon this adult who has voluntarily chosen to go back to school for the betterment of themselves, their family, and the country.” And maybe that happens for other adults, but not me at least not from friends and family. Yes, I am calling them out because it pisses me off.

My going back to college was met with eye rolls. As I finish each year, the questions turn to what kind of job could I possibly get with “that” degree. Which is funny, because regardless of the answer I give, they immediately without waiting for my answer ask Barb how she is doing. Something like this…

“What kind of job can you get with your degree?”

“I could become a educator, writ…”

“Barb how are you classes? Are you doing okay?”

This might have been okay, if the conversation would stick with my degree and possibilities, but it always switches over to Barb, if she is nearby, or to some other topic, such as the kids, the second I begin to respond. It leaves me with the impression that my accomplishment of getting a degree does not matter to them.

Long time friends have not been much better either. They in general don’t care what kind of job I get nor do they seem to care for any information or thing that I have done since arriving here. I have had friends, long time friends, ask me for writing, editing, printing, publishing, and business advice all of which are in my degree’s wheel-house and after getting my advice proceed to tell me that not only am I wrong, but that their other friend knows more and is right. Then why ask me for anything?

One of my favorite responses to my last five years has been, “Yep, you’ve been a busy boy.”

I haven’t talked to them the same way since.

I know going back to school when you are over 28 is not what you are “supposed” to do, but not only is it an option, it an option that more people are taking for many reasons. If you know an adult going back to school keep in mind the following:

Most likely they are not going to parties and playing video games or just hanging out, you know “traditional” college experiences. In addition to all of the college stuff, they have responsibilities and obligations outside of the classroom. Classes are a pain in the ass and a huge time suck which may keep them from being with family and friends as much as they would like to or used to be. College, at any age is a transformative experience. Hopefully the people you know will embrace the knowledge you gain and the experiences you have.

* part of another 500 Words




3 thoughts on “500 Words At A Time: Minimization

  1. Interestingly, I had similar experiences with my parents. They didn’t seem to care about my schooling until I decided to quit nursing school, and that was a debacle. I don’t know what the experience was like for you, but it taught me a few things about my family.

    1. Ankoku1331

      This reinforced what I already knew, which is why the family reaction bothered me less than the reaction from friends coming to me for advice.

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