What It’s Like Being a Non-College-Age College Student

A long time ago, I enrolled in community college immediately after I graduated from high school. One day, my hand-me-down Ford Escort broke. So, I decided to go to work full-time in order to finance my purchase of a new vehicle. In doing so, I did not return to school. This was a horrendous mistake. There are many obstacles that I have experienced being an older student.

Let me preface this by saying that I am old. Not a “gently used” 25 or a “getting out of my first divorce” 29 old. I am talking about geriatric old age. Dr. Poland old. When I was in high school, Dave Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana, Slash and Axl rose were still friends, and Beyoncé was still a part of Destiny’s Child.

Many years after high school, I decided to try this whole “higher education” gig one more time. Holy crap. It is awful. Don’t get me wrong—I am more employable, will have better job opportunities, and I have an air of credibility about me now when I tell people that 50 Shades of Grey is really terrible literature. For that matter, so is anything by Nicholas Sparks.

So here are just a few things that are different for a non-college-age college students

Fraternities. Wow. People have their opinions about them, and I was always intrigued by the possibility of becoming a Greek. Yeah no. There is no way my old ass is going to become part of a frat now. Can you see some dude who can pass for someone’s dad being a little? Me neither.

Sports. I had always been athletically inclined throughout my younger life. Not so much anymore. My best bet now is to see who I can bribe into letting me be the scorekeeper for the volleyball games.

Dating. While people would consider me to be handsome, women usually are not—in my experience, at least –into guys who are old enough to be their father. There is the whole joke about girls with “daddy issues”, but that is a power dynamic I would rather not explore on a full time basis. My experience and world view, I feel, would make a relationship unfair for a woman who was significantly younger than I am, as I could potentially take advantage of her inexperience. Needless to say, I am lonely most of the time.

What I am really getting at is that you should finish college now. I understand that life happens at times. Unexpected medical bills, life events, or even a failing class can put a hitch in your giddy up. It’s really easy to quit. But don’t. Just don’t. Tough it out. You’ve got this. Finish your degree. It will get easier.

I understand that I have my whole life ahead of me now, but I would have much rather had it sooner rather than later.