I can clearly remember what it was like when I first walked through the doors at Mountwest; I was nervous. I was a 45-year-old man who, just three months earlier, had obtained his GED. Before that, I had not attended school since the age of 16.
I spent so much time wondering how bad I was going to mess up that I never once thought I could do it. I used to worry that I would not be able to keep up with my younger classmates. Would I be able to handle the homework? And then, of course, there would be the three or four nervous breakdowns that I would more than likely have because of stress. Since I made it through the spring 2014 term, I feel more confident. None of my professors were as intense as I assumed they would be. I believe what changed was my confidence; once I started believing in myself, there was no stopping me.
The knowledge that I have obtained during the length of my spring term has proven invaluable. The ability to create study habits and then refine them to suit each class that you have, or realize that you can talk to your professors during their office hours or through email. One of the greatest things of all that I have come to realize, I am capable of anything that I set my mind to, which includes situations that I have never encountered before. If there would be anything that I could tell a new freshman, it would be this: whatever you do, make sure you have a planner. I feel it is absolutely impossible to remember everything for all your classes; a planner will prove to be a very important tool. Also, don’t let the first month overtake you; just relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the experience.
I would like to add that each and every one of us is paying very good money to attend this college. So why would anybody not take this experience seriously? This is my future, and I want the best possible edge I can sharpen for myself.
When I wrote this letter in the beginning of the spring term, my confidence was low and I was extremely leery of how this college experience was going to unfold for me. I did not feel that I was exactly the type of individual who was meant for higher education. I believe the main reason that I had this type of thought process is because I have experienced life and I have been through the school of hard knocks. I had possessed a job, lived life, paid bills. I was comfortable with the routine that I had fallen into. College meant I would be challenged in areas to which I was not accustomed. I am truly grateful at this point in my life for this college experience. I have a new tolerance for things I know nothing about, and I have become a very determined man to succeed beyond my own dreams.
Article was originally submitted as part of Mountwest’s College 101 course.