You can feel it as you walk the halls. People searching faces, hoping to see a friend. Even though the face is unfamilliar, you can sense the maturity, the ill feeling of not fitting in. The moment of recognition and kinship with other older students. The palpable feeling of "you are old, so if you can do it I can do it too" feeling. The "we have to stick together" feeling. The relief washes over you as you see that you aren't the only one that didn't get a higher education fresh out of high school.
At the junior college I am attending, there are a lot of older students. A lot of the manufacturing plants in our area are being sent overseas, or just shutting down altogether. Some of us are taking the opportunity to try to better ourselves so we won't be so indespensible. You can see the unsureness of people, and they bond they feel just seeing someone close to their age as they hustle from class to class. A word doesn't even have to be spoken. Just a glance, means "you're ok, I'm ok".
The average age in my speech class is 19. The oldest student is 46. I will be 46 in a few weeks. :( We had an exercise in class where we were given sentences and we had to write down how we interpreted them. For instance, how old do you think old is? How old is elderly? How much is considered a good living, as compared to a great living? Its all in translation. I put old as 75, simply for the fact my stepmother is 70 and is more lively and busy than I am. She doesn't seem old. I really think it depends on the person. One of the girls in class said that she considers 40 old. :( That was a good boost for my ego. :( The punk.
The diversity of people amaze me. There are the whiners, who really get on my nerves. (ok, ok, I know I whine HERE but I try to contain it just to here. People in my real life think I am strong and confident.) Then there are the buttkissers, who try to butter up the instructors for the better grades. I lean more toward being quiet and working hard, but that doesn't work out too well. I killed off too many brain cells in the 80's I think. It amazes me how people who have a hard time putting two words together can get better grades than me. I have a friend who can't find her way out of a paper bag without a map and a day of snacks, but yet she got on the dean's list and I didn't. What does that say about me? (That's a rhetorical question!!!!! No comments on that please!) She has poor grammar,and poor spelling and that drives me crazy. She is the type who gets most of the lyrics wrong in songs she sings, but yet gets better grades??? She stays after every class and chats up the instructors. She told me that one instructor said you have to smooze them and it helps come grading time. She said she is going for it. I know I don't test well, and I have been working on that, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I will just keep plugging away, and striving to do the best I can. It's just nice to know I am not the only "old" person there.
Have a great day, and God bless.