The second movie in trilogies is hit or miss. Star Wars has one of the best. Back to the Future is disappointing. Lord of the Rings is acceptable. Godfather Part II is timeless (let us not speak of Part III and Sofia Coppola). Tomorrow begins my second full year in college. And so I approach it with mixed feelings.
Here’s the thing. I’m older than most of the students on campus. There’s always the question of, “will I fit into these classes?” and this last semester I found the answer to be mostly no – with the exception of Introduction to Theater where I found My People. History was a mixed bag. Art and Craft of Writing – I was one of three older students. Developmental Psychology was the other exception – and this is where I’m hanging my hope.
As I get farther along in this process (secondary education with a focus on English) I’ll get into more specific classes dedicated to my impending degree and in addition to smaller class sizes I’ll find myself surrounded by similar focused students which will help alleviate the pressures of trying to fit in – which is a over sized load of struggle bus. Trying to make friends on a commuter campus is hard enough – but finding people in similar life stations levels the challenge to 11 – which I accept is part of this journey. It’s just rough. I felt really alone last semester walking around without people to catch lunch with or study with in the library.
So it’s a challenge tomorrow when I get to my first class (Intro to Music) to see if I can make some friends, introduce myself and see if there’s anyone who’s in my boat or sharing in my pain. I’m having to mentally prepare myself to not strangle all the young students who “can’t even” or have no real understanding of the real world because I’m pretty sure they won’t let me teach with a record. Kidding aside – it’s the other part of being the older student that requires you to learn how to count to ten in your head or use your breathing exercises to keep your keel even and steady. I’ve had this conversation with the few I met last year and they high five’d, fist bumped and nodded right along.
We have to remember we were all that dumb to the world outside our own. We have to realize we probably said more than our share of inane quotes. And we have to accept that no matter how hard we stare at them or reach out with our hands The Force will not be with us.
Tomorrow begins with the opening credits as I step onto campus. It’s going to be great.
Or I’ll get frozen in carbonite.