Like a lot of adults, I never bothered finished college when I was a kid and then decided that finishing might be a good idea after all, so back I went. I went back when I was 35 and my youngest son started kindergarten. Community College, simple two year program and then transfer to a four year, should have been simple right? But it wasn't. Ended up taking me almost four years just to get my Associates and then. The hang up was math! I had to take three different remedial courses before I could even start my college math classes. Lots of people go thru that when they return to school as an adult, so it didn't make me feel exceptionally stupid.
Math and I do not get along, at all...the reason I dropped out of college the first time was because I was pre-med and ended up having a mental collapse because of math. Getting headaches and what I now know where anxiety attacks, I ended in an ER where I was given demerol and valium and told to find another major because I would never be able to do the math I needed for medical school. Well, if I couldn't be a doctor, I didn't want to do anything else, so I gave up. Going back as an adult, I was originally expecting studying Scriptural Theology, but then realized that a) the Church has all the theologians it needs, and probably a few too many and b)it wasn't the theology of the Bible I was really into but the background history. So finally, I found my major, the one I didn't think I could find back when I was 19. But once again, math is in the way.
I passed all the remedial classes with good grades, although they did go progressively down as the classes got harder. The requirement for graduation at that time was a D in college math and that is what I gave them. The University I was expecting transferring to at that time accepted me with the D and told me that I would just have to re-take the class at some point to graduate. Then some stuff hit the fan and my family had to re-locate and I couldn't go to the school I had applied for. Things have finally gotten to the point where I can go back to finish, I went to apply at NC State and found out that as high as my GPA is, if I don't have a C or higher in college math, they won't accept me. And that's the other rub! If you take my math grades out of my GPA, I have a 4.0. Put them back and I'm down to a 3.68...arrrgggghhhh. In a school that gets hundreds of transfer applications and can only accept a portion, that is not a very competitive GPA. So, new plan...
I figured I could go to the Community College that two of my kids attend and just re-take the stupid college math class, do it right this time and get tutors and stuff and get my C or B and then transfer to State. Only the Community College has dreams of grandeur and won't let me just take the one stupid class. They also won't accept the remedial work I've already done and have pretty much disregarded the fact that I've already got an Associates. They are making me take their placement test, which I told them I can't pass. I'm embarrassed to say that I sat in the advisor's office and cried my heart out. I'm 48 years old...if they make me go thru the remedial classes all over again, I will be 50 before I can start working on my Bachelors and forget how old I'll be before I get to my Masters. Turns out the advisor I was talking to didn't go back until she was in her mid forties and she got everything done by time she was 55 and didn't it was a bad thing to be starting so late. I couldn't get her to understand that I already have a mental illness and anxiety disorder and that Math is one of my anxiety triggers and that I would never be able to get thru all this. I finally walked out and was going to give up.
Last week I saw something that made me want to try again, so I went back and spoke to a different advisor. Wow, what a difference. The man actually listened to me about the anxiety and came up with a workable plan. Instead of failing the test and then getting tutoring and remedial work, he sent me to tutors to help me pass the entrance test. The goal is to either pass the test and get right into the class I need, or score high enough that I only need one remedial class. What the first advisor didn't tell me is that the school has stuff in place for returning adults or anyone, who has math anxiety and they can help with it. He also helped me see that even if I don't get my masters until I'm 55, the state is so hard up for teachers that they will take me even if only for ten or fifteen years.
Okay, so what's the point of this besides the fact of how much I hate taking a class in a subject I've never used in 48 years and probably never will????? If you are a kid, stay in college, even if only part time, even if you don't know what you want to do. It's not as hard as it used to be to go back as an adult, but better to get it done when you have no other heavy responsibilities. If you are an adult thinking of going back, go...if the first advisor doesn't give you the help you need, find another advisor. There are so many adults going back that community colleges are creating new programs every day to help us get thru.