I have a degree.
I whisper that to myself every Monday and Wednesday when my alarm goes off at 7:30 in the morning. Yet, I still get up, get dressed and get off to class.
Even though I’ve paid my dues, sat through eight semesters of projects, papers, and exams, I still just couldn’t get enough of this school thing. My four years were so overtaken by degree requirement and major classes, it was hard to get in some leisurely, interesting classes that college had to offer.
If I was going to head back to school at any time in my life, it would have to be right after the last semester, right? Or at least I figured it would be easiest since I was already in the swing of things. But, the thing that sets this semester apart from the rest, is that I already have a degree.
Since I was in middle school, I wanted to learn how to animate and do all the kinds of stuff Pixar does. The way things panned out in college, I wasn’t able to stick with or even take any digital art classes, including animation. When I graduated, I didn’t feel like I got everything I wanted out of college, so I thought, why not go back for kicks and giggles?
Taking classes for fun is the dream. Learning for the sake of learning. There are no worries of grades, GPA drops, missed deadlines. Having all the normal, day-to-day pressures of college classes kind of takes away from the real joy of learning. I mean, think about it, there’s a thing you really want to learn, and you can do it, without any looming pressure and stress of a good grade.
Going to class is less of a chore. I actually look forward to going, it gives me back that sense of routine that I clung to for the past 16 years of my life. And, believe it or not, it’s something I look forward to doing. Learning is a pretty cool process once it becomes stress-free.
Yes, I still do all the assignments. I keep the fact that homework isn’t really a priority anymore and I can do it at my own pace in that back of my head. Schoolwork is no longer hovering over a computer screen in a low-lit room at three in the morning trying to finish a 3,000-word paper before its due in the next five hours. It’s not like I need to pass the class in order to move on with my career, and being able to keep that mentality while also learning something I’ve always wanted to learn really makes the average college experience seem quite scary.
I seriously don’t know how I survived that.
If you have the money (I literally used some leftover student loan money to pay tuition), time and desire to do it, take a class or two after graduation. Make sure it’s something you absolutely enjoy or a subject you wanted to take in college, but didn’t have the room. Oh, and actually show up to class. Skipping class might defeat the purpose.