A mature student on going back to university
Kevin McCart CONTRIBUTOR
Photo: U OF T NEWS
It’s Saturday morning, early. Like most days, I woke to the silence of my home with only the faintest hint of early bird song in the air. It has been a hot and humid summer, so all of the windows are open, and a cool breeze carries hints of autumn on the horizon.
I rise and make my way directly to the coffee maker. Did I put in five scoops or six? I said I was up, not awake. I am a creature of habit and, like most Saturdays, I intend to read while I have my morning brew. But it is not like most Saturdays, not even close.
Today my reading has been dictated to me. It was a choice I made — all choices have consequences.
Evolution is neither linear nor consistently progressive. I learned this in an academic anthropology lecture. I had inherently known this through personal experience but hearing it defined so succinctly and definitely as a natural process gave me goosebumps. I thought, “Well then, all is as it is supposed to be.” And I smiled.
There I sat amidst a vast sea of humanity quietly alone on my island of bliss. I had realized in that moment that I had indeed made the right decision. It had been a difficult one. But at 42 I made the choice to leave a good paying and secure job and return to university to finish what I had started several years ago.
Happiness is elusive when you have a hole in your soul. Few life choices can bore away at your essence like quitting something that you are passionate about. When I made the decision to leave university, I felt it was the only choice, but it wasn’t. I thought about it often and regretted it immensely. Not finishing my degree bore a hole in my soul. I am here to close it.
This was not my first attempt. But it felt different — I felt different. Somehow I knew inside, as I sat listening and taking notes, that everything was going to be ok. My tranquility was only marred by the intermittent disturbances of my peer kicking my seat from behind, but let’s not let the small stuff distract us.