I’m 38 years old, you know.
I graduated high school (barely, if the truth be told) in 1995, with no plans to attend college. I’m not sure what my problem was. I guess I just didn’t take anything very seriously at that time. I remember, at one point, my aunt and uncle offered to let me go out to Utah and stay with them. My uncle said he’d help me get enrolled in community college there, and then I could try to transfer to BYU later. I certainly don’t regret the way my life has turned out, but that probably would have been a good idea. Even though I turned down the offer, I’ve never forgotten their generosity.
I chose to stay in Missouri, though my plan was to return to Arizona. I did go back there with a friend of mine, and we lasted about six weeks. It turned out to be a lot harder to get a decent job than I expected (ha ha), and we couldn’t stay there mooching off of my grandparents forever.
I headed home and went through a few jobs before getting the one at “Main Street Music Hall”. Even though that was “my dream job”, it only lasted one season. The theater was over an hour away, and I was driving it six days a week. When the weather was bad it really scared me to be on the highway alone, and I didn’t want to deal with snow and ice in the winter. So I left that job and got a job ushering down in Branson at “The Promise”. Met Russell, moved to the box office, got married, moved to the concession stand, had Chandler, and finally got a chance to be in the show. After Carter was born, though, I decided I wanted to stay home with the kids and the rest is history.
No college for me. Three more kids and no regrets, but no college.
For 15 years now I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. There have been many times when it would have been helpful for me to work, but I was always only worth minimum wage, and by the time I paid for child care it wouldn’t have been worth it for me to miss being at home. We have been so blessed, and we’ve survived, but often at a pretty high cost. We owe it to the Lord and the generosity of others, for sure.
Fast forward to today. Well, not today exactly.
Since Conner, our youngest, started Kindergarten (now five years ago) I’ve had it in my mind that I should try to go to college. Usually the thought comes, I entertain it for a day or two, research a little, talk a little, and brush it aside. The cost is hard to swallow, I guess. We don’t have the means to pay for it up front, so my going to college would mean getting loans. We’re already paying loans from Russell’s MBA, and the idea of taking out more is my biggest hesitation. See, I don’t intend to go to work, unless I really need to, even I get a degree, so I’m struggling to know if the cost is justifiable. Russell has a pretty good job now and our kids are going to start leaving home before I would finish school, so our expenses should go down before I could even help, so is it a good idea? But then, what if something were to happen to Russell? Nothing in life is certain, and we’re foolish if we think we’re immune to hardship, so isn’t my getting an education still a smart thing to do?
It’s a tough thing, I tell you.
Then there’s another issue. I think I’m actually scared. I’m afraid that, like so many other things in my life, I’d get started and quit. Or maybe, after all these years, I’m just not smart enough to keep up. I never did well in school, though I do think that was lack of effort more than ability, but it still scares me.
I’m sitting here writing this and “The Andy Griffith Show” just came on. Guess what it’s about? A guy who wants to get an education. At this moment, Andy’s helping him learn geography.
So anyway, guess what I did this morning? I called Missouri State University and made an appointment with an academic advisor! It’s scarier than it should be, I’m sure, but it doesn’t hurt to check it out, right?
Wish me luck!