Hello. I just joined this board. My name is Keith. I'm almost 40 years old (my birthday is December 4th). I live in North Carolina.

I am planning to go back to college this spring semester. I went off and off again back when I was first out of high school. A lot of personal issues and so forth lead me to withdraw back then.

Recently the economic recession hit my job. I work for a cleaning service. The main contract I worked under was lost to another company. This company had put in a lower bid than my boss. I had worked at this job for 8.5 years. The last 2.5 were for my current boss. The first 6 were for another man who had had the contract. My current boss had kept me on when he took over. The place I cleaned wanted me to stay. They liked and trusted me. They thought I did a good job. This new man had his own crew so I, along with my co-worker, were not kept on. Right now I am only working one hour a night cleaning my town's bank.

I knew something had to be done. I've been putting in some job applications, but there just aren't many opportunities around here. That's especially true for someone with just a high school diploma. One of the biggest regrets in my life was that I never finished college. I've gone from one dead end job to another over the years. I always felt ashamed when I compared myself to what others I graduated high school with had gone on to do with their lives. I knew that now was the time to get my life turned out. The universe gave me a kick in the pants to get me going. I knew that I needed to further my education.

I went by my local community college this morning. I had been in contact with them the last couple of weeks. I had done an online application. They responded that I was considered a returning student because I had gone there in the past. All I needed to do was come in to update my file.

I did that this morning. They got my information updated. There were courses I took before that will still count so I won't have to take those again. That's great news about that.

I do have to take the math placement test. I'm a little nervous about all of that because I was never good in math in the first place. I've definitely forgotten what little bit I did know about algebra all those years ago. I'm suppose to take the test in a couple of weeks.

I'll be able to go to early registration on November 3rd. I did qualify for financial aid so I don't have to worry about paying for my classes. I was thrilled about that news.

I'm both excited and scared about going back. I'll be 40 when I start. I'm old enough to be the dads of those 18/19/20 years out there. It's going to feel weird. The college has changed so much since I've been out there. I never thought before I would go back to school. I never planned on going back when I left before. I realize now I should never have left. That's been one of the biggest regrets in my life. It played a major part in why my life has not always equaled up to what I hoped for in the past. I'm changing all that now. I've got the will and drive to do what I need to do to better myself and my life.

I plan to finish up my associate's degree here and transfer to East Carolina University. I love history, politics, religion & literature so I'm still finalized what I want to do with my life.

I've written enough. I thought this board would be a good place to meet others who have gone back to school or getting ready to go back. I look forward to getting to know you all better. Plus I'm hoping that I can get some moral support, advice, etc. when I need it. Thanks. Take care.