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The Library


The Return of a Long Lost Student
(Continued from 1)

The other feather in my hat is that my return to writing led me to being a published writer, both online and print. My “can’t do” attitude has been replaced with “can do,” and I’ve learned that if I stumble, I simply pick myself up, brush myself off, learn from the experience and try again.

As far as feeling awkward in school I have made some wonderful friends, also re-entry students. The best gifts I have received from my return to college are all of the new friendships I have made. I have learned that the re-entry adults are the ones who are choosing to be there to better themselves, gaining
knowledge, and advance in their careers. It is impossible not to bond with others like yourself in the classroom environment.

When education is not being taken for granted, it makes a difference being surrounded with people who are on the same level and willing to give support as well as receive it. I have discovered things about myself and learned so much that I have brought into the real world with me. I have also made valuable relationships with professors and instructors. I now look at the students just out of high school and see myself ten years ago. I share my experiences with them and try and give them all of the support they need, while they in return do the same for me.

I often encounter people who upon discovering my return to college have the response, “I could never do that.” Following the negative response comes the excuses I once used, time, money, motivation, and brains. Recognizing the clichéd excuses, I use my husband’s responses and tell my story of not believing in myself. It is fun to see the person think about the idea and see the possibilities of their future coming to mind. Another excuse I hear from adults who could benefit from returning to college is the fact that he or she is computer illiterate. I can speak from experience in that area as well. When I returned to school, I had no inkling on how to use a computer. Not having access to one, I never made it a point to learn. I, too, was afraid and intimidated.

The wonderful people who work in the computer lab at the college were my saving grace. No one needs to buy a computer; most public libraries offer free access to the computer and, of course, colleges offer computers for the students. Having access to a computer offers other benefits. On top of schoolwork, I use the wonderful world of technology to access scholarship information and financial aid. There are many different Web sites that offer information on aid for college. The information is endless and well worth the research. One that I recommend for scholarships is FastWeb. I receive updates regarding new scholarships to apply for by e-mail. The World Wide Web is truly amazing.

As I draw closer to my goals, I am thankful to my husband who convinced me to return, my new friends who have given me support, and the instructors who have brought me new knowledge. I hope that others out there give themselves the same chance I gave myself. Because if you can dream it you can do it!

Tiffany Young is Community Relations Coordinator for Literacy Volunteers of America-Brazos Valley, and resides in College Station, Texas.

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