My Three Lives: An Older Student’s Perspective
So I figure that I’m now living what I like to call my “third life.” These aren’t the same as the nine lives that death-defying felines allegedly possess.
My First Life — At Home with My Parents
I couldn’t wait to go to college the first time around. Back in the “old days” of the 90’s, Colorado Mesa University was known as Mesa State College. I chose Mesa over CU or CSU primarily because I could afford it—Our sole family income was from my father, a math teacher—and also because it was smaller and closer to my hometown.
The Second Life – Identity in a Small School
My largest class during my four years at Mesa was a survey biology class with no more than forty students. I knew my professors well, and they knew me, my abilities and deficits, and my dreams and goals well. Over those four years I was able to build relationships in this small community of students and professors. I feel so lucky to have had professors who could have taught at Duke or Stanford but who chose little Mesa State for the quality of life that Colorado provides.
My Third Life at FRCC – And Counting!
After an 18-year career in sales in the wireless industry it was time for a change. I wanted to become a physician assistant. I needed to go back to school, but where would I go? A big-name university? A well-regarded private school?
I spoke with numerous working PA’s, and they all agreed, “Go to Front Range!” Why? Because THEY attended FRCC. No need for the clout of a large university or private school price tag, especially for the first two years.
The Value of Community and Small is Big
At Mesa I learned the importance of community. Small really is big—a big deal. Attending FRCC has confirmed my belief that small classes, eminently qualified instructors, and a real sense of community equal a rewarding and successful educational experience.