Front Range Community College Blog

Returning to College Can Change Your Life

Going back to school later in life to get a degree can be very scary. It was a decision I made when I was 51.

I remember walking into my first class, trying to decide if I could really do this or not. Wondering if I would be able to keep up, understand what was being taught, do homework again – could I get good grades?

Take responsibility for your future

It was a very intimidating feeling. Thoughts of “I can’t do this” crossed my mind. Anyone going back to school as a non-traditional student needs to remind themselves that if they don’t take responsibility for their future, who will? Realize that you have the courage and the determination to make good changes for your future.

Sitting in my class, most of the other students were – in my eyes – so young, just kids. I remember thinking that I was older than everyone in the room.

You will have serious doubts

After a couple days of class, the serious doubts set in. I was so lost with the material that I had to remind myself of why I was there. It was to learn and to have a chance at a better life. Education and a degree were the keys. No one ever said it would be easy, and it wasn’t.

Persisting through life’s challenges

During my college career, there were tough times. My life took unexpected turns. I found myself on my own. A year before graduation, my house was struck by lightning and caught fire. I had to live in a hotel for three months and still keep up my grades.

During this time, I was forced to decide what I really wanted out of life. I had to define what was important to me. The answer was to finish my education, to complete what I started, to get that diploma!

Magna cum laude!

I worked full time and went to school part time. Four years after my first class, on May 12, 2016, I graduated magna cum laude with a 3.86 GPA. I even got to speak at my graduation. I finally had my degree. I had done it! It’s one of the best feelings a person could have. I am now a proud alumna of FRCC.

No regrets about returning to college

I have never regretted my decision for a minute. I hope that anyone reading this blog, thinking that they are too old or it is too scary to even think about going back to school, changes their mind.

It might be scary, or you may feel intimidated, but know that it will be one of the most rewarding decisions that you could make. Have the guts to step out and change your life forever!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gail Pliszka grew up in Michigan and has lived in Colorado since the early 1980s. She works at the Front Range Community College Foundation, having been with the college for eight years. She recently graduated from FRCC with an Associate of Applied Science in accounting. She has two daughters, 24 and 25. In her spare time, she is addicted to murder mysteries and enjoys scrapbooking/crafting, cooking, and décor.