I was trolling Craigslist the other day and saw a post from someone who wanted to interview people who had dropped out of college, why they had dropped out and a few other related things.
The kid (ok she’s 26, but really, I’m 51. She’s a kid) is working on her masters in Poly Sci at Notre Dame. I replied to her post and had a very interesting talk with her today.
I graduated from high school in the mid 80s. It was understood that I would go to college. I went to a small state school that was far enough for me to get out of the house but still close enough to go home on weekends. I choose that school because the state huge ass university that everyone went to was well, huge. I would have been a number.
I went to private schools growing up and this small state school seemed to be a better fit for me. I lived on campus, I joined a sorority (because that’s what you did), I basically had the quintessential college experience.
Except that I never graduated.
Math and I have had a mutual hate hate relationship since I was little. It’s the one subject that I struggled with. I got out of high school by the skin of my teeth. (Did you know that it’s possible to score in the single digits on any one part of the ACT? Yep)
Thanks to my ACT scores, I had to take a placement test for math and took two semesters of remedial math. (We called it James Bond math, Math 002 and 003 is what I took) Every semester after, I would get to mid term and have about a 30 average. DROP that shit.
I tried extra help, tutoring, going to the math majors in my sorority, nada. The planes still went so above my head, they left contails in the sky.
What ended up being my last semester, I took classes to fulfill my minor because they were easy A and B grades for me. When it came time to register for the following semester, I just couldn’t. I never went back.
In hindsight, I don’t know what I could have done different. Maybe going to a community college? I used to regret dropping out, but any and all regrets in my life went out the door when I hit my 40s. (Life is too fucking short to regret. I’ve got better things to do than spend mental energy on what could have been. I made my bed, I gotta lie in it.)
Overall I had a good college experience. I still keep in touch with my theatre friends and see a few of them on my yearly trips back to my hometown.
I don’t know if having that degree would have changed any of my career choices. Granted in today’s world, having a masters is the new BA. And unless I get a free ride, I have no desire to finish.
We are debt free, so unless someone hands me a wad o cash, there is no way I’m taking on a student loan at this stage of my life.