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Each year I give myself a few goals (spiritual, personal, relationships and career) to walk towards (I'm the turtle in the Tortoise and the Hare tale).  This years one of my goals was to go back to college and complete my undergrad.

"Wait, Charmaine.  You mean you never finished college?"

No, I did not finish college; I, instead, followed (or got swept away) in my career (and love) as a Visual Merchandiser/Stylist - before I became a jeweler.

"Why go back to college now?"

Finishing school, obtaining a formal arts degree, has been a goal for many, many,  years, a goal that I was too busy (aka scared) to make a reality.  Also, lately, more now than ever, I've been feeling like something is missing/lacking in my art practice and ability to push my work farther.   I believe what one gets from the experience of college is a necessary ingredient in creating - and I want and need that experience.

I am happy that I've reached this point in my life because I am doing this with sheer desire and hunger for information and experimentation, not with obligation or expectation.  And with that, I feel most ready to dive into the deep dark waters that is #collegeat42.  I decided to go for my B.F.A. in Studio Arts (have not yet decided on a minor, it may be painting).

Because I've been out of school for so long, I went about the enrollment process as a recent high school graduate would have.  I met with a counselor, and mapped out my education plan.   Do note, I am starting at a city college (Long Beach City College), as that is where I began after graduating high school, I know some of the faculty and it's near my house; so it made the most sense to me to begin, or rather "restart", at LBCC.

I am taking one class this semester (advised by my counselor, to ease back in to it) Art 2, Art and Civilization.  The first meeting was on February 6th, and I have to admit I was scared and intimidated.  Why?  Because, I am not keen to the classroom setting (a lot of childhood triggers involved) and I knew I'd most likely be the oldest student in the class, besides the instructor, learning next to 2o somethings with a lot of this information fresh at the front of their young adult brains - and all of that was the reality.

With all of that, my fears, my apprehensions, and my insecurities, I am 100 percent looking forward to this chapter of growth that I am writing.  It is going to be challenging, fun, embarrassing, hard, amazing and exhausting, attributes that make great character and an interesting story - I am here for it.  I am confident that I will do well, because I want to do well, and I'll be a better student now than in my 20's.

So, here's to doing #collegeat42, with courage (and age) in one hand and fear in the other.

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