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So I went back to school. Why? I was supposed to get this great degree, land a great job and make more money than I ever did with an art degree. Ok, I took the easy way out as an 18 year old. Science, art, science, art...I picked art. As a woman, noone batted an eye. Heck, I didn’t take physics in high school and noone seemed to care. But, I digress.

I decided after the economy tanked in 2001 that art just wasn’t as fulfilling as it could be anymore, especially in my pocketbook. So I trooped off to the local university. I liked working with computers and thought what about computer science? Software engineering is where I started.

You know, I like it. I like being on campus and learning something I actually want to learn. Us “older” students are called non-traditional. We have our own advisor and our own lounge. No 20 somethings are allowed and with a couch and a fridge, I love the place.  

I made it through one year and then took my first programming class, Java. I caused a little bit of a stir. I was the oldest in the class and the only female. My ego told me “I’m going to teach these young ones that I can do this too“. Wrong, dead wrong. Who can compete with kids who were texting in the womb? I was taking Calculus at the same time and my father-in-law died that semester. Total breakdown.

OK, plan B. I withdrew from Java and changed my major. Information Systems in the Business college. I like it so much better. I still need to know some programming, but I’m the business analyst now. The filter between business management and the programmers. Aah, I think I found my niche.

Now it is 3 years after I started. Cranking away at the classes and wishing I was at the end. It is still satisfying working on my assignments, talking to the professors (most are my age), and knowing that I can do this. I can finish my degree and start a whole new career in my later years.

As I take out my Finance book and work on expected return problems, I remind myself that this is only one class and it takes me one step closer to a whole new life.


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