Verdell “DeeDee” Kirk is doing what so many women of a certain age want to do, but often lack the courage to attempt: she’s heading to college. And as if that isn’t brave enough, she’s agreed to let us go along for the ride. We hope other women who want to pursue further education will find inspiration in DeeDee’s experiences.
No More Regrets
I am a 55-year-old woman chasing a career I should have had more than 25 years ago. Yes, I’m going back to school! Along with the excitement comes a little fear of not knowing what to expect, not only from the instructors, but also from myself.
And attending college will be a huge challenge for me now that my 18-year-old daughter is starting college this fall, too. As if this isn’t awkward enough!
My parents separated when my siblings and I were preteens. With no one in the home to inspire me, I wasn’t motivated or encouraged to attend college. I always felt like I needed more education, but was afraid to take the plunge.
My husband has asked me many times, “Do you have any regrets?” I always respond with the same answer: “Yes, I regret not going to college.” My outlook on education today is not what it was 30 years ago. I never saw myself dealing with the life struggles that having a job vs. a career backed by a degree. But now the greater demands in my life and my heart’s desires are making it imperative for me to obtain an education. There isn’t much in life I feel incomplete about except my education, which I see as the path to a brighter future.
Fortunately for our daughter, my husband and I encourage her to seek her goals through higher learning. We know a mediocre job will not offer her the lifestyle she deserves. Getting an education will help her build dignity, integrity and self-respect as a minority.
This feels like learning to walk all over again. I know if I fall down, I’ll have to pick myself up and keep going. Please, wish me well!