I wrote this back in March of 2021 when I was deep in the midst of being back in school for electrical engineering.
what does it feel like to be going to college in your 30s? what does it feel like to be revisiting feelings you had when you were 19 years old? real feelings that have been swept away by activity and time? It feels weird. It feels isolating. It feels exciting at the same time. It beckons a new beginning and opens a different door then one you would have ever even seen without guidance.
I am pursuing a bachelors degree because I want to. Because I have chosen to forgo wages and hustling for money in exchange for hustling for knowledge and numbers, for expanding my mind by challenging it with new things in a differently rigorous environment then I am used to.
I like feeling like an octopus sometimes with 8 limbs grasping onto so many different facets of life. Music, art, electronics, internet, exploring, design, relationships, friendships, lighting, reading, open source, business moves, professionalism, installations, whimsy and spontaneity. Yeah, sometimes it is overwhelming and maybe I have more then 8 limbs.
College life seems to help me center my efforts on just a few of those things, even though others are constantly pulling me away and without a strong mooring I am easily untethered. It feels like a hard and lonely path. Noone can walk it with me, and while some are deep in their ‘career,’ (well I hesitate to say that in earnest, because I dont honestly know many people that are on the ‘career’ track) I am still figuring things out about myself. I was listening to a podcast today where they said something along the lines of ‘it might be neurologically good for your brain to not be settled into its ways in your 30s’ you still have time to grow and expand and learning and challenging yourself is a good way to expand your mind. That is a deep paraphrase… but something along those lines. It gave me hope, as it gave the host hope too since she is about to turn 30 and having these existential worries as well.
I feel like everything is exciting to me and I love learning new things and expanding my knowledge. I feel like a beginning in so many thing, but also I realize that I am not too terrible at many things too. I also read something recently about how you are better than 90% of people you know at something. (well here is the actual post) Well I guess the gist of it was that when you are the only person that does something in your circle then you feel like you are the best, you are on top of the world. But in reality, once you start getting into a bigger pool with people that also do the same things you do, then you realize that your small sample size really favored you. I realized I don’t like thinking like this. But I will admit that I do end up comparing myself to other way more often then I wish I did. I know it is not good for me but it can be so easy sometimes.
I like what I am doing and I have chose this path. Sometimes I do just want to curl up and just do nothing, but this internal drive to always be doing stuff. I will be in school for another year and that is OK. I will expand my community and hopefully find my footing, find community, and recognize myself as something more then just ‘the old guy in undergrad’ or ‘the non-traditional student.’