Transitioning into a college student has been an adjustment requiring several physical and mental changes. Changes such as realizing that after a long time working that my new career is focusing on my formal education that I neglected so long ago, or getting over that same anxiety which I counseled so many of my clients about as they transitioned from working life into retirement, and counseling myself or giving myself the pep talk within my internal monologue that, "Hey, it's ok, we planned for this remember?" Or the physical changes such as I am not young anymore and I am sitting in class with classmates that could be my sons or daughters due to their age. It is an adjustment, but more than that it is a journey. One where I am growing in new ways as I travel and experience new challenges.
Kenneth Blanchard I think said it best when he spoke “There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When your committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” I think it speaks well of the reasons I came back to college, most notably my change of perspective. When I was younger I had an interest (an interest in a lot of things) but not really a commitment. I would take classes then drop them repeatedly either by choice or necessity. There was no real commitment on my part and my early college transcript shows it. Being young and inexperienced in what life brings can bring with it poor choices when the freedom from the restrictions brought by the rules of home life and school are not there (i.e. "look at me, I am watching Netflix during class"-a commitment to social expectations, not college). It's during a transitioning time like this the differences between interests and commitments become blurred leading to bad prioritization and leading further to making poor choices. The choices are costly in both time and money. Being young and inexperienced, I do not think we are as aware as we think we are or should be in terms of true costs for our actions.
Being much older now and having experienced much more of what life presents I understand more the importance of prioritizing my interests and making my commitments. The importance of prioritizing my time and accepting the struggles that sometimes come with it. Coming back to college this time around I left my well-paying financial job to commit to a college education because the interest still remains, only now I am committed. As a husband, father, provider to my family they are committed with me on this journey. If I fail we all fail. They will suffer the loss and feel the financial impact with me, making the necessity of my achieving success ever more stronger. My children see me sacrificing to get the best return on my commitment to college, it is that leading them by example that strengthens my commitment even more. I am fully invested in my college education, focused on only making results and not excuses. My investment in my college education is much more than monetary. It is time away from other interests as well as shortening time with my family most evenings while I study.
I have seen the value of a quality college education, the opportunities it presents and the doors that it opens when you have those credentials. It took me fifteen years of hard work, commitment, and proving myself to gain my position as an investment advisor that other colleagues were able to obtain right away due to their college education. The math regarding the decision to this kind of commitment is simple and straight forward. Do I want to invest 15 years of time to get the same results from committing 4 solid years to a college education in what interests me? Do I want to have only 25-50 thousand in expenses for my college education or hundreds of thousands of dollars of forfeited income over fifteen years because I could not or would not commit to the four?