It’s never too late to rethink our entire life and reshape it into whatever we think it should be. It’s important to know that age is just a number and there isn’t a right way of living. The stigma in society push us into a corner, but the significant outcome that we should focus on is the journey to our destination. How you get there, where you are in life and what you need to do to get to where you are going. These are all factors that will display at the end of your journey.
I’m your late college bloomer and started college later than most of my peers, and for the longest, I felted so out of sync. I feel like a complete loser of my generation. While everyone went off to college after the summer of their last year, I had my first child. High school seems like a moment ago, but today it dawns in the back of my mind like a 1950’s photograph. This year my daughter will be turning nine, which means next year will mark my ten-year High-School reunion. It’s crazy to think that nine years swept by like a blink of an eye but looking back I remember all the moments and challenges that made today counts.
I remember becoming a mother at 19 with a career of never-ending diapers and sleepless nights of bottle run. I remember looking like a mess and feeling like a mess, and if you scroll down my FB feed, you will see my daughter’s first cry, her first laugh, and her first crawl. You will see moments when my status describes the frustration I feel as a parent and while all this is happening, me scrolling down “my Facebook feed,” I would see my peers first day of college and read status about how they got card at 21. I would see their first bar pictures and read comments about their first walk of shame out of a college dorm on a cozy Saturday morning, and it would somehow hit me and make me feel out-of-place all over again.
A few couple years down the road with time came wisdom. I started to realize that I genuinely should go at my own pace. I later went back to school to pursue both my license in Cosmetology and Esthetic but with no real confidence of really transitioning over to get my college degree. With each passing years, my children get another year added to their tiny fingers and when all those years total to six and seven small digits I finally found the courage to go back to college and pursue a degree in Nursing; one of the most sought out careers with a statistic boom in the year 2023. The baby boomers will retire, leaving the workforce in demand of Nurses.
I was so inspired to become a Nurse when I later discover their role in the clinical beauty industry through my career as a Medical Esthetician. A lot of people are confused with the entire career shift, but little did they know, Nurses are specializing in cosmetic practice. While working at a Dermatology office and then a plastic surgery facility (as a skin technician), I learned and seen many things. Surrounded by people whos driven and educated had inspired me in ways that shifted my mindset forever. One day while I was drafting a resignation letter, I also sent out an application to my local college and as one chapter closes another soon open.
Going back to college at 26 can sound like a nightmare and not knowing what to expect, feels worse. The last time I wrote a paper was seven years ago, and I wasn’t sure if I knew how to anymore. My first day of college may be the last day for some of my peers and as we continue to walk and twist in all directions the one thing that Facebook taught me if it taught me anything at all is the diversity of life. Facebook has opened a transparent window into the lives of others. The status updates, photos, and feeds that continuously flood my FB after each loading session shows that every person goes at their own pace and that they are never late. My first year of college was amazing, and I saw potentials in myself I never knew existed (not even when I was in High-School), and while experiencing my first mid-term with sleepless night and endless cups of coffee, some peers just had their first child, while others recently tie the knot.
I hope my personal experience pave a path to open the eyes of so many and help them see that it’s never late to go back to college or even to pursue a hobby or maybe a dream and experience apart of ourselves we never knew existed. In life, there isn’t a right way of living, and we don’t need to ask anyone’s permission on how to live it. To truly live, we shouldn’t rely on the validations of others. So live life the way you always wanted and deserve. As long as you know the beat to your drum, you will live a life worth living.