It is the eve of my return to school. I bought a new rolling backpack to replace the one that was stolen from my garage last May. I have started to pack it, but I have the familiar insecurities that plagued me when I first started at my beloved American River college.
I am not a conventional student – I am well into my fifties—and on most days I live like I am ignorant of my age. The days it does matter is on my first day of school. I catch even the most politically correct students, the ones who champion diversity, look at me like I don’t belong next to them. I learned how to ignore them, or better yet, let them fuel my competitive spirit.
Tomorrow is my first day at California State University, Sacramento –the home of seven academic colleges, offering 58 undergraduate majors to more than twenty-eight thousand students. The green, tree-filled campus stretches over 300 acres and still manages to feel crowded. I will be part of the College of Arts and Letters, as an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis. I will also focus quite a bit on Spanish, hopefully enough to have a minor.
Mario, as always, is the rock of support he usually is. He tells me over and over that I will do well. My nervous jitters are probably a precursor to intense involvement with homework. My energy will be funneled into the second-half of my degree, the intensive involvement with language, literature and writing. I am honored and privileged to have this chance and I know it.
I practice gratitude breaths as I walk across campus. Breathe in gratitude, breathe out negativity. Breathe in love and respect, breathe out poison. It may sound corny, but it really helps me. Focusing on a goal comes with a hundred little tricks.
Tonight will be a tricky night’s sleep!
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