Good for you!!!
What you are doing takes a great deal of courage! I know
I graduated in 1980 and went back to school in 1994!
I was utterly terrified! My grades in high school weren't very good for the most part, not because I wasn't smart enough to get good grades, I never had a chance to find out the intelligence factor because I had huge obligations at home caring for a sick mother and also working to help support us.
I had thought about going back to school earlier but most everyone I mentioned it too, including my brother, told me to not waste my time because I wouldn't make it!
And I believed them.
After 14 years of basically living hand-to-mouth in minimum wage or a little above minimum wage jobs and having to work multiple jobs to support myself, I finally decided to take the plunge.
I was terrified! I didn't know what to expect and it seems that at every turn I was hitting brick walls.
First I couldn't find funding to pay for one of the university classes that I had. I had been accepted into nursing school on the condition that I passed Anatomy and Physiology with a C+ grade. The course was way more money than I had and I needed help.
I called Student Loans and they said they only help with full time students. I was taking one class and was considered part time. I called a bank and they wouldn't help. I called Student Loans and talked to someone else and heard the same thing as before. I called another bank. This went on for 3 weeks! I was in tears and thought I would be working dead end jobs for the rest of my life.
I finally called the Royal Bank and talked to someone high up who said that I most certainly do qualify for a student loan and she told me to call the student loans office again and ask about "part time student loans." I didn't get my hopes up, but I did what she suggested. The person I spoke too was one that I had spoken to before, but when I said "part time student loan", she immediately said that they have those!!! Why she couldn't have said that the first time when I told her that I needed a student loan so that I could take ONE university course!!
With funding for the course under by belt, I approached another hurdle! I was now committed with my courage waning fast!
I remember the first day of the course I was a nervous wreck. I didn't know my way around the university, and I was going to be sitting in a room that was probably filled with teenagers and here I was 33 years old! I almost didn't go.
I looked at the life I had and the struggle to support myself. Even as a paralegal I wasn't making very good money and I had no heath benefits of any kind, or company pension, and I wasn't making enough to save anything. Then I looked into my future if I went back to school and got a job as a nurse where I actually made money beyond what I needed to pay rent, utilities and food. I liked that vision so much better and went into the theater.
I was amazed that there were others who were around my age and some that were older. Most were in their mid twenties or so.
The prof was nice and he was also funny and put me right at ease.
The next hurdle was the first exam! I hadn't taken a test in many years and when I did I tended to forget my name! A friend of mine was my rock. She gave me so much encouragement. She told me to think "A" and study my butt off and I would get an "A"!
After the exam I was sure that I had passed, but then doubt entered in and then I was sure I had failed. When I went to see the posted marks and saw that I had gotten an A+ on the exam, I literally ran to the other side of the university and called my friend Ellie to tell her about my "A+" She couldn't have been more proud and we were both in tears.
When I got home I took a piece of paper and wrote "A" on it and taped it to my wall, where it stayed along with every other grade I got on an exam, until I graduated nursing school! After that first "A" there was no stopping me!
I needed a C+ in A&P to get into nursing school. I finished with a 4.0 which is an "A+" and when I graduated nursing school I graduated with a 4.0 average and was second in my class only to a girl who had been a nurse for 10 years before returning to get her RN. I had won and award in first year and I graduated with honours.
You are nervous right now, but you have taken the biggest step and made the decision to go! That takes courage. The fear you are experiencing is "fear of the unknown" and that type of fear can be paralyzing. The reason I told you my story above is because I believe that it might help you with that fear.
You do have it in you to succeed and do well in school. I've read your posts and you appear to be intelligent, and I know you are a hard worker because if I remember correctly you were working hard and many hours, picking some type of nut to sell in order to earn a small amount of extra money. That shows tenacity and strength of character.
I believe in you. Believe in yourself! Look towards that "A" and it will be yours! I have no doubt about that at all. And I have no doubt that you will find that there are others in your class around your age, and I also have no doubt that you will even make a friend or two while there
You have made the right decision!
PS: I see you are worried about writing Essays. Until I had taken Sociology in university I had never written an essay. Because of my home situation when I was in high school and my lack of time to study and do homework, my exams were modified to be multiple choice in order to give me a chance to pass them. When I found out that everything from weekly assignments to all of the exams were essays my heart sunk. The weekly assignments counted toward a good portion of the grade and each essay was out of a 20 score.
I went and talked to the professor and explained that I had no clue what an essay was or even how to write one, and why.
He gave me an example of a sentence to start the first paragraph, and another sentence to start the second paragraph. I used those for the first essay, and was thrilled to see that I managed to get 18/20 points on it!
I used those same sentences as lead ins for all of my other essays.
Whether my essays were in proper form, I have no clue. I read the subject matter, did the research and wrote from my heart.
I've read your posts and I said earlier, you appear to be very intelligent, and so far as essays go, I have no doubt you will do just fine with those too!