- Newsflash: You are old.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been out of school for three years or thirty, it will soon become crushingly, achingly clear to you that You Are Old. Somehow, the people in University just keep getting younger, and you are already out of the loop. There are at least two new forms of social media that you do not understand and should not attempt to participate in. There are dozens of new slang terms that you should not even try to use, because the only thing worse than being the grownup in the classroom is being the grownup who is desperately trying to be blend in. Have some self-respect.
- But also – congrats! You’re old!
Suddenly all the wisdom you’ve acquired in your years of being a Real Human in the Outside World will come in handy. You’ve been through breakups, moves, floods, toxic friendships, transit strikes and plagues of locusts. You will chuckle when the kids in class freak out over a particularly difficult assignment. You can help the youths when they need guidance and you can provide perspective on the trials and tribulations of University life. This will make you totally insufferable. Try to keep it to yourself.
- You will be angry all the time. This is because you are old.
Attending classes with young people will constantly fill you with rage. You will resent their Macbooks and wonder why they can’t sit through a lecture without scrolling through Tumblr obsessively. You will sneer as they browse Michael Corrs watches and then snap at them when they ask you a question the prof just answered. You will roll your eyes at their ripped jeans and oversized sweaters and cute little crop tops. You will do all these things because you are a jealous old troll – you feel dumb in crop tops, you feel dumb writing in a notebook, you feel dumb because you don’t understand Tumblr and you hate being the grownup in class that everyone can rely on. Do not let this jealousy ruin your time in University. It’s not your classmates’ fault that you are old. Blame God.
- Now that you are old, your grades will be better.
Whether you’re finishing your first degree or going back to do a Masters, you will be amazed at how much your grades have improved. You aren’t staying out drinking all night long and your organizational skills have no doubt improved. If you have a semi-professional job of any description you will be too busy to leave assignments till the last minute and you will have a much better understanding of what the professor actually wants. You’ll actually read the assignments and ask questions ahead of time if you don’t understand something. You’ll make time to study, usually, and your studying will be more productive, probably.
- Do not let your time at University be defined by how old you are.
Remember when you were young and filled with hope and optimism? No? Well, your classmates do, because they are living it. The whole world is open to them and everything is Very Important. Don’t make fun of them! They are better at computers than you will ever be and they believe that all their dreams will come true. That’s a beautiful thing and it’s worth being reminded of. Let them inspire you. Be kind and be open to their influence, even if sometimes you just want to shake them. Before long you’ll go back to being the youngest person in the office and Marlene from purchasing will be making snarky comments about how you don’t know anything because you never lived through the Thatcher years. These are not the best years of your life, but they are worth embracing and they will never come again.
No matter what, don’t let yourself join the ranks of the Marlenes of the world even a day earlier than you absolutely have to.