Back to School?

 I think I am crazy.

I’m in the process of applying to graduate school……again.

I already have a masters degree and am applying for another, more closely aligned with the work that I do with students with disabilities.  It’s an opportunity that came across my desk not long ago, funded by a federal grant.  If I am accepted into this program my tuition will be completely paid.

But I’m 51.  And a little scared.

It hasn’t been too long since I was a student.  In the late 90’s I taught full time and went to school full time to get my special ed license – and did it in one year.  

I’m not nervous about my ability to be a student again while working full time.  I’m not nervous about applying to the program or writing essays or getting strong recommendations.  The thing that scares me the most is taking the GRE.    Yes, admit it, I’m scared of tests like this. Especially when the bar is getting over the 40th percentile.

I have never considered myself a good test taker.  I did horribly on the SAT’s at age 17 (and I mean horrible) which put a blemish on my self-esteem regarding taking tests.  And yet I was accepted into my school of choice due to the other things that made me a great student.  I did well on the comprehensive exams for my first masters(at least good enough to get the degree) that covered courses from the entire program (which took me 9 years to complete while teaching full time and having children).  

Why can’t they make an exception for people over 50?

How long has it been since I had to know by heart formulas like slope and geometry?  Decades.   Yikes.

I’m doing practice questions every day which really isn’t doing much good for my morale (at this point).  They just confirm how rusty I am.  The test is in February.  There are a lot of resources free on the internet to help me study.  Given all that, I’m still pretty nervous.  I don’t think it’s test anxiety, per se.  It think it is more a fear of not reaching the bar.

I still have time to build up my confidence, which I feel is key for this.  One thing going for me is my ability to think well when at the computer (the test is computer-based).  Check.  I feel that I am good writer. Check.  My experience will have to account for at least some of the knowledge upon which I can access from my brain archives.  Check.  I’m pretty good at basic mental math.  Check.  And I have the best cheerleader in the world helping me with this at home!

Deep breath.  Time to study.

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