My late-blooming life

By Amar Kapadia

So… I just found out that I’m graduating this May 2012.  What’s the big deal, you ask?  Well, as a non-traditional student who’s a college senior, I find that it’s like literally walking around the world twice…only, walking around the world (a ‘bit’ older than the average) takes a lot less energy and time.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating – a little.  Truth being told though, I feel like I’ve been in school for a thousand years.  I say that with a touch of irony since we have crossed over into a new millennium since I began my college life.  You may be asking yourself why it took so long: well, I’m going to tell you. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life when I started college, so I worked for a number of years at various places, and went to school part-time at a snail’s pace.  Eventually, (and I mean after a loooong time)  I graduated with my Associate’s and realized that I wanted to be a journalist. I subsequently applied to Rider and then, well, everything just accelerated.

What is it like going to school with students who are “just kids” compared to me?  Well, it really doesn’t bother me.   Other than the fact that I have memories of events that transpired before most of my peers were even born, I actually find it exhilarating to go to college at a time when technology is rapidly transforming. Back when I started college, (great, now I’m going to start sounding like an old man telling his grandkids about the Depression or something) the Web was still in its infancy and we all used dial up to connect to the Internet and all those other things you’ve probably heard about yesteryear.  The point is, even six years ago, when I was working and going to school at night, no one could have imagined getting the Internet on their cell phone, let alone having high speed access. Back when I started, we still were using encyclopedias and getting our grades by mail.

Amar Kapadia, photo credit: Amar Kapadia

But what about the fact that it’s taken me so long to get where I am today?  How do I feel about the fact that it’s taken this long? Well, if I could do it differently, I would have.  My feeling is that I rushed into college too early, at a time where I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I could have waited a few years and thought about it, but the excitement of going to college right after high school was too enticing to pass up. Plus, everyone in my family went directly to college after high school and it just seemed right at the time. My advice to someone graduating from college after high school is to know what you want to study, and make sure you’re ready for the challenge, otherwise you will end up wasting time and money.  I wish I had the ability to have given myself that advice before I jumped in, but I am proud of the outcome now, and so is my family.  It’s funny, the original date of my graduation was supposed to be around the time of the release of The Phantom Menace and one of the Mission: Impossible movies, but with the release of the fourth Mission: Impossible and the re-release of Menace, it feels like the turn of the millennium all over again. Maybe I am graduating on time… maybe a few years late. (Probably the former.)  But hey, at least I know I’m graduating ahead of that December 21, 2012 doomsday date!

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