I like to live by the motto, “When you’re green you’re growing, and when you’re ripe you rot.” The point for me anyways is to stay green.
After working 20 plus years in my last career as a hairdresser and makeup artist for television and film, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and return to Amarillo College, as a nontraditional student. I had always regretted not finishing college the first time, so now was my chance. I restarted my academic journey in 2020, and it has taught me that I thrive the best when pushed out of my comfort zone. I can’t go back and change the fact I did not succeed at college the first time, but it’s never too late to succeed the second time around.
The biggest hurdle for me was just going back to school, filling out the paperwork, hitting click and submit. Now I’m graduating in a little over a year. As a nontraditional student at AC, I’m driven to gain new perspectives and advance my career, and it’s all because I’m hyper-focused on my end goal. As a 19-year-old student at AC the first time around, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I felt like I was wasting everyone’s time. My drive needed direction, and I didn’t know where to get the support I needed to achieve success on a traditional college route. Today, the best tactic I use is to keep an open mind, and that allows me to gain new perspectives on a daily basis.
I’ve gone from barely knowing how to turn on a computer to producing and sound editing a weekly radio show at AC. Last spring, I won two statewide media awards. It can be easy to get side tracked as an older student and allow the insecurities to set in, but they say to “fake it ’til you make it.”
My career path is the one thing I’m the most excited about. I’m a mass media major and the sky’s the limit. The media landscape may be changing, but that leaves many opportunities for those willing to adapt with the changes.
I have seen my uncle graduate from law school at 42, a friend graduate from pharmacy school at 53. Hell, Colonel Sanders didn’t even start Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 68. If you want a career, go for it, it’s really never too late to conquer a new career path.
For me, as a nontraditional student, there really is no other option but to stay green and become a media mogul. My dad was a nontraditional student at AC in 1975, and I’m continuing the nontraditional tradition by graduating in the fall of 2023.
It’s easy to get caught in a rut, whether it be personal or professional, and start to stagnate and ripen. I suggest staying green and continuing to grow. You never know what might blossom.