What college reentry demands

Growing numbers of today's college students are no longer recent high school graduates. Rapid social changes have rendered some occupations obsolete, while opening up entirely new fields. People at various stages of life are finding it not only desirable but necessary to acquire new skills and knowledge. Often retirement provides the leisure to explore unfamiliar artistic and academic territory. Homemakers whose children are grown may yearn to expand their activities and develop dormant talents. Or the businessman may seek advancement in his field through further specialized study. Whatever one's motives for reentering college, doing this can be fraught with challenge.

The reentry student may wonder, "How will I fit into a college crowd? Will I be able to make friends with anyone there?" Such apprehensions can be dispersed by an understanding of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "Man in Science is neither young nor old." Science and Health, p. 244; Youth and vitality, then, don't have to be confined to the young, nor wisdom and maturity to the old. We can plunge into campus life determined to see God's complete nature expressed, without regard to beliefs of age patterns. Since we, as well as all those around us, reflect the fullness of God's being, we can never in reality be estranged from each other. In speaking of man, Mrs. Eddy writes, "Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance." ibid., p. 259; We can expect our true full individuality to be seen and appreciated, as God reveals to others our identity and purpose. We can also expect opportunities to bless those around us as we include the entire campus in our daily prayers. Supporting our college metaphysically can open avenues to bless it humanly. When I returned to college after a ten-year interval, I found this to be true. As I prayed to support the school's activities and progress, I was asked to contribute my talents and proposals on various campus committees.

Fear of having lost our study habits may need dispelling. We needn't accept the notion that alertness and retention diminish with age. These qualities can be sharpened by demonstrating Mind as the only intelligence. We can add to youth and vigor our spiritually cultivated discipline, punctuality, perseverance, and resolve.

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No turning back
October 1, 1979

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