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30 Days of Thanks – Day 5, Rutgers University

After years of taking college classes here and there while I focused on other things, like being a mom and a sarcastic pain in the arse.  I ended up with a bazillion credits, which when combined meant I’d need two more years of school before I could get a degree.  So much for the philosophy class I took in 1994 that was going to make me a better rounded person.

When Jim retired, I felt like it was time to gather my courage and head back to the classroom.  We’re really fortunate that we live in South Jersey, where we are surrounded by excellent universities and fantastic colleges, both here and in Philadelphia, so making the decision about where to go was a bit overwhelming.  It came down to a matter of convenience, and the fact that my Mom’s Taxi service was often requested by one of the children, I thought the closer I went to school, the easier the transition would be for all of us.

I picked Rutgers University in Camden, NJ with a bit of hesitation.  Camden, in case you don’t know, has ranked as the WORST city in the United States numerous times.  How was I going to go to school without stressing over the violent streets and vicious crime all over?

And then I hit Rutgers.  The campus itself is like a small oasis in the dangerous desert, insulated from the troubled city in which it thrives.  The professors are some of the most helpful I’ve ever met anywhere, all seeming to genuinely be concerned about you doing your best.  They’ve made sure I’ve felt comfortable, even in classes where I was definitely the Grandma in the group, and some have gone out of their way to see to it that I fit in among my much younger peers.

I’ve gotten awesome advice from academic advising, and the adviser I have for my major is probably the best teacher I’ve met.  Anywhere.

Rutgers has helped me find a direction, reach some goals, and I am so close to achieving what I long ago thought I’d never achieve – a bachelor’s degree – that I can’t help but be thankful for being so close to this incredible university.

I am thankful for school – and the opportunities an education provides.