Going To College Makes You Feel Old

Keble College, Oxford
Your old friend Jack kids around about being an old man but he doesn’t think of himself as such, no sir.

The guy I picture in my mind is somewhere between 19 and 25. He has a full head of hair, muscles that ripples when he moves and has trouble buying shirts that fit him because his shoulders are broad and his waist/belly are trim.

Sometimes he looks at the mirror and wonders who had the bright idea of buying one of those carnival fun house mirrors because he surely doesn’t look like the image he reflected back at him.

After he recoils in horror and makes a mental note to avoid the donuts and extra slice of pizza he puts on his superhero costume, the one that says “Dad” on it and goes about his day.

Today our superhero encountered his arch nemesis time. You can read the tale of their battle below.

Going To College Makes You Feel Old

Not so long ago someone got the bright idea to try to save money by not extending my contract which placed me in a position in which I needed to spend some time wandering among the people looking for a new place to hang my hat.

Yeah, that is a sort of silly way of saying I am in between positions now and looking for work. Since I am stuck in the position of having to do the heavy lifting the opportunities I can take are more limited than I would like them to be, but a superhero does what is required to save the day.

A short while ago a friend reached out to invite me to join him at a job fair at our alma mater.

I asked him if it would be appropriate for experienced professionals and he insisted it would be so I agreed to join him.

So today he and I put on suits and ties and wandered among the coeds who believe that 80 plus degree weather requires short sleeves, short pants and a back pack.

I won’t tell you about that decades after I graduated they still haven’t figured out how to make enough parking for the students and people who need it or specifics about how other things hadn’t changed.

Because let’s be honest, the view walking across campus wasn’t all that bad. Can’t complain about seeing some hot California girls walking around until you realize you are old enough to be their father.

It is not a secret, but you don’t really think about it until you ask someone to point out the new building the job fair is in. It wasn’t there when you were a student and when you mention this to the students they of course ask when you attended school.

Insult turns to injury when you find out they weren’t yet born when you were a freshman and suddenly going back to college makes you feel old.

Time Meets Jack

Still you persevere. You continue your forced march across the concrete and green and arrive at the fair.

Inside you discover you are among the very few who wore a suit and tie which is part of why some students ask you what companies you represent.

You move through the room and silently curse how crowded and loud it is looking for the few booths you marked as being companies you wanted to speak with.

Of course when you get to those booths you try not to be distracted by the realization that the person you are speaking with is much younger than you are and is looking for people who have limited experience.

It makes sense to you that they would search for new grads but you were told by your buddy and the career center there was a reason for you to be there.

You battle time and manage to get a few good licks in and when you head off to lunch feel like you got something out of it. Since you are on campus you figure you might as well grab a bite to eat there.

Back in the day your time was your own so you could have gone off campus and blown a few hours, but not today.

So you stand in line with a bunch of students, grab a meal and then sit down to eat. While eating you realize the kids sitting next to you are talking about a television show your son watches and the same video games he plays.

Since he is in 8th grade you wonder if that means he is really mature or that the kids who are talking are really immature.

But mostly it just makes you think that going back to college makes you feel really old. 🙂

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  1. Underdaddy October 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Big Yes to this article and it only took ten years for me. Tried to walk through the old dorm and felt like I went into Chuck-E-Cheese without a kid.

  2. Stan Faryna October 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Sometimes, I am amazed by providence. And providence is often mistaken for coincidence. But there is no such thing as the latter.

    I happened to be at Princeton not long ago and I was warmly encouraged to apply to graduate school. And I just might.

    It’s a good thing that I can pass for a younger man…

  3. Larry October 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Awkward. Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. I hope something positive comes out of it and you find a place to hang your hat. Chin up old man.

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