I haven't seriously been in a classroom in about 7 years. It definitely took some deep breathing and a frappuccino to coax myself into actually going. It was scary - voices telling me that I'd be the oldest person in the class (like that matters) and the material would be over my head (which it wasn't). My instructor is blunt, to the point - absolutely no chaser. I like that about her. I survived the first 4 hours of my higher education. And, when it was time to leave I felt much more intelligent than when I first got there.
I spent the rest of the weekend gabbing to my husband about Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto and Albert Bandara's clown experiment.
I never imagined after all these years I'd end up back on a college campus as a student. Ironically, I work in education at a university - seems like being surrounded by grad students and tons of folks with multiple degrees would've prompted me to start my own voyage. Truth is, I'm good at my job and a degree just isn't necessary. Matter of fact, if I had this same position with a degree, I'd feel like I wasted four years. Great job. Great opportunity. Great benefits. Not something I want to be doing 20 years from now.
For me, going back to school has very little to do with a career change - I just want to prove to myself that I can do it. Plus, I have 2 little girls that need to know that they're capable of doing anything they put their brilliant little minds to - regardless of the circumstances.
The first time around I simply talked myself out of doing well. As an extreme introvert, the classroom was very intimidating - by the 3rd or 4th week of any semester I'd convince myself that I wasn't smart enough to finish and that everyone else knew some sort of secret that I didn't - so, I'd drop the class. Or just stop going... Yeah, I'm paying for that. Even still I have zero regrets. I needed the negative experiences to get me to the place that I am today... it's only up from here.