I’ve completed my first semester of school and am that much closer to having a degree in Latent Evidence Technology—hooray! And I managed to get all A’s in my classes. It was a huge adjustment and a lot of work to be a student again. I like to think I’m a little older and wiser than the eighteen-year-old who first entered Allman Hall on the campus of Forsyth Tech in the fall of 1995. Granted, I still have breakouts on my skin and my fashion is always a few years behind the current style, but I now realize that I am responsible for my education and my future as I embark on this career course correction. Here are some of the things I learned in Spring Semester 2011:
I need at least 7 hours of sleep or I’m useless. No more all-nighters.
Speaking of, 8 am classes are still a thing to be avoided like the plague.
Whether I’m 13 or 34, Mom is there to wake me when I sleep through my alarm.
I can’t get by on just Mountain Dew and peanut butter crackers anymore.
It’s tough to form a study group like in “Community” because everyone has their own schedules and lives outside the classroom. Hats off to my fellow students who have kids and full-time jobs in addition to classes.
I now know what a flash drive is and how to use it.
I now know what goes into making crystal meth and wonder why in the world people would expose themselves to that. Shudder.
Drug dogs are trained to smell a vinegar-like substance when searching for heroin.
Never pick up a gun by putting a pen or pencil in the barrel (I’m lookin’ at you, all TV shows).
You can’t just walk into a scene and start taking pictures; they need to be in sequence, starting from the outside and working in.
Blood stains do not glow when illuminated by a flashlight, unless treated with BlueStar or Fluorescein.
And though I try to be patient and understanding of fellow students, their compulsion to text during class makes me want to give them blunt force trauma to the head. Seriously, I’m amazed at how inconsiderate some people are.
I take some solace in being neither the youngest nor the oldest student in my classes; I feel like I appreciate it more now than I would have right after high school. Maybe there is some sense to the idea of a gap year. Take the time to find out who you really are and what you really want. Because let’s face it, a four-year degree is no longer the golden ticket to a career that you can retire from. So if you’re going to spend all that money and time, you should spend it on learning something you love. While also hoping and praying that the economy will improve by the time I graduate and they’ll stop cutting all these federal jobs. Don’t you want me, Uncle Sam?