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Like most people during last year’s stay-at-home orders, I found myself watching more television than normal. Reality programs seemed to be the most prevalent option and were aired without reruns. Even streaming channels offered reality competition shows. The singing competition shows are my favorites because in my earlier academic years I studied theater arts and voice. However, I get perturbed when a contestant in their 20s and 30s say, “I don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t get in,” or “This is my last chance.” “My world will end if I don’t make it here.” These comments evoke a reaction that involves me lecturing the TV screen.

Similar to the reality show contestants, I hear the same types of comments from students. “I’m too old go back to school,” “I’ve been in school forever; I should be done by now,” or “This my last chance; I need to finish now.”

I say, “PHOOEY!” You always have another chance – if you take it. You’re not too old at 30 or even 40 (and beyond) to meet your life goals and fulfill your dreams. You don’t have to settle.

Theresa Genova, San Luis Obispo
Theresa Genova, director, Columbia College-San Luis Obispo

You are never too old to learn; therefore, you are never too old to go back to school. When students seem reluctant to more forward, I share the story about local resident and alumna Catharina Bybee. She graduated and wore her cap and gown – at age 85! She raised children, had a nursing career, and ran a small business, then in retirement, she returned to school. After earning her degree, she became a peer counselor for North County seniors. I share her inspirational story because you can achieve your dreams and goals at any age. In the 1970s, that is the whole reason Columbia College started a new division of the college specifically to provide adult learners an opportunity to achieve their educational goals. Back then, it was called the Extended Studies division; now, it’s known as Columbia College Global (CCG). The CC-San Luis Obispo location is part of CCG.

Put the past behind you and move forward to your future. You can’t get anywhere by standing still. Your past academic indiscretions will not factor into your Columbia College studies. At Columbia College if you focus on your goals, work hard, and believe in yourself, you can finish your degree. You can make the seemingly impossible absolutely possible!

Unlike TV, I am real and here to help guide you through your academic journey and help you achieve your goals. I am happy to help. I will be your coach and mentor; I will be your rooting section; I will be there when you make it to your final session and I will be there to celebrate when you complete your degree.

Welcome to the new academic school year!