Giving it the 'old' college try

I've had my driver's license for 12 years. I've been drinking (legally!) for seven years. I was born 10 years before the current crop of freshmen; I wasn't born in the 80s - I was born in 80.

And for the next two years, I'll be an undergraduate student at Geneseo, working alongside freshmen who think toga- and '80s-themed parties are throwbacks to bygone eras that no one really lived through.

No, this is not part of some twisted social science experiment: Insert old guy into college environment, watch old guy make reference to life without Facebook, watch freshmen flee.

No, I didn't lose a bet, and no, unfortunately, I'm not trying to recapture my youth, Old School style. I'm here to work hard, get an education, and try to keep up with my younger, brighter peers.

If you haven't done the math, I'm 28, not your typical age for a student struggling to keep up in biology and chemistry lab, but for now, I walk among you. You might find me studying at the library, playing basketball at the gym or maybe even dancing at a party - no, I won't buy you alcohol. Even when you're 28, you still have a mom who loves you and tells you what's right and wrong in this world.

I may not be experiencing your run-of-the-mill college story, but this wasn't part of my master plan. I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, went to college, for the first time, at the University of Southern California where I studied film and writing and tried to break into the screenwriting business.

After graduation, I wound up working at a doctor's office for three and a half years, which prompted me to discover that I loved working with patients. In another strange twist, I moved to Rochester in January 2006, and now I'm here earning my second bachelor's degree in pre-medical studies.

From my short stint at Geneseo, I've already learned you're never too old, or too young, to follow your dreams. A good dream is one that bounces you around from one adventure to the next in a seemingly haphazard way. You don't always wind up in some new spot and you may not be entirely sure how you got there or where you're going, but being there at that moment makes perfect sense.

Well, Geneseo makes perfect sense to me, even at 28. So that's where I'll be this upcoming week, which happens to be the same week my high school classmates celebrate their 10-year reunion in California, and this is were I'll be for many more exciting weeks and months to come.

I'll see you in class.

Geoff Henderson is a super-sophomore math major, and living proof that the good don't always die young.

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