by Judy McCarrick and Lynn Wenzel
Since August’s program honors re-entry women with scholarships, we decided to write about our own experiences as college re-entry women.
Some people graduate from high school, go to college, get a job and get married, in that order. Can you imagine! Not me, I had to do it the hard way! I was married at 20 just after completing my first two years of college. By the time I was 21, our first child was born in 1965. Jeff worked full-time, attended college four nights a week and completed his army reserve commitment on the weekends. We rarely saw each other and I was mostly a single parent. We lived in Los Angeles at the time. Jeff finally graduated from USC and we had our second child in 1970. At that time, he went for a position in sales in New York and got it.
It was a huge upheaval for us, leaving family, friends and our home. But, we were young and, at first, it was exciting. Still, shortly after we had moved and settled in New Jersey, I became dispirited and depressed. It was hard times then. Jeff was gone all the time. I was home with two little kids, no car, no job, no friends yet and my first experience of an eastern winter. Both kids were sick all the time and we had practically no money. Most of all, who was I?