Part Ⅱ Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes)
You don't have to be 18: Going to college as an adult
Every so often, especially when I'm feeling down, I take out my old college notes, textbooks and diplomas, and take a little stroll down memory lane. I remember the fun I had in college, the people I met, the professors who taught me and the experiences that changed my life. And I'm glad I made the sacrifices.
After graduating high school, I thought college wasn't for me. I served a four-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, and then took a job with the postal service. In my na vet, I thought that moving up within the agency would be fairly easy. I was bright, knowledgeable, eager to learn new things and willing to put in the time needed to develop myself. But I ran into a brick wall. It seemed there was an inside track, and I was definitely not on it. After about a year and a half, I realized that my chances of advancement were nil, and it was time to do something about it.
I floated the idea of attending college to my coworkers and superiors and the response was mostly negative. But there were a few people who thought it was a good idea, and I did a Lot of thinking. I saw two choices: 1. Stay where I was, miserable in a low-level job. 2. Take a chance and give college a try. Since my job was Leading me nowhere, I decided to start college.
Overcoming the initial obstacles
When I started; I encountered a lot of resistance from people at work. The phrase "career student" was bandied about at me, as if I was learning nothing practical and basically trying to avoid growing up. Actually it was the other way around, I saw staying in my job as a way to avoid facing responsibilities, and college as a more real world—and an island of sanity in my life.
While it made little difference to me if my coworkers or bosses supported my decision to attend college, I did want my family behind me. The support was there-I didn't need any financial help, but I got a lot of moral support from my parents, as well as from friends and relatives.
Probably the biggest obstacle I faced, since I was plagued by doubts about my own intelligence and abilities, was just getting started. I decided to start close to home and do my first two years of college at Palm Beach Community College, which was on the way to work, and then transfer to Florida Atlantic University, which was more out of the way.
I had driven past the campus of Palm Beach Community College several times. In the spring of 1987, I finally worked up the nerve to go into the admissions office. For many people that first step is a big one, and it's easy to believe that one is stepping into an abyss, but PBCC was flexible enough for me. I had to take the American College Test and, after scoring well on that, was able to register for classes. My first class was introduction to the Social Sciences, and from the moment the professor began to lecture, I knew I had found a place where I could learn and grow.
You might expect to experience culture shock in college after your day-to-day experiences. I found, instead, that most of the culture shock happens when you leave class and go back to work. For while your coworkers and bosses are not changing, you are.
You may find yourself colliding with the people at work. They may find that your new habits, like studying during breaks and lunch, and not going to the local bar to drink and gripe about work, are disturbing the status quo(当前的状况).
You may even be tempted to give up. Please don't. It may be difficult, you may be exhausted and you may have to tune out criticism, but I can tell you from experience that it's all worth it on the day you put on the cap and gown and receive your diploma.
College life for adults
So you've gone and done it. You have been accepted for matriculation (注册入学) at a community college or university, and have been given a date and time to register,
Your biggest .worry may be about what things are like in the classroom. Does the professor take attendance? Some do, some don't, though all encourage perfect attendance and class participation. Is there a break? If the class is three hours long, there probably is. When you report to your first class, try to be there a little early. Get a good seat, preferably in the front of the classroom so you can see and hear the professor better.
Have all the required books for the class, and a notebook and pen. When class starts, the professor will hand out a syllabus, discuss it, talk about term papers and may then begin teaching.
You may be worried about how the professor will react to you. You needn't be that concerned. At the community college and university I attended, professors welcomed older students. We tended to be more focused on getting an education, had a lot to contribute to the class discussion because of our experience in the world and were less likely to argue over a grade.
As you get to know your classmates in the class, you may find yourself gravitating toward other students your age. There's nothing wrong with this, but if there's a group project, the professor will probably want the generations to work together. This is a good opportunity to broaden your horizons.
That doesn't mean you should just show up, take classes and take off. There may be a club or activity for your major on campus that can help you in your job search later on. You may even find that the company of other scholars will help you expand your intellectual horizons. And taking in a college sports event once in a while can be a fun way to meet other people.
The Big Time
Graduation from Palm Beach Community College was a milestone in my life. Against the odds, I had achieved something. I was "walking on sunshine," as the song goes, and had learned to let all the negativity go in one ear and out the other. I had made friends with the professors, and the students I had worked with were wonderful. In truth, I was addicted to the challenges that college provided.
I graduated from community college in December 1990, then started at Florida Atlantic University the following month. Florida Atlantic University was a whole new world awaiting discovery. My first time there, I had been scared. It was so big and seemingly impersonal. Sure, there would be some people from the community college on the same track as I was on, but still there were lots of strangers.
In April 1994, I had accumulated enough credits to graduate from FAU. It was a bittersweet occasion. I loved education and learning, but wanted to make my career change sooner rather than later. Two months after graduation I left the post office, diploma in hand, and embarked on a new career. It hasn't always been easy and it hasn't always been that much fun, but I've never regretted reinventing my life.
I am now a copy editor for a newspaper, with a few years of experience under my belt, and have also earned a computer networking certification along the way. Even now, I have grand plans that involve law school someday, and maybe an MBA.
A college degree opens doors. It might not be possible to see the doors when you are just starting out, but they are there if you have the patience and drive to pursue your dreams. Good luck in your future endeavors.
1. The writer decided to attend college because ______.
A) he could see no hope of moving up the ladder in the postal agency
B) he was eager to learn new things all his life
C) his relatives and friends urged him to receive further education
D) without a di