What it feels like to start school at the age of 23
Written by, Talia Goldberg, Community Shlicha
My week started with being excited and scared at the same time. After 5 years of wondering and hanging out in the world, I went back to school. Meaning, since high school, I haven’t been writing papers and taking tests. I can assure you that when my courses started, the first thing I did was freak out that it's been 48 hours and I didn't finish all my projects. The work I got wasn't hard, but imagine going back to school after 5 years of doing other things, some of them being as far away from university as the army can be, and some being so far that I found myself in salt lake city utah. And some home from here, I found myself, in a large way younger than I thought, in school again, with 3 years ahead of me.
Many Israelis, like me, don't go to university straight after high school, since we have mandatory army service. Some people choose a program called “atuda” so they first go to school and then when they go to the army they are assigned to a unit based on their studies. But most Israelis serve 3 years in the army, then take a year of work (usually spending a lot of money,) then come back and work another year to save up for school. So then, 6 years after highschool, many Israelis find themselves starting school after a lot of years and trying to decide what we want to study.
The good parts about this delay is that we are more mature and we understand better what we want to do with our lives. The problem is, which is definitely my problem, I understand that it's important to go to school, but I also understand that I got by very well without it all this time and that I don't necessarily want or actually need to go to school. This makes it hard for me to find my inner motivation to do school work. Also, going back to school after being independent for a number of years, relying on your parents again is a really complicated feeling for young israeli adults. And sometimes, you really need your parents' financial help to pay for school or to move back into their house.
I think the amazing thing about Covid is that all my friends have now started school. This is very different from any other time in the world, where Israelis will postpone going back to school as much as they can. But now that there's no traveling, we're all in school!
Thank you Covid for giving us a reason to go back to school, I guess?