My mother didn’t even have a GED. She never took the SATs, had crap grades in high school, and had no extra money. Between her part-time job and funds from grants and scholarships, she was able to study anthropology, minor in art, and still pay her rent and eat. That’s badass for a kid who grew up in Garnett, Kansas and was told she’d never amount to anything. She stepped foot onto a college campus with nothing but questions and a determination that only slightly outweighed the mortal fear that she would be turned away and turned back to a life that wasn’t going anywhere.
She just walked into her local university and refused to take “no” for an answer. She braced herself for the very real possibility that this was going to be a long road that might end badly. The only answers she accepted started with the words “this is how,” “this is where,” “this is what,” and “this is who.” When one person couldn’t answer, she moved onto the next person in charge. She started out as a person no one at the university wanted to see again to being a beloved student and a sought-after contributor to the university paper. If you want to go to college and thought it was outside your means to do so, go do what my mother did.
While she was in college, she regularly kept an ear and eye out for those who, like her, just showed up one day to see how far they could get without a GED and a wad of cash - and then she helped them get it. There might only be a few helpful people at your local university or community college, but if you keep looking, you’ll find them.
Education is only one situational limit. Using my mother’s prowess is a good way to start tackling the other situational limits in life - like how experienced you are, the job you have, and the location of your home.
My mother had numerous complications following her 1970 breast cancer surgery and reconstructive surgery. She fought her limits for years and got nowhere. When she quit fighting, she realized how much time and energy she’d spent doing so. She instead used that time to define her limits and accept them. Once she did that, she was able to see the opportunities that were available to her. There weren’t that many opportunities because of her physical limits. While seemingly a bad thing, it actually helped narrow her focus and channel her energy and concentration.