I went to college in Hawaii, Jerusalem and Illinois--none of which were near my home. I never graduated. My dad used to bug me about "getting on track" in a specific program, but I couldn't decide what area (in all of the areas) I would most like to focus. My one argument for not entering a specific program was that I was earning an education, not a piece of paper. And, for the most part, that was true. I was a good student and enjoyed the classes I took. My classes varied widely in difficulty and scholastic scope and I learned a great deal.
Fast forward twelve years: I wish I had a college degree. I wish I had graduate degrees. There is something about that piece of paper. It legitimizes you amongst your peers and raises your own sense of accomplishment.
Having said that, because I did not, in fact, earn a degree, I have striven harder than most to educate myself. I want to be taken seriously; I want to understand the world around me. Also, without a degree, you can never say, "I'm done." I will continue to study and wonder and learn. This continued learning is healthy for me, I think.
I hope to go back to school, one day, probably not until my children are grown, and that's okay with me. I find hope in the stories of people who graduate in their old age. As long as my children ask questions I can't answer (and then go and find the answer), I will be prepared when the time comes.
By the way, if I could go into a degree program today, it would either be linguistics or ancient history.
What would your major be, now that you have a little bit of life under your wing?