Times and the economy are changing, once upon a time we would graduate from College or University and step into the jobs we would keep until retirement. These days many people are going back to school as adults, lack of jobs in the field, lay-offs, and even unhappiness in a current job are leading many to upgrading or change careers completely. Two years ago I decided that going back to school as an adult was going to be a must if I wanted to better my current situation.
Why I Chose To Return
At 18 years old I had not quite decided what it was I wanted to do for a living, I knew that I wanted to be a parent and stay home and raise my children. But what would I do in the meantime? I was not planning a family just yet, and I would have to find work that paid enough wages for a family to survive and thrive on.
I decided to take the Personal Support Worker program at our local college, it was a 6 months course, affordable, and the program promised high likelihood of employment after graduation. Little did I know I would find out I was expecting my son shortly before graduating!
I did eventually decide to look for work after my son was born, and I obtained a job in my chosen field as PSW. I enjoyed the work, I spent many days assisting the elderly in their daily activities of living. A very rewarding job, however it was a very physically demanding job, long term I felt as though I would retire to a bed in the nursing home. The hours were often long, and I wound up working overtime more often than I anticipated I would. Which meant I was spending a great deal of my time at work and not at home with my son. By the time I was pregnant with my first daughter I had decided that once she was born I would quit my job and stay home with my children.
Flash forward to many years later when I found my self a single mother with three children to raise, I knew that I did not want to return to being a PSW, and retail jobs just did not pay enough to keep us afloat. It was time to consider a new career, I decided to enroll in the Registered Massage Therapy program.
A Huge Shock
The program was a two-year process, and at the end I would wind up having to write for my license. I knew it would be an expensive course, but the rewards of being able to work for my self and earn a potentially larger than I was used to income was motivation to enroll.
I love school, I’ve always enjoyed learning so I didn’t think this was going to be very difficult. I figured it would be more time-consuming than anything, I had plenty of time while the kids were in school to accomplish homework and assignments.
Man was I ever in for the shock of a lifetime! A Rough road lay ahead of me and I needed to buckle up and go along for the ride.
The first thing that I realized was every course was considered a hybrid course, meaning some of my education and lectures would be physical in class time, while others would be hours spent online navigating a back office to find my course materials.
Text books were online or on the iPad, I had a hard time adjusting to the fact that I did not always have a physical book in my hand to read from. Writing out assignments on paper was also no longer a thing, everything was typed and handed in via a drop box online.
I was ill prepared for the amount of assignments that would be given, as well as how much there was to commit to memory in order to pass quizzes and exams. Getting older and not having been fresh out of high school was a huge disadvantage, I found it much harder to commit things to memory and absorb important information. The way in which I studied was also proving to be ineffective, I had to relearn how to study! The first term was a real struggle to keep up with, but I refused to let that stop me from completing the program. I eventually learned what worked for me, and how to navigate the online materials.
Finding The Time To Study
Having gone back to school as a single mom with three kids I found it to be a challenge to get a routine set for my self, which meant studying was not happening as often as I would have liked it to.
I spent many nights up for long hours studying after the kids were in bed, only to wake up exhausted and feeling like a zombie in class the next day. I could not keep it up mentally or physically for very long, I needed to come up with a better solution.
After school, I would come home, prepare a meal, eat dinner with the kids, help them with homework, spend a little bit of time with them one on one, and shuffle them off for showers before bed. While they were in bed I would begin what ever assignments or reading I had to complete, having 3 kids showering meant I had about an hour to do this. Once everyone was showered and ready for bed we would read a story together and get tucked in. I would then return to the books for another 2-3 hours before calling it quits. I would then take an hour to tidy up the house, and spend about a half hour to an hour doing something I enjoyed.
Eventually this just became second nature, things started to feel like they were improving and my homework was being completed and handed in on time.
Weekends were spent cleaning, shopping for groceries and attempting to spend as much time together as a family before another crazy busy week started.
For two years it felt as if all I did was study, clean, go to school, and repeat the cycle over and over again. It was exhausting, and rewarding at the same time!
Sucker For Punishment?
By the time my two years were up and summer was approaching I was so proud of my accomplishments, but I didn’t want school to be over yet! During my two years of school, I felt like I was finding out who I really was as an individual and what it was I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have always loved taking photographs, my parents had each taken a two-year course at the college for Photography. I really wanted to take this course my self.
By mid summer it was decided that I would return to school for another two years, this month I began another journey in the world of Photography! While this program appears to have an easier course load I do not for one second doubt that I am going to be just as busy as before.
I do know that there will be new challenges for me to face, as a work from home mom I still need to be able to raise my family, keep up with my home and put the same amount of effort into my business. Thankfully working with Wealthy Affiliate makes working from home a breeze! Which means I can have the best of three worlds, Family, Education, and Income.
I am still not 100% sure if I will write for my license as a Massage Therapist, or if I will see where the world of Photography will take me. But I do know one thing for sure, you are never too old to return to school, this year in my class there is a wide range of ages from the very younger to the very young at heart and in between.
What I love Most About Returning To School
For myself the best part of returning to school was being able to socialize! As a stay at home mom I did not get out much, I spent a great deal of time tending to our home and to our families needs. I have run into so many other adults who have all said the same thing, in fact a few elderly students I have spoken to tell me they returned to school for this reason alone.
I love that there are new friendships to be made, I love that I am learning something new each and every single day, and at the end of it all my newly learned skills will assist me further in creating a better future for my self and my family.
Are you thinking about returning to school? Have you already returned? Share your journey with me in the comments I would love to connect with other mature students!