Going Back To School As An Adult
It sounds scary, and I won't lie, it kinda is.
I took college classes in high school, which was very smart on my part, and super beneficial (Shout out to parents with kids in high school, enroll them in college classes instead of 5 study halls). To be honest I am not sure why I decided to take Psych and Soc in high school, because I had no idea what I wanted to do in life, and teetered with the idea of not going to college at all. I really wanted to, and sometimes still do, be a therapist, but 7 years in school gave me anxiety. I do not remember what tipped me over the fence but I went to the local community college the fall after I graduated high school. I did Liberal Arts because it transfers and I still did not know what I'd major in. After a year I went to Iowa State University for the wrong reasons, (friends and boyfriend were there, which blew up in my face later) with a major in Graphic Arts, because I'm crafty. In my first semester, I decided art was a hard career to pay the bills, so I changed my major to Elementary Education, to be an art teacher instead. It seemed then that art in schools was becoming less and less common, so once again, I changed my major. Agriculture Studies. I loved my grandparents farm and the outdoors and livestock. I found that my passion in agriculture was Animal Science, specifically Bovine Genetics. That led me to the campus club, Block and Bridle, where I met most of my friends, and the Little North American Livestock Show.
After two years at Iowa State reality hit me. I could not afford school, financial aid did not cover the bill entirely. I'm more of a jack of all trades, not a bookworm, so scholarships were not available to me, and if I'm being honest with myself, I was super irresponsible and did not take it seriously. I left school without a degree. I needed a job.
I was able to get jobs that supported me in selling tractor parts, breeding soybean plants, doing background checks for gun purchases, dabbling in politics *gulp* and insurance. I wanted to be a farm adjuster. I still loved agriculture and thought that was my forever job, and I went for it. For three years I worked myself up into what I thought was my dream job, but I was wrong. I held that position for over a year, but after the last four months being a constant battle with my manager, that relationship ended.
Back to the drawing board.
My problem is I like everything. I mean EVERYTHING. I wanted to work with horses, then I wanted to work with cows, then I wanted to work in the medical field, then I wanted to do art and photography, then I wanted to help others as a therapist, then I wanted to do interior design, then I wanted to sell houses, then I wanted to do graphics and marketing. My top choice was to go back to school to be a surgical tech. But now I'm an adult and I have bills to pay for and responsibilities I now take seriously. I couldn't go back to school full time and still pay my bills. And degrees now almost have less sparkle. Like I could have any degree and as long as it's a degree I could get a decent job doing something I didn't even have a degree in. I did not want to waste time and money to have just any piece of paper. I started doing painting and photography for some extra cash while I decided what to do with my life. Then I got a job in marketing.
Marketing can be so broad. There's the interactions with people, the graphic marketing, the advertisements, the glamour of golf tournaments and charities and events. While I was at the insurance company I had thought I wanted to do marketing. I am so good with people and I love public speaking and creating programs and I had already done that there.
I had decided. Back to school for Business, emphasis on marketing. A piece of paper that covers nearly everything, and is taken more seriously than having a degree in basket weaving (if that's you, do you boo).
At 29 years old, I enrolled back in school. I transferred all my credits over and took what would apply to my new goal. I'm starting with a two year degree, because I was not smart enough to obtain that before, then moving on to a four year. My first semester back to school, and working a full time job, and partially a part time job, ended successfully. The pride I have in myself for making a new goal and sticking to it is incomparable. I do regret not finishing school before but, ya know, life will knock you on your ass if you let it.
So yes, going back to school as an adult is scary, but the alternative may be worse. Making goals and working to achieve them builds confidence and self worth and those are things we need more of than ever. And with the year we've had, making a new goal may be all we have to look forward to, and that's more than okay.
Photo by Mallery Adkins
yes I had to take my own headshot, cause photography ;)