Returning to College After Forty
I had no idea that I would return to school at forty five years old. When I was twenty and got married I planned to simply be a wife and mother. But life sometimes has a way of changing our plans and I found myself beginning school all over again at forty-five years old. After volunteering in my sons classrooms I decided that my passion was teaching, so I had to find an online college where I could earn a teaching degree. It was not easy, I could not go to a campus college because I had to work full time and care for my young sons.
My first step was to find an online college where I could earn my Bachelor degree and teaching license. I searched several colleges. Online college is not cheap but I finally picked a college and was ready to enroll.
Enrolling was much more difficult than I thought it would be. First I had to fill out an online application which also consisted of the FAFSA so I could qualify for the Pell Grant and also student loans. Thankfully I had a great enrollment counselor to assist me through the college application process. But I was alone with the FAFSA because the college cannot help fill that one out. Thankfully I completed all of my paper work and the waiting began.
I had to wait for the school to get my high school transcripts and for my student aid to be approved. I cannot remember how long all of that took but once it was complete I was ready to register for classes.
Even though my degree is in Elementary Education I had to take a pre-algebra and algebra class since they did not require them when I was in high school they were the toughest classes I had. My algebra class was actually my only C during my Bachelor degree program.
Once I was enrolled in my classes I was ready to begin. I had to learn to use an online classroom format and learn how to study again after twenty years away from school. At first it was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed the new challenge.
As time went on and I had to juggle my house, kids, job and college which all seemed very overwhelming much of the time. I had to find ways to budget my time.
I set my schedule up where I worked on college four days a week, house work one day a week and took two days off. Of course I did not get this schedule set up at first, it took a year of college every day to burn me out and make me realize changes had to be made or I would not survive three more years.
I changed colleges after a year which was the biggest mistake I made. I ended up losing credits but mostly the college I changed to was not completely honest with me and they did not have the licensure program they promised me. So I ended with a Bachelor Degree but not a teaching license.
However I survived and earned my degree. I am now two classes away from earning my Master Degree which will have a license endorsement. I will earn my license after my student teaching is complete.
It was not easy returning to school in my forties but, it is an accomplishment of which I can say I am proud.
Picture by Flickr