Thursday, September 24, 2009

National Academic Advising Association member seeking academic advice.

I have a question for my fellow mid-lifers. I can relate to the challenge of working full-time and squeezing college into my free time since that's how I completed both of my degrees. Still, as much as I enjoy learning, it is a blessed relief to not feel the pressure of homework due date. Goodness knows there are enough pressures in life without adding to them. It is comforting to know that after a hard day, I can go home and turn off my brain.

Lately though, I've been thinking that my brain is beginning to soften and that it might benefit from some exercise - at least more exercise than I've been giving it recently. Yes, it is comforting to relax in the evenings and to shut down my brain so that all it has to worry about is pumping oxygenated blood but does my mentally sedentary lifestyle come at a price?

I've found myself Googling online degree programs in search of one that might get me off the couch (figuratively.) So my question to Betty and Veronica is why should I do this? You've recently made a similar choice but what was it that got you to act and wind up doing homework with all of your free time?

Of course, there are practical reasons to go back to school and you might be doing all of this to make yourself more marketable or to position yourself for a new job or promotion, but I suspect that there was more to your decision than plain-old, vanilla practicality. Was there something within that pushed you forward? Something that might inspire other potential mid-life coeds like me?


  1. Ok, if you're ready, I'll tell you my inspiration, so to speak. I've been taking classes off and on since 1974. really. I just felt as if I needed to finish, just for the sake of finishing.
    I was really close to at least getting my associates but there were just a few ugly classes I needed (i.e. Math/Science) so it was just as easy to ignore them. And ignore them I did.
    About 18 months ago, I applied for a job in a department that I had worked in for 20 years. The job I applied for was the job that I had developed. I was turned down without even an interview because I didn't have a degree. That was the low.
    It was time. It was definitely time. I called the community college and met with them. They asked me if I had ever considered UIS and I had but thought I needed to complete my associates before transferring to UIS. They told me otherwise. I applied and here I am. I've completed my needed gen ed classes and have 11 more credit hours so I'm now officially a junior. I have never been more proud of myself. Luckily, my husband and kids are supporting me 110% as well.
    At this point, I am not doing this for a different job or promotion; it is truly for myself. I've also had low self esteem, so this change in my life has helped me in more ways than one.
    I just needed that one kick in the pants to get me motivated. Sure, there are days (weeks) when I think 'what the heck am I doing??' but then I remember. Oh yeah, it's for ME.

  2. Not to downplay your experience but this happens so often. People identify need, fill the need so well that management formally acknowledges the need by creating a position, and then they learn that they aren't qualified to do what they've created.

    I think I agree with your ultimate conclusion though. The best reason to go back to school is for the joy of doing so.

  3. I do agree. There are many times when I get nervous and wonder if I can do what is asked of me but I just take it one day at a time. Some days are just longer than others. :)