Back to School – It’s Never Too Late!

I’m in the process right now of filling out my FAFSA form for 2010 and beginning the process of going back to school to complete my degree. Those who’ve known me for the past 10 years or so know this has always been a big goal for me.

To make a very long story short not as long, when I was actually IN college back in the 1990′s, I’m not really sure what happened. I loved high school so much and I did well. I was in all honors and AP classes and graduated with honors. However, I soon discovered that being in a small, close-knit Catholic high school was quite different from heading off to an enormous college in downtown Boston. I loved my classes, but being a commuter, I sort of floundered socially. It was much easier to find an excuse why I couldn’t make it in to classes than to suck it up and head in town. I thought maybe the school was the issue, and transferred to…an even bigger school in another part of Boston. I’m not sure why I thought that’d solve my problem. Again, loved my classes…that’s where I majored in Creative Writing for Children and later Public Relations…but again, I just felt lost.

Finally I took a semester off before having my revelation about working for Disney and moving to Orlando. I found a smaller school with a Travel & Tourism Management major and transferred yet again. I loved the school and the people in it. I soon completed my AS degree and if I stayed just one more semester, I could’ve completed my Bachelors degree as well. (Since I’d transferred so many times, some of my credits were unusable and lost in the shuffle.) I was so excited to just get down to Orlando and start my new life, that I thought I’d worry about the Bachelors degree later and just move now. My time at Disney World led to me working for a travel agency and moving up to manager there. I focused on getting as many accreditation and specializations in my field as I could before becoming a stay at home mom.

Life happened and time got away from me. I never did get that Bachelors degree and then enough time had passed that it made my AS degree pretty much useless. I was all set to go back to school about 3 years ago and was accepted at a local private college. However I soon realized that because of the type of degree I had, I needed to complete almost all of my general education requirements again, meaning I’d still be in school for 4 years to get my Bachelors. At that point in time, I couldn’t commit to saddling the family with 4 years of private school tuition loans, so I withdrew. Then, Gio was born and I’m now at the point where I’m ready to start over.

This time I’m hoping to take classes online through a public college, so the loans I need to take out won’t put a huge strain on the family. I know it will still take a while, but I’m not looking to get back into the career/workforce until Gio’s in school himself. Of course if something comes up before that time, I’ll consider it, but I’m not seeking it out right now. Hopefully then by the time he’s ready to go I will be to.

I have several friends to thank for their inspiration in getting back into degree-mode and knowing that it’s never too late. I’ve mentioned before that the mother of one of my friends did not become a nurse until she was 40. That has always been a beacon of hope for me that I can achieve my goals, at any age or stage in life. I’m looking forward to this exciting path for 2010!





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About Suzannah Mitchell

Boston girl living and blogging in Walt Disney World's backyard. Mom of 3, coffee addict, oh and Princess of course!