So I graduated from college four years ago this year. I went to college for 6 1/2 years. It was grueling, it was painful, it was back breaking....it was also a great diet. I went to a community college for 3 1/2 trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to be when I grew up, only to spend 3 more at a university because I changed my major after one. I also worked full time, and part time, and part time....I don't recall working less than three jobs the whole time I was in college because I lived on my own and paid for my education, and bought oodles of noodles if there was any money left over. Honestly, my parents helped not at all when I was in college, they really didn't give a crap. My stepfather was just glad to be rid of my and my passive aggressive mother was just glad that she didn't have to listen to him bitch and complain about me anymore. Which I always wondered about. I mean, how could he have anything to complain about when I was never there, I slept and took showers....such an a-hole.
Anyways, so I graduated. I cried the day I graduated, literally broke down. Everyone thought it was because I was sooo happy, felt so accomplished. But really, I was so glad it was over. So glad that I could get that one thing off my plate and start to have a "real life". I could get a "real job" and quit my 3 little ones. I could see my friends and stay out late. I wouldn't have to deal with the commute totaling 3 hrs back and forth to school. I would have time and money to eat (and boy did I). No longer would I be working on papers until 1 in the morning only to get back up at 5 to finish it and go to work, go to class, go back to work, then to my other work, and getting home late at night to do it all over again. My life didn't really start until I was 24.
But, despite my accomplishment of graduating from college, and financially support myself through it all, I was constantly questioned by my family why I got a degree in family studies (aka human services) and not elementary education as I had first planned. Seriously?! I'm not allowed to change my mind?! I always replied I could always go back to school and get my masters.
Within 3 months of graduating college I had a job with the state government at one of the local social services office. I have been there almost four years (in August). It's a good job, it has good benefits. The economy sucks, so my salary has been cut twice in two years. Lately, it's either going back to school and getting more education to get a better job or just get a better job. I thought about going to get my masters in education, but I realize I also need to work. It would be nice to be able to keep my current job and still go to school. Thats about impossible when you are trying to get a degree in teaching because, well, schools with kids are only open during the day. The only options I have are online learning or blended curriculums with evening and online classes.
I've looked into online programs and actually got an email at work about the MSW (masters of social work) program with University of New England. It's a four year program and offered completely online. It was a serious contender until I saw the price tag....about $45 grand. Yea, I just LOL'ed too. Then, I was checking into the university systems of maryland and found usmh, university systems of maryland at hagerstown. It offers bachelors and graduate programs geared towards people who work and have families. Plus, the programs are offered and I would receive a degree from a college in Maryland. The MSW program there is offered by Salisbury University, which is about three hours from my house. But, hagerstown is about, oh, 45 minutes from my house, about 30 mins from my office. Classes are offered in the evening and taught by staff from the university via video presentations and online. Blended curriculum! Yay, and would cost less than half of the other program out of new england.
I really think this would be a good program for me. It will take about 3 years taking 3 classes per semester, and at the end I will have the opportunity to further my career, possibly going into another field. I have alot of time to consider and research it as I would not be able to apply until next spring for the fall '11 semester. Matt is very supportive because I have told him several times if I could go back to school I would. I feel very stunted mentally in my life right now. Sometimes I feel like I went to school all that time and spent (still spending) alot of time and money to get it, but ask myself was it worth it? My job, though required to have a college degree to acquire it, does not necessarily utilize any of my learning, nor is it challenging. So, maybe it's time to start workin' on movin' on.
So not only will I be planning a wedding in the coming months, but hopefully also getting myself ready for graduate studies. I really know how to pile it on, don't I?