Friday, April 19, 2013

Continuing Education - Is it for You?

I took the plunge today ... I began the registration process with an online college program. I have some credits from my previous stint with college (back when I graduated high school), but it's not for certain right now whether any of those credits will transfer.

My reasons for going after my degree this late in the game (I'm well beyond 18 years old!) are just a few, but they are important to me. Perhaps you might resonate?

I have always regretted quitting college. As an 18-year-old girl living with her parents (my school was in my hometown) and struggling with family troubles, I often felt as if I couldn't cope with the stress of college classes. Financially, it worked out because I had scholarships and grants that covered everything except for books. And I had a good sized savings account. Academically, I was ok. I made a 4.0 average my second quarter of school. I still have the newspaper clipping regarding the President's List upon which I placed.

I had a boyfriend who kept pushing the envelope, so to speak. I couldn't cope with that. I couldn't cope with the family struggles (which have resolved since) either. Rather than turn to my LORD for strength, I turned to my mom for advice. She suggested I relieve some of the stress by quitting college. Inside, I was really begging for someone to say that I could do it - that I should continue pressing for the prize. Maybe I wanted someone to stand up and tell the boyfriend to just leave me alone. I don't know. Since that didn't happen, I quit school. The pressures mounted more than ever, though. My boyfriend and I broke up (which was really a good thing). I eventually got a job and moved into my own apartment. Family relationships improved over the years. My relationship with my LORD became strong when I accepted His death on the cross for my sin, repented, and turned to Christ in 1981.

Now I have the pressing desire to go back to college and complete that which I started years ago. I think that's God impressed, because I have prayed and prayed and the desire only becomes more intense. And things are falling into place for me to do so.

If my husband were to reach heaven early, I would need to have a way to support myself and the children still living at home. The job market is flooded with applicants. I want to be as qualified as I can be.

Continuing education is even more attainable than it was in 1980. We have online options, hybrid options (some time on the internet and some in person), and the traditional on campus instruction. Federal money is available in the form of grants for those who qualify. Each state has guidelines for applying for state grants. A simple search on the WEB brings up many, many scholarship opportunities.

If you are considering furthering your education, don't let your age or financial status hold you back. If you are a full-time mother or working outside of the home, you will have to be creative and work around your schedule. But it can work.

Before doing anything, pray, pray, pray. God knows what's best for you. Just ask Him to reveal that to you.

1 comment:

Classof1 said...

You're perfectly right there, neither age, nor money or even our responsibilities that can be a constraint to education. It's usually restrictions and boundaries that we have drawn for ourselves that's stopping us from pursuing education. Especially now you can learn almost anything online, so it's learning in your convenience and comfort.