Friday, 19 March 2010

A Student Again

I've had a few people ask me to clarify what I meant when I mentioned the university courses I've signed up for. University is something I've been thinking about for years, but the timing just never seemed right.

More years ago than I want to admit to, I started college with big plans. Ever since kindergarten I'd dreamed of being a school teacher, more specifically, an English teacher. But well meaning individuals talked me out of it. They insisted that there was no call for someone with those skills and talked me into elementary education, arguing that it would give me more opportunities. I should have stood my ground, but I was still young and easily swayed by older and more seasoned family members. But after one year of this I knew I couldn't spend the rest of my life with little kids.

The advice I received when I announced I would be changing my major was varied, but most of it focused around the need to be able to be a mom and have a career I could do from home. What can I say, I come from a very traditional family and I still believe that is the best option when possible. I entered the fashion design department and discovered I had skill and talent that I could put to good use. After I finished two years of college, I quit school to be a stay-at-home mother.

The year I spent learning behind a sewing machine has served me well, and I've made countless prom and wedding gowns. Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes not, but because of the area I live in, it has never brought in the kind of income that can support a family. And even though I figured I would be a working seamstress for the rest of my life, the knowledge that I didn't finish school always bothered me.

Over the last two years I have been thinking more and more about returning to school and getting a long-overdue degree. I've had to convince myself and my husband that it is the right thing to do. One of the biggest reasons I kept coming back to was the uncertainty of our future. Several different things have left us with no retirement savings and we often joke about working as Walmart greeters until we die. I always tell my husband that I am his retirement plan. With twelve years difference in our ages, I should be able to work well after he retires. If I had any sort of training.

I know there are places that probably would hire me, but that nagging desire for a formal education keeps kicking around in the back of my mind. I want that piece of paper to prove that I did it. So this January, I signed up for a correspondence course, just to get started. The long term goal is to get that English degree I originally planned on. At some point I will transfer to the local university and get my teaching degree. By doing correspondence, I should be able to stay home at least until the two oldest leave for their own university experiences. Once I get into the groove of papers and tests again, I'll do more than one course at a time, but for now this one course is reminding me how far away those college days are and how much I need to do to catch up. It feels good to be taking action though. I'm not really sure where this all will take me, but it should be an intresting ride.


CL Beck, author: MormonMishaps said...

Education is always worthwhile and I say, "Bravo" for you for doing this. It'll be tough, but you'll get into the swing of it. Way to go!

Sheila said...

It is never too late.. you are never too old. Grandma Alice Humphreys was in her 40's when she went back to school to be a librarian. She supported the family for many years with that career. I'm proud of you she would be too.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Go for it!!! I went back when my last child graduated high school and earned my BA in English. I was afraid the youth would stare at me and I'd be uncomfortable, but I was wrong on both counts. I loved it and would go back again if I didn't have to take the tests.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Thanks for the encouragement. (I wish I didn't have to take the tests, too.)

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