The one thing that burns my biscuits more than slow left lane drivers, is being overlooked. It’s worth mentioning, I am a short person but my height holds no bearing on my frustration. I’m quick to forgive someone overlooking me when my hand is raised in question or even in grocery store lines because both are easily corrected. Forgiveness does not come so easily when I’m being overlooked for a job position based on education and experience.
Allow me to explain - I’ve worked in customer service roles for over a decade, my computer skills are above average, my communication skills are written and verbal which are exemplary and most days I smell like coffee-who wouldn’t want to hire me?
Setting my awesomeness aside, I’ve witnessed others share in my frustration. People with 15 years of experience are getting overlooked by people with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, without the experience to back them up. As much as I’d like for you to believe this caused me to run back to school to obtain a degree to ensure I’d never be overlooked again…it’s not true.
I believe the choice to enroll in school is personal and it should be a well thought out decision.
Taking the leap of enrolling in college as an adult is a life-changing event. The commercials, the recruiters, and even your family members will say this is the best thing you could do for your future. Even me, a mother of three, full-time employee, wife, and writer will say going back to school is one of the best decisions you can make.
Receiving an accredited education will open doors for you, expand your critical thinking, and broaden your mind to new concepts.
But…those lovely commercials with the mom and kid sitting at the kitchen table doing homework together? Or the commercial with the mom holding a tablet, smiling while working on homework? Yes - those catchy little commercials that show the ease of balancing your lifestyle while being a student. As someone who’s received an Associate’s degree online and is in pursuit of a Bachelor’s, I can tell you those cutesy little commercials that draw us in and make us crave the happiness the actor has found-those commercials are a large stretch of the truth.
The truth is going back to school means losing sleep, waking up in a panic because you know you forgot something, only to remember your clothes are in the washer and you’re too exhausted to get out of bed to put them in the dryer. It also means delegating your responsibilities to other people.
Going back to school can be a new kind of hell for an adult with a full-time job, kids, pets and a spouse. Your days seem shorter, sleep is as evasive as a leprechaun, and your fully balanced dinners become hamburger helper and fish sticks. Your social life dwindles down to memories of things you used to do. Depression's ugly fog starts to hover over you and now you’re resembling Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.
Right when you are considering emailing your advisor to tell him/her you’d like to take some time off school…everything turns around.
Suddenly everything clicks into place. It has been said it takes 21 days to form a habit. I wholeheartedly agree with this. Pushing past the urge to take a break from school gives you the opportunity to form new habits. For me, I have to get into a groove with school, I have hours set aside solely for school.
Once you’re in your rhythm you began to see the fruits of your labor. The cost of six hours of sleep instead of eight is astute feedback and admirable grades. You start to see the world differently and start to apply abstract concepts to the modern world. You meet like-minded individuals and make connects in your chosen field. Not to mention, you’re learning from people who have already mastered the subject and can help you navigate these strange waters.
In summary, going back to school is difficult and hard, but it can also be one of your best experiences. I didn’t enroll in school to stop being overlooked, I enrolled to better myself and set an example for my children. Nicolas Sparks said it best, “nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.”