Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Becoming a Nontraditonal Student: A BlogHer Sponsored Post

Going back to school for my Master’s degree was not in my original plan. Actually, I guess my original plan was to stay in school straight through, going from undergrad into a masters or a doctorate program. But as I began my senior year I was diagnosed with endometriosis and my plans quickly changed. I had been fighting the pain and issues from the disease for months leading up to the diagnosis, and finding out that I had something that could impact my ability to have children in the future made me reevaluate how quickly I wanted to join the working world and become financially stable. Nick and I wanted to get married and start a family, but first we needed real jobs. So after finishing my Bachelors in Biology I found a job in a local environmental lab. It was a job that I loved, but not one that I ever intended to have. When I originally got my degree in Biology it was with the desire to work in a medical field, not an environmental one.
It wasn’t until after I had Henry and I switched jobs to a new environmental lab that I realized I was interested in going back to school and pursuing a career in a more medical focused field. I had been in the private sector for five years, and knew that if I wanted to change directions now, I needed to continue my education with a Master’s degree. So that is what I did, starting slow at first. I was working full time with husband and a one year old at home, so I signed up for a single class. Truly at the time I wasn’t sure I would complete a degree, I just wanted to test the waters. Turns out, the water was just fine.

Eventually I picked up the pace, taking multiple classes at a time, and now I will complete my Master’s degree this May. It actually blows my mind that it is happening. That I looked at my career, that I knew I wasn’t happy with where I was going, and I made this life altering change to go back to school. And you know what, it wasn’t as hard as I expected. I have always enjoyed school, but there is no question that my undergrad was challenging. I was young, I was distracted, I was studying so many different things all at once in order to complete my was not easy. But now that I am studying specifically in a field I am passionate about, I find that I enjoy my classes in a way I never have before. And that fact allows me to feel confident that I will love working in this new field. And loving what you do is worth the effort of going back to school, even as a busy wife and mother. It hasn't been easy, but getting to do something you love for the rest of your life is worth the effort.
Try not to be too jealous of my lazy Saturday morning plans...   (Wasting time playing on instagram to avoid actually studying for midterm)
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