When Mom Goes Back To School


When Mom Goes Back To School

Calm down…I’m not wishing us back into the hustle and bustle of backpacks and lunchboxes and bus schedules just yet. We’ve still got a bit more of summer to enjoy before that panic, excitement, and busyness starts back!

No dear readers, this is the story of MY back to school experience.

That’s right, I’ve made the wise decision at 40 years of age to return to a familiar stomping ground: the classroom. The decision to go back to school had many factors, but it boiled down to a few key reasons.

Opportunity: Working at a university affords me many benefits, one of which is free/discounted tuition. It is an online program so scheduled demands on my time are rare, and even with a bigger workload, I choose my available times.

Timing: I have an upcoming 5th and 6th grader, and I would love to have this degree finished well before my oldest graduates and we start planning for his future! They are old enough to need me differently than they did the last time I was in school with two kids under two!

I am a firm believer that not every opportunity presented to me is mine for the taking, so I didn’t take the decision lightly, but I also know that no one is going to offer me a great opportunity if I don’t put myself out there, so that’s what I did! After some thought, conversation with my trusted people, submitting paperwork in a frenzy, and a short interview, I was accepted into a doctoral program which started in mid-May!

I’m eight weeks into a years long program, so it is safe to say I am no expert and I do not have it all figured out — not even a little bit. I’ve already threatened to quit once and my coffee intake is more than normal. But I can confidently say it feels good. It feels good to be stretching some academic muscles that have been laying low for a number of years, and it feels good to be learning with a purpose again. It feels good to be modeling behaviors for my kids and it feels good to remember what it feels like to be in college, since that is where I spend my life’s work. It feels good to have a schedule and a goal to work toward and it feels good that it’s mine.

Maybe you need to take a leap into something new. Maybe you think you’ve waited too long. Maybe you’re scared you won’t measure up. Maybe you don’t know the why but feel like you should. Trust me; I’ve been there this year, and continue to be there as I gingerly step into this new endeavor.

As a resident scaredy cat, overthinker, worst-case-scenario person, I can tell you it’s worth it anyway.