Thursday, February 23, 2012
Back to school - it's never too late
Returning to the halls of learning is something I've considered on & off for years but never followed through with. Over the years I've even signed on for a few courses but the steam quickly ran out and they fell by the wayside. It's pretty hard to keep going with depression continually pulling you down. I would get a lot done in the first few weeks while the energy was up, but when it was gone, nothing.
I think a lot of the problem was I was trying to do it all by distance education so I wouldn't have to face sitting in a classroom situation with a whole lot of strangers. The problem for me was that there was no structured learning. What I was doing was easy for me but I couldn't keep myself grounded with the need to get things completed & sent in for assessment. I also had no-one around to encourage & support me
So this time I'm biting the bullet & trying a return to the classroom if possible. In my mind I'm a lot better now than at any time I've tried studying previously and I also have some great support close at hand. I'm also hoping the more structured environment will assist in keeping me motivated, or at least to get things done for fear of failing!
So what am I, a guy who never finished high school & is closer to 50 than 40, planning to study & achieve from all this? Quite a lot really. This is a long term commitment for me. Initially it looks like I'll need 12 months study at a local college to get the qualifications I need that will allow me to enter university where I'll be looking at attaining a couple of degrees.
English literature or similar is one degree I'm considering to improve my writing skills above where they are now to allow me to get my message across better. Who knows, maybe that great novel inside me will come out one day. A second area of study for me will probably be psychology or similar. This is because a lot of the message I want to get across in my writing is about mental illness & mental health issues. This degree will help me write from a much broader knowledge base but also to help others more directly.
So there's the six or seven years of my life covered..........
None of this is close to finalized yet. Have an appointment with a counselor at the college next week to try to plan the road ahead & I'm not sure what will come from that. But together I'm sure we can work out the best pathway for me to follow.
So what are your thoughts on being a mature-aged student? Have you ever returned to study later in life to improve yourself or change careers? How did you find it, especially if you suffer from mental illness? Was it a successful move for you?
Look forward to hearing your responses. Cheers.