What were your plans after graduating from high school? Now that you have been out for 10 years, have you achieved what you planned? When you went back to your high school reunion were satisfied with your story?
High school graduation marks the end of some of the most structured times in your life. What happens after that is up to you and the circumstances you encounter. While some of your high school classmates may have completed a bachelors degree, and some may have even completed post graduate degrees, you find yourself far from the the goals you planned for yourself. What you thought would be a four year pursuit of a psychology degree ended after a year of unfinished classes and a little too much fun.
Things are going well for you now, but they are not exactly as you had planned. You have your own photography studio in the small town where you grew up. You recently added a clothing boutique in the front of the studio for extra income and to keep you busy during slow times. You are unmarried and have a 16 month old son. You and the father live together and he is a successful small business owner. Your financial situation is pretty tight, but in spite of this you really do want to get back to school and work on your degree. You often find yourself wondering if completing a psychology degree at a four year college is even possible at this time in your life.
You understand that to earn more money you need a college education, but your financial situation is a little tight. You need some financial assistance and are wondering if there are any scholarships for someone like you. To make things even more complicated, if you go back to college you will need some affordable or free daycare options for your son. You boyfriend is not against you going back to school, but he needs to continue working full time and can only watch your son in the evenings and on weekends.
Your situation is probably not as unique as you think. In 2014, about 21 million students were attending college, and many of them were older students, many of whom already had a job. Like you, people who find themselves wanting to finish a college degree realize that not going to college could cost you about half a million dollars. That’s how much you miss out on in additional wages and other benefits when you do not have a college degree. Even though finishing a psychology degree, a communications degree, or any other adult education program can be challenging, 83% of all college attendees say earning their degree “has paid off.”
The only question you need to ask yourself is, “Why NOT now?” Your son will get older and your family schedule will get busier. Today may be the best time for you to finish what you started when you left high school.