365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
117. Did you go to college or have vocational training? Where and When?
I’ve spoken about this in some of my previous topics, but yes, I just recently received my college degree. Since I didn’t have any specific passions, I went ahead and focused my studies on Business Management. I figured Business Management would be a good “umbrella” degree. Being able to apply for jobs with a degree in Business covers so many different areas, so I felt this would be a good choice. Most of the people I work with are either Engineers or Chemists. Although this is not a direction I particularly wanted to take, I do regret not taking a chemistry class or two. It would make things a lot easier at work if I had just the basic chemistry 101 knowledge so I could understand what people were talking about. I had one sweet guy at work recently try and explain some basic chemistry terminology to me. He spent a good 15-20 minutes drawing little diagrams and giving me a high-level overview of a specific topic that was being discussed. It all made sense to me at that moment, but to be honest, just a few days later and I cannot remember a thing he said. Cleary this is not a subject that I can retain easily.
My college degree took me 6 years to obtain. I didn’t actually get my degree until I was in my mid-forties. I attended several years at a junior college. Since my job was paying for 75% of my tuition and books, I continued to work full-time while I went to school. I took classes in the evening. Homework was done either really late at night or on the weekends. Even though the hours were a little tough (I would go into work at 5:00am so that I could get off in time to drive to my classes and then not get home from classes until 10:00 in the evening), I have to say that this was actually the most enjoyable part of my college journey. This was where I took all my general education classes so that I could have the credits needed to transfer into another institution to finish my degree related classes (which was going to save me a huge amount of money, since the JC was a significant amount cheaper). It was at the junior college that I was able to take some of favorite classes. I took the most wonderful photography class. It was a class with real old-fashioned cameras and film. We got to do film developing and learn how to manually operate a camera. All the things that we don’t have to worry about now with digital and auto-everything. If I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to finish up the classes I needed to transfer, I would have taken several more photography classes.
I eventually transferred to an online institution so that I could complete more classes in a shorter time frame. Without the driving to-and-from, I was able to get off work and get home and complete twice as much school work as I was doing when I was physically going to class. I’ve heard mixed feelings about online studying. Some people really dislike it. I personally thought it was great. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not extremely social, so not having to be in class with 30 other people was a bonus. I didn’t mind so much having to work with other classmates online, but I was not a fan when it was face-to-face.
Six long years later I eventually completed all the classes needed and was able to graduate with a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Project Management. It was a tough six years and I had to miss out on a LOT of family and friend time during those years, but in the long run I do feel it was worth it. It was something I really wanted to accomplish, even if just for myself, so I am proud that I didn’t give up, even during those most challenging times.
My degree enabled me to get a promotion at work and I am in a job now that I enjoy and am doing well at. It also gives me the ability to apply for other positions within the company that I would not have been able to before due to my lack of a degree. Do I wish I would have went to college straight out of high school like most people? This may sound surprising, but I would have to answer no to that. I really don’t think I would have done as well or appreciated the whole learning process had I gone at a younger age.