Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Want To Go Back To School

Lately, it seems like I've been at a crossroad. I feel like one thing that would make me feel a little bit better is going back to school. I just feel so lost and confused about this whole thing. I haven't applied to school since 1997. I feel like the hardest part for me is finding a program online. My current hours at work are 10-6:30 and I have a 40 minute commute each way. I barely have time to eat dinner when I get home. I don't think I'd ever be able to get to a class or even think classes are held that late.

I graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services with a specialty in client services. I have worked in many roles with the Developmentally Disabled population since 2001. I have held many different positions from direct care, day program staff, residential services, quality assurance. Currently, I run a day program for adults and after school program for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities. It is a great job but working in the field has always been stressful. Recently, the field in which I work has suffered numerous hits and lots of budget cuts. It's a sad world we are living in. The stress has taken a toll on me and with a baby coming in just about 5 months I have an entire new view on my career. I find myself bringing my job home with me at night. Some nights I cry just thinking about the trying day I had. After my week long vacation in July I cried for 2 days at the thought of having to go back. It's not the place or the field for me any longer. I am lucky to have a job and I put in 100% while I'm there

I have been toying around with the idea of going back to school for a while. The problem was I just didn't know what I wanted to do or what would be a good decision for our family. I threw around the idea of a Veterinary Assistant and I would honestly LOVE that but the cut in pay would not be feasible for us. I couldn't believe they get paid so little for all they do. Doesn't seem fair to me.

I am currently thinking of a Occupational Therapy Assistant. Since I have worked with children and adults I've seen many of the great things that they do. The problem with an OT program is that the hours are impossible. I'd have to stop working in order to take the basic classes at a community college. Honestly, I would LOVE that but  if I wanted to take master's level OT classes they would be held for 6+ hours all weekend long. With a new baby I have no idea how I'd be able to do that either.

I feel like I'm stuck at a fork in the road with what I feel like are little options. Has any one else ever felt like this? Advice? Suggestions?


Jen said...

I think you should do it! You never know how you will feel until you try. :)

Whitney said...

I would do what makes you happy!

I started getting my master's degree and classes were on the weekend (Friday 4-9 and Saturday 9-4), and then got a job in the field. I was working a varied schedule; anywhere between 4 to 12 hours a day, depending on the clients. I was on call 24/7. I worked with families that were involved with the Cabinet and DCBS (risk of having their children removed).

The whole working ridiculous hours AND all the weekend classes was taking a toll on me. I couldn't quit, because my job also doubled as my internship. After I graduated, I quit my job. It was putting too much stress on me, I hated it, and it wasn't for me.

If you are able to quit your job and still live comfortably, I would. It's better to find something you love than get burnt out.

Good luck!

Blubtrflygrl said...

It's tough because I feel that most fields these days require internship experience on top of the classes, which make it unmanageable to hold down a F/T job.

Would switching to P/T be an option?

Also I don't know if you have considered getting a Master's in social work, but there are often Programs for Employed Persons where you could use aspects of your job as your internship as long as there is a SIFI trained supervisor there.

I switched to this for my 2nd/last year of grad school because doing it the traditional way, on top of a F/T job was insanity.

I can't imagine having a child in that mix.

Sarah said...

Do what makes you happy :) Do me a favor though...have that sweet baby and se how you feel after being a mommy. School may be the last thing you want to do.

Blubtrflygrl said...

Also to add onto what Sarah's not unusual to think you want to do a bunch of crazy life changes mid-pregnancy.

I know I went through it as did several of my girlfriends. I think it's related to the hormones, as cliché as it sounds.

It's good IMO to have something routine and normal to fall back on, especially if you HAVE to work.

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