Winds of Change…

I’ve made a decision recently – a rather huge decision. One I didn’t make alone (Mike had a say in it also) and one that I didn’t make lightly.

I’m returning to college in a week to pursue a degree.

I didn’t finish my degree back in the early 90s. I went to Texas A&M for two years, and did a great job of enjoying college life – ending up on scholastic probation. I took a semester off and then went to North Harris for a semester where I earned a 3.75 – barely missing a 4.0 by 6 points – I had 444 points in my Political Science class and 450 points was an A. *sigh* One extra credit assignment. So close.

Instead of returning to A&M as I had originally planned, I got married and moved to Germany. I thought I would be able to study over there, but our base was so small that I didn’t have the option to do so. When I moved back to the US in 1992 it was right before Jason was born. I eventually returned to work full time, and school just wasn’t in the cards.

Last spring, before the wedding, Mike & I decided that I would work from home, which would allow me to be home with Jason. We also realized that it would give me a chance to return to college at last if I decided to go that route.

It has been great to be able to be home full time this past year, but in some ways I suspect it has contributed to my moments of depression. I have days where I feel adrift, without a purpose. Just getting by. I don’t function well like that. So a month ago, I started to do the research on what it would take to return to college, what courses I need to take, what I need to do … and back on August 8th I took the plunge. I registered for Biology I (with lab), Chemistry I (with lab), and College Algebra. I’ll attend school 4 mornings a week, starting on August 29th. Two days at the “main” campus, and two days at the Tomball campus which is closer to home. My Algebra class has a late start date, it doesn’t start until September 12th – giving me a chance to get into the swing of things.

I have most of my lower-level coursework completed, but I need several science and math courses. I still need an art course, so I am hoping to get into Photo I in the spring semester. Otherwise, it may be all math and science all the time.

My goal is to take the basics that I need out at North Harris where the tuition is lower, and then transfer in to U of H to get a degree in Pharmacy. Yes, pharmacy. It was the degree I was considering when I left school years ago. It is fun raising people’s eyebrows when I tell them that – everyone assumes I would go into a computer related field or something that has to do with photography. I don’t want to be in the same field as Mike – not after witnessing what has happened in Houston in the past 5 years. I can’t handle the stress of the dot com industry. And photography is my fun passion – I don’t want it to be my work. At least I don’t think so. (I am leaving this open-ended just in case I feel the need to change my mind later!) Being a professional photographer is more than taking pictures – it requires that you be a disciplined savvy business person too. That starts to suck some of the fun out of it. I would rather keep the fun!

I’ll be honest – in some ways, I am terrified. I haven’t attended a class since May, 1990. 15 years is a long time. I will be in classes with freshmen, and I am almost old enough to be their parent. Ugh. Also, the Pharmacy program is a competitive degree – I have to qualify and be accepted into it. I don’t have the best GPA from my first two years of college, so I have to kick ass on grades from here on out.

On the other hand, I’m really excited. I’ve got my science textbooks and I’ve already started reading through them. I’ve got my notebooks, my backpack, my pens and pencils ready. (Not the Hello Kitty backpack though – it is too small for my giant college textbooks.) Speaking of hands, this is part of why I went ahead with the cortisone shot and why I’ve been working with the physical therapy team to help my shoulder. I’ll keep an eye on it through the semester and make sure I take good care of it.

And my mood? It has been a complete turnaround from where I was at the beginning of the month. I have a mission. A dream. A goal. That is such a good feeling. I feel good. Clear. Happy.

Dude, I’m a co-ed again. How crazy is that?

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

27 replies on “Winds of Change…”

Good for you. I’m doing the same thing after 3 years gone, and have a new purpose like you. I am actually planning out ways to study, and looking for software to help me do that, which is funny because when I quit, I hated college. Good luck to you.

awesome, how exciting! my fiance is currenty in school for his Pharm. D. (two years to go!), so if you have any questions, feel free to ask. oh, and from what i understand, your grades don’t matter as much as your PCAT scores do when it comes to getting in, so study hard for that test! one big plus — pharmacists make lots of money 😉

oh, and don’t worry about being older than your classmates. there were some older people in my university classes, and most of us regular students didn’t even notice them. the one i do remember was a cop in one of my CS classes, and i’m still friends with him to this day 🙂

Thank you, thank you everyone! I appreciate all of your encouragement.

Geeky – that is really good to know! I know I have to get my GPA up, but at least that isn’t as stressful as I thought it was before. *whew!*

BetaMike – *giggle* I called Mike as soon as I was done registering, and he said, “I get to tell people I’m married to a co-ed!”

That’s cool! May be me eventually.
Some days, I wish I was going back to school. But then I think “what would I be going for?” and I’m happy I’m not. I never figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, and here I am grown up.

Good for you!! I went back to school when my children were infants and had a blast. I recaptured my youth hanging with the younger crowd, but I think going back older helps you keep focus on what the goal is. I held a 4.0 average the entire time I was there and I worked full time and was a mom. You can so do this! Good luck and have fun!!

Christine, I am SO THRILLED for you! I hope to be doing the same next fall! Pharmacy is a wonderful field and I think you’re smart to hedge your bets but even smarter to pursue what you set out to do initially. So excited for you!

Hooray! You’re inspiring me to go back and finish the two elective hours – yes, just two, and yes, just elective – I need to finish my degree.

Wow. Writing it out makes me look lazy. 🙂

Good for you! I regret not finishing and often think about going back! Only problem is, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! (I’m 51!)

Congrats, Christine! I’m doing the back-to-school thing, too, and it’s so hard … but when you see those credits adding up, it’s SO worth it. We’ll have to trade bitching sessions about exams and professors. 🙂

Congratulations! Sorry to not have been keping up these days. I am so excited for you and can’t wait to hear all about it in the coming months. woo-hoo…it’s back to school…yippee! You will love it and do so great! Oh no…it will be cutting in on your knitting time…hmm…must make time for knitting though!

how exciting! congratulations on such a big decision! i hope you’ll have such a wonderful, rewarding experience! i never thought i’d go back to school — it ended up being the second best thing i’ve ever done! (after marrying jay!) 🙂 yay for you!!!

Congratulations! My brother is just finished doing that – after he finishes this semester student teaching, he’ll be done!

I am, a bit embarassingly, jealous of both of you !

I don’t know how I missed it the first time around, but I originally went to college for pharmacology. Then I hit orgo/bio chem, and that all went to hell. *heh* Hopefully you’ll do much better than I did!

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