A GeekMom’s View of Going Back to College

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I go to school in downtown Asheville, NC (Image: Wikipedia)

The trials and tribulations of going back to college while trying to juggle home and family.

I got laid off from my job the day before I was suppose to return to work after maternity leave. This was in December 2008 when the economy had gone right into the toilet.

After trying to find a job for six months, sending out hundreds of applications and only getting one interview, my husband and I decided we were both going to go back to school.

Now I do have a college degree. I have my Bachelors of Science in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts from Central Michigan University. But it doesn’t do me a lot of good as far as jobs go, so off I went to my local community college to pursue a diploma in Medical Office Administration.

Community college has been interesting in compared to my years at a four-year university. For one, it is really hard to get all the classes I need to take done in a timely manner because they only offer certain classes once or twice a year.

And now that I’m a mom it makes scheduling all that much more difficult. Thankfully my husband works nights so we can usually play and win at “schedule Tetris” to makes things work so we don’t need a babysitter.

Now I’m almost done. I’m taking two classes this summer and then I only need one more in the fall before I can graduate. And I’m so ready to be done. Most of my classes involve learning computer skills I already have, so it makes it very dull.

I do have to wonder if my geek-hood has helped me out in college. In both of my classes this semester I’ve helped out fellow students who were struggling with what I thought were basic computer programs and at one point I had to help the teacher out!

While I’m glad I decided to go back to college, especially if it leads to me getting a good job, I am ready to be done. College was much more enjoyable the first time around when I didn’t have responsibilities like husband and toddler.

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1 thought on “A GeekMom’s View of Going Back to College

  1. I went back to Community College about 2 years ago to get a Phlebotomy certificate. I knew I’d be going back to work soon and my BA in Media Studies, my very weak resume (I married my Naval Officer husband right out of college and moved around so much I never held a job longer than a year!), and 7 years as a sahm was going to be no help finding a job. I decided that I wanted a skill that I could use no matter where we ended up. I was extremely impressed with my school (DeAnza College)! I had a little trouble getting classes at first, but still finished the program in 4 quarters which was my goal. And it was sooooo affordable. There are private programs that will get you a phlebotomy certificate in 3 months but you will pay them thousands and thousands of dollars. I qualified for a tuition waiver so I only paid administrative fees (about $10 per class), a half-price parking pass ($12 per quarter), and books which were my biggest expense (after childcare) at about $200 per quarter).
    Childcare was a little complicated but we managed to piece it together. I was able to take some classes in the day while the kids were in school and some classes in the evenings where we paid a sitter to watch the kids for a couple of hours between when I left and when my husband got home.
    The classes were really good too. I only had 1 instructor who was less than phenomenal. Most of the coursework was very easy for me. I have always been very good at going to school so that was not a surprise. But what kept the program from being boring was the practical aspect. I had never done anything like drawing blood before and it was such a thrill to learn a brand new skill! Its something that just doesn’t happen very often as an adult. And then I did a 3 week internship in a local hospital where I mastered the skill. Such an awesome feeling!
    The only bad thing is..I still don’t have a job. Apparently I was not the only one who had this idea two years ago and now the field is kind of saturated. But I am taking a screening exam for a job at the county hospital next week so, fingers crossed!

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