Last year, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do in the future. I graduated with my BA in Sociology in 2001 and I never really knew what I was going to do with it. I never did get a “Sociology” job and ended up working in other ways after college. Then I started having children and started to stay home.
I have been a work at home mom for years now and while I love what I do (writing) and I love the flexibility of working from home (it’s so nice) I started to feel like I wanted to pursue something else. Something I was passionate about, something I felt I could do, and something that would be a good choice for my family.
Before I had my kids, I worked as a doula. And I loved being around birth, even though I didn’t do it very long. I had already been to quite a few births before I had my oldest baby. I loved being there, helping women through giving birth. I loved watching new life come into the world.
Last fall, I sat down with a list of careers I could see myself pursuing. Careers I would need to go back to school for, but where I could find a good job once I was done. The thing about a Sociology degree is by itself; it can be hard to find a good paying job. So while I was thankful to have that degree, I knew if I wanted to pursue any of those careers on my list I would need to go to school.
As I talked to a few people in different career paths, thought about where I saw myself in the future, and figured out what I wanted to do, there was a clear winner…
I wanted to become a nurse. Right now, labor and delivery has my heart, but we will see where the road leads.
I needed to take a few prereqs before I could apply to nursing school. I decided to take this year to complete them and start nursing school next fall or spring. I started my first class in August, an online one, and I am not sure how I feel about that format.
I will start my first in-person class in 17 years in a few weeks! It seems like a big change. Although I have deadlines with my work at home job, I work very flexible hours. If I need or even want to go somewhere at a certain time, I can usually make it happen. I just do my work around that.
This will change a little the rest of this school year with having to go to class a couple of times a week. And then once I do start nursing school, my life will look completely different. While I am very excited about this path, change is never easy.
I am not sure how everything is going to go. I am not sure how much time I will have for the things that are important to me. But I know everything will work out, and the sacrifice will be worth it.
As I think about this blog post, I wanted to share a bit about why I think it can be so good for military spouses to go to school. While going to school, or back to school isn’t an option for everyone, and it might not be the right season for you, going back to school can be something you can think about in the future.
Here are 5 reasons for military spouses to go back to school:
If your spouse is on Title 10 orders, an E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2 or O-1 to O-2, you can use MYCAA for certain degrees, licenses, and certificates. MYCAA will give you up to $4,000 for your education. This is money, just for you to go to school, and can be a good reason to go back.
You never finished and always wanted to
You may have started college when you were younger, then life happened, and you decided to do something else. It has been a few years, and now you want to go back. Now is a perfect time to do so.
See what colleges are in your local area. I am a big fan of Community Colleges. You can check out what degree programs they have and go from there. Online programs are also a good idea and allow you more flexibility during military life.
Maybe you do have a degree and even a career. But as life went by, you decided you wanted to do something else. That’s okay; it’s never too late to go back and get another degree to do something else. Whether you are completely changing your focus, or just going to get some more education, starting a new career can be a very good thing for you and your family.
You want your own career
Maybe it is just time for you to work on your own career. Often times, military spouses can put their own hopes and dreams on the backburner because of the craziness of military life. Other times, they become the stay at home parent while their kids are growing up.
But as you know, children do grow up, and you might find yourself in a place where school makes more sense. This was part of going back to school for me. My kids were older, and I knew they could handle different schedules.
I also won’t have to depend on childcare as much, my oldest will be about 17 when I graduate. These are big hurdles for some people, and as your children grow, some of those challenges go away, and that makes working on your own career a little easier.
The GI Bill
Did you know that your service member spouse can transfer all or part of their GI Bill to you? This can be a good way to pay for school, especially if you can’t use MYCAA or plan to get a higher degree. There are some new rules when it comes to transferring the GI Bill which goes into effect next summer so if you ever want to use their GI Bill, get things figured out soon.
There are many reasons to go back to school, whether going back is something you have always wanted to do, or the time suddenly seemed right.
Did you decide to go back to school? What went into your decision?