Time Stands Still: Deciding Whether to Go Back to School?

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Happy Thursday Post Everyone!

I’ve been thinking about the idea of going back to school lately. Should I strive to get a nurse practitioners license? Maybe take on the physician’s assistant route? Pursue a leadership role and work my way through an administrative degree? Or maybe even, do nothing and just work, saving money for retirement, the “white picket fence,” etc.

I’d like to consider this a #tips4success and a #dayinthelife post, not because I’m giving anyone advice/telling people what to do, but rather bringing to light several questions that I have personally come across that might trigger light bulbs in your head too.

Bare with me. This post may be long. So, if you make it through, I applaud you for your efforts.

Last month was a bit gloomy out here in San Diego. I suppose the whole overcast, cloudy, rainy weather thing really transcends you into a some state of melancholic reflection.

More recently, I’ve been pondering on the idea of going back to school. Sounds great, I’m sure it is. But is it really?

It was said, in a sociology class I once took, there’s really only a few ways to climb the social stratum; marry rich, be born into it, and/or higher education. After all, we do live in a capitalistic society that runs on merit, setting the tone to our imaginary divide. I suppose everyone strives for those goals. Everyone wants to be great. That’s life. And let’s face it, I wasn’t born rich and I certainly don’t like the idea of people marrying just for money. But, we all know America today needs counseling. I won’t even go there.

I keep going on and on, back in my head, with close friends and family always saying to me…”You’ve done so many things! I wish I was in your shoes!” And while, I stand here in my fake illustrious life of an average working professional, like anyone else I have still have bills to pay, I have yet to achieve the white picket fence, putting myself in a good spot for retirement, finding love, building a family, etc. Things in which some people might believe it to be considered the “wrong path in life.” As for me, I strongly believe there is no right path in life.

Growing up, it was always brainwashed into my mind that “getting a higher education, equals getting higher pay, thus in turn getting you a better life.” But, is it really? As J. Cole says in his song Love Yourz, “What’s money without happiness?”

Anyways.

People go back to school for many reasons: To get a better job; put yourself in a better professional position, where you don’t have to work so hard and yet increase that earning potential. Others may have different motivations. Some do it for their families, their kids, etc. Or maybe even simply, just do it for themselves.

Is it a good time for me to go? Do you have the time?

Time is always an issue. For many, it just seems like there isn’t enough time in the day. Some people have kids and other priorities in life, that need tending to first. And some might even have certain family related matters that need undivided attention. I’m a single guy, no kids; just working, gym, etc. So in a way, I suppose I have the time to go. Also, if you’re thinking about time and your age, don’t get discouraged. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are too old to do something. That’s just garbage non-sense thinking.

Do you have the finances to get yourself through school?

Most hard working people don’t. Seriously, who does? Hell, Lord knows I don’t. Most graduate students, or at least the many ones that I have encountered, are either going through school while maintaining a part/full-time jobs. The struggle is real out there. But, “there’s beauty in the struggle.”-J.Cole.

Needless to say, there are certainly resources out there that will aid in the process. Reach out to your financial aid department. It’s their job to help sort those things out and making things work for you.

Are the people that matter most to you on board?

Let’s face it, just like running a successful business…family, friends, and all those close to you need to be one board to. These individuals, no matter who they are, allow you to mentally and psychologically succeed. It’s part of your social well-being, your motivating factor. If not, and you are constantly around a circle that won’t realize that your school work comes first, you’re doomed to fail. It’s as simple as that. If your significant other won’t be supportive and pick up some of the weight with the responsibilities at home, then you’re doomed to fail. Best advice is to sit down with all those individuals and discuss your plans to move forward with your endeavors.

Where do you see yourself in 2-4 years? Thus, which degree do you wish to pursue?

As, I have stated, there’s really only 3 options to pursue in my head: PA or NP school, or take an administrative route and get my masters in some type of healthcare. To be honest, for the past year or so, I haven’t really been too fond of being a floor nurse forever. This is my own personal opinion, of course. I just don’t see myself being on the floor, at like 54 years old and grey. I could certainly see myself in a leadership role. I’m just as egotistical, neo-nazi, warm and cuddly, like the best of them. But, keep in mind, being a leader or a ship is tough. There’s always that stress of running and keeping your unit solid. If anything goes wrong, it’s on you. You will be a reflection of that unit. There will be tough decisions to make. Let’s no forget to mention all the paper/e-work that comes with the job. Your desk will be part of you.

If you decide to take on a PA/NP route, education is rigorous. You’ll have loads of tests and board exams to get through. That’s for damn sure. And if you don’t take it seriously, people could ultimately die on your watch. From my experiences, with PAs and NPs, you’re in and your out. At least that’s what I see anyway. If you are a PA or NP, don’t be offended. You see your patients, write some orders, re-evaluate and repeat. You’re part of the “treatment team,” and you get to call the shots on treatment plans. Regardless, you’ll still have higher ups regulating your work. So, don’t think you have ultimate freedom.

I don’t know what to do yet.

Do you have the requirements?

Graduate schools, no matter which one you apply for, are super competitive. If your ducks aren’t in order, get them to be. End of story. #toughlove.

As a result, this summer, I’ve decided to take on a Nutrition course at my local community college. I read up on some required courses for graduate schools, out here in California. Many of them require a Nutrition course. And being that I have never ventured into nutrition (Lord knows I’m a fatty), I suppose it won’t hurt to take it. Of course, I may just be in denial with myself and staying on the safe side of things. This course will be nothing but beneficial to me, I can certainly use it toward my advantage. Or perhaps, I’m just using it as the most reasonable option to prolong my decision making process.

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Hell no. Lol.

Let’s see how this goes!

Cheers!

SV.

Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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