Going Back to School...Maybe


I’ve been thinking about going back to school. I’m 23 and have never been to college. I know I’ll never make more than what I’m making now if I don’t go back to school. I work in an office as an office assistant/receptionist. I’m just not sure if I can do it all. I would have to work full time, go to school at night and study…and in between all that I would have to try to find time to sleep. Its alot to think about doing. It doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to do it all. And I would have to get a computer which would cost alot…I use the computer at work for e-mailing and stuff and then I would have to get the internet in my apartment and pay for that and pay for school. Its just seems like its going to cost so much money. I think I would be able to get grants because I support myself and my income now is pretty low on those scales and I could get loans if I had to. I’m just confused about what I should do. I called the community college here and made an appointment with an admissions counslor person so see what my options are. Its just such a huge leap and I’m scared that I might take that jump and not be able to do it. I know there isn’t a rule about how long you are allowed to go to school…I just don’t want to be 50 and regret not atleast trying. I’m I nuts for wanting to do this? Do any of you have advice about how to pay for school or grants I could try to get?



I would suggest you talk to the financial advisor at the College you are thinking of attending. It is that persons job to help people go without needing to work over much. The admissions Counsilor will help you too, he or she will probably set up an appointment for you with the financial advisor.

The other thing is, are you married? Single and living alone? Single with a roommate? Can you move back home with your parents in order to save some money on rent at least and commute to school?

I do think that getting a degree or certificate is well worth it. Are there any certificate programs you can get that you would be interested in too - these tend to take less time to get but cost about the same per semester/year.

Remember, anytime you try something new it can be scary so, just go ahead and jump right in there, talk to the admissions person and go from there

Brenda V.


I’m single and live alone with my weenie dog Sammy. If it came down to it I could move home or move in with my brother and his wife. They have an upstairs…its an attic that was converted into a room…It has its own enterance from the outside I think…So that would be an option too. I’m 23 and have been living on my own since I was 18. So it would be an adjustment for me to move back home or move in with my brother and his wife. I keep thinking if God wants me to be in school everything will work out.


I say go for it! Right now you’re 23 and never went to college. 30 years from now, would you rather be 53 and remember those rough years in your mid-20s before your career took off, or would you rather be 53 and never have gone to college?

Any professor can tell you that there are lots of 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings, 50-somethings, and beyond in college classes. You won’t be an oddity. You will, however, have an advantage over your classmates, because you will have real-life experience that many of them lack.

As for financing, there are various options: student loans, (some) grants and scholarships, and (of course) paying for it as you go. Keep in mind that some employers offer tuition assistance programs (e.g., “we’ll pay your tuition [or half of it, or whatever] if you promise to stay here ____ years after graduating”) – though they are sometimes limited in subject area. You can also audit classes (take them without getting a grade) if you want to get your feet wet before jumping in. Believe me, there are ways to pay for college. If nothing else, you can go part-time, paying for one class at a time each semester.

It is well worth going to college, regardless of whether it helps you in your career. If it does help in your career, so much the better. Either way, though, I say do it!


By all means Keri - going back to school is a wonderful idea. You sound like a mature person who can handle the demands of work and school. There are lots of ways to fund the adventure. Use up all the grants and scholarships first. Please stay away from the loans unless you absolutely must - they can hurt you in the long run.

BTW, if you get a computer or laptop more likely, the school and all the coffee shops are wi-fi and you can study during your lunch hour at work. Trust me, the friends and connections and interaction of going to college will make you proud of yourself and payoff in the future. Good luck and God Bless your initiative and enthusiasm.

I went back to school at night to get a Master’s while I had a wife, mortgage, full time job, baby boy when I started, and another baby boy when I graduated 6 years later. Was it tough - yes. Did I think I couldn’t do it - yes. Did I lose a lot of sleep - days and weeks of it. Was it worth the time and sacrifice - absolutely and I thank God for helping me through it. I made a lot of lifelong friends and connections to jump start my business career. Go for it.


go for it. took me 10 yrs to get undergrad–take a few courses, have a baby, go back 2 yrs later etc. DD is graduating in August, baby #2 due in October, she is 32 and finally decided to finish up her degree. She had a great job, but they offered a promotion and $20 pay RAISE if she had a degree.


Do it while you are still young, unmarried, and childless. It’s a whole different ballgame when you are granted the gift of little ones. Decisions regarding education, living arrangements, careers, etc., are easier when there’s only yourself to consider.

As for financial advice (sorry if this has already been mentioned), think about going to a local community college and pay as you go. I agree with a previous poster who suggested visiting a school office that handles financial aid.:thumbsup:

Good luck!


if you are already working see what plans your employer has for tuition assistance. You may have to major in something that helps them but can still take other courses in your area of interest and taylor make a study plan, if they will pay for all or part of it, great.


There, you just opened up some options for yourself if after you get started you find that having to pay rent is a problem. If you don’t have to pay rent you might be able to attend more classes so you can finish sooner. But like puzzleannie said, you can go one class at a time and pay as you go, there are plenty of ways to get that degree!

I certailnly don’t advocate moving back home if you can work it out without doing so. It is hard not only on you but on parents to have adult children move home but the option is there :wink: .

Now, go talk to that advisor and get yourself set to work hard and get that degree and keep us updated on how things are going!

Brenda V.


Good point. Keri, you also might be able to get a deal on a computer through your school. Look into it. And I agree with everyone else, this is the time to go back. Even if you have to work at the same time, you won’t have to care for a family.


I might recommed looking into online schooling. With a full time job, it can be much more flexible. I work full time and I have 3 kids under the age of 4. I take classes online with DeVry and have found it to be relatively easy to work school around the rest of my priorites. Just a thought.


That’s a good idea. If the OP wants to train for something that requires hands-on work, she would still need to do that in a classroom setting but could get some of her other degree requirements out of the way online. Probably any course that didn’t require lab or clinical work could be taken this way. It’s a nice option.


Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! I prayed last night and pretty much said “if this is Your will”. If this is what I’m ment to do all the pieces will fall into place. Its a little scary…ok ALOT scary to give up all the control…but I know if this is the road God wants me to go down everything will work out.

I’ve been looking at psychology. I want to do something where I can help people. I’ve looked at child psychology too. I know thats alot of work…I want to do something that will matter! Does anyone on her have a degree in psychology? How long did it take for you to get it??


Just a heads up, you can get a Bachelors (the traditional “4 year degree”) in Psychology but without a Masters (an additonal 2 years plus a Thesis) you will be virtually unemployable. I tell you this so you are prepared for the equivalent of 6 years or more of schooll. I tell you this not as a discouragement but as a preparation to what you will need to do :smiley: .

I still want you to keep us up to date on what is going on!

Brenda V.


I thought of another question! Can anyone get approved for student loans? I’m going to try for all the grants I can get but I’ll probably have to get some loans. My credit isn’t great either. I just don’t money to be the reason I can’t go back to school.


I do think that anyone can get a loan for College but be wary - the “easily” obtained loans also have very high interest rates! Work with the financial advisor at the college you want to attend, that is the best way to get the best money for College.

You might also want to check out FAFSA.com. FAFSA is a federal form you fill out to help loan and grant makers determine if you qualify for their particular product.

Brenda V.


Just another perspective, I’m tired of interviewing people who have a degree but no practical experience.

And another thing, not directed to you, telling your employer that you’d like to go back to school during the interview is a no-no.


Trelow- What do you mean “no practical experience”?


I don’t know if this is honest or not…I don’t want to let my current job know that I’m going (or might be going) back to school. I don’t want to get fired because I’m going to go to school for something that has nothing to do with what I’m doing now. Is it wrong for me to not tell them? They don’t offer any tuition assistance so I don’t know if they have to know or not.


If they aren’t paying for it and it isn’t affecting your work (e.g., taking classes scheduled during your working hours), then they have no need or right to know. It’s no different than volunteering, or going to church, or visiting family in your off-hours.

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