Approximately 2 years ago, I made the decision to go back to school to finally finish up my bachelor’s degree, something I started back in 1999 and technically have spent the past 20 years just a few credits shy of completing.
Why did it take me nearly twenty years to finish something I only had about one year left to complete? Because the school I had attended college at was unaccredited and none of my credits transferred to any other school, and I just couldn’t find myself to complete my schooling at the school I had originally attended.
Not for a lack of trying.
After initially declaring my inability to finish the program at that school, I took off for about a year before deciding to go back and try to finish the program, just so I would have my degree that I had already worked so hard on. They only had one of the classes I needed for graduation available that semester, so I got just a little bit closer to the end goal by taking a class which was only a half-semester long course.
And that half-semester settled within me my inability to stay at that school, so I dropped out yet again, not to return to college until approximately three years later, when I would attempt to go to the fully accredited state school in town, where I had been told my credits would transfer beautifully.
In fact, here I was, a 23 year old, stuck trying to group projects with 18 year olds in English 101 on bs topics which would have taken me less than half an hour to crap out, but because they were group projects, took days.
And so, after a single term, I dropped out of college for the third time, now feeling so much farther away from graduation than before.
A college education was never all that important to me. It was a means to an end. I never felt like I got much out of my college days, usually finding myself having to struggle far more with the general education requirements than with the actual degree-specific classes and overall finding the whole experience a waste of my time.
So, I didn’t feel all that bad about not finishing. Sure, it was something I would consider time and again over the following twenty years. I’ve talked with countless colleges about the ideas of getting life experience credits or doing deep dives on the classes I had taken at the unaccredited college and hoping I could somehow convince them to only make me take a few degree specific courses so I could get that piece of paper which told the world I was college educated without having to start over again.
In the end most of those ideas didn’t pan out, and I’d get distracted by the busy-ness of life. And since a college education wasn’t super important to me, I simply never put it as a priority for me to complete it.
The story changed somewhat about five years ago when I got hired for a new job. I put in my two weeks notice for the job I was transitioning from, built a basement office because I would be working from home, and got ready to take on yet another new step in my career.
And a week out from starting the job, I got a call telling me that there was an issue with my background check. You see, the company that had hired me was under the impression that I had my bachelor’s degree, and, as noted quite thoroughly above, I didn’t. Long story short, conversations were not even allowed to be had before they revoked the job offer.
I was suddenly unemployed, all because of a miscommunication I had no control over. And although I may have been able to recover from that situation quickly, having a completely new job within another two weeks, it felt like some sort of sign that I should probably just go about completing the effort on getting that piece of paper.
And so, approximately two years ago, I finally started back at college, with a whole 12 credits to my name out of the 120 (out of the ~100 unaccredited credits I had earned) I would need to graduate, feeling like I was starting completely over once again.
But this time, I had an ace in the hole. The degree just so happened to be in the exact field I’ve been working in for the past decade. I know this stuff cold. And for the past 2 year I’ve been struggling with getting through my general education requirements, because for some reason these classes require so much more of you than the classes which are teaching you the things you are paying the school to learn.
But I’m nearing the end. I have a year left. And I want so badly to be done.
I haven’t taken a break from school for these past 2 years. I’ve stuck with it. Because if I take a break, I can’t promise I’ll go back, and if I drop out this time, I’m pretty confident I’ll never go back.
So, I’m in school. And I’m so incredibly tired of being in school.
But I should probably get back to finishing my Spanish homework.
Diviértete ahí fuera!