I've been back in California for two years. The last year, I've been focusing on my son, our home, and getting settled in. I am also thinking about our future. The idea of returning to college intrigued me.
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I'm very thankful to live in the same area I grew up in. I was on my way to doctor's appointments when we drove by my former college I went to right after graduating high school. It made me think about going back to college. I thought about what life would be like as a college student again. Could I do it? I'm a single mom, can I find the time?
I'm grateful for what we have but also want to be prepared for where life can take us! I want to make sure I have a backup plan if our situation changes. Right now, I am on a fixed income. It's tough trying to make it all work. I love being a homeowner, but it can be tough trying to make ends meet.
My reasons for returning to college
I want to return to college to improve my resume, for enrichment, the challenge, and earning another degree! Don't get me wrong, I am so nervous and excited!
Since I work as a caregiver to my son, I am a union member. Many of the caregivers don't care for the union, which made me think I should try to get out of it too. Since I am already a union member, I should at least take advantage of the discounts available to me.
I decided to see if my union offers an education discount to return to college! Little did I expect to find what I found! I see it as a sign. It's time to return to college!
So, what did I find? My union offers a free degree program. I can earn an AA degree (certain degree programs) with no “out-of-pocket” expenses! After looking over the list of the degrees over and over, I found two of them that could possibly interest me.
Ultimately, I chose Business Management with a focus on Cyber Security! That same evening, I filled out the interest form, started my FAFSA application, and made a list of schools I need to request transcripts from.
The very next morning, I woke up bright and early as usual and continued my quest to get signed up for college. I finished my FAFSA application and submitted it. I then contacted the schools I needed transcripts from and was able to order online or over the phone. After reading the college's FAQs, I realized I wouldn't need my high school transcript if I already had a college degree! This was perfect because I was unable to access the site to order my high school transcripts, so I planned to visit the school the following week.
A few days later, I was sent information from the college with my login information, as well as an official .edu email address! I logged in and found out that I can check my email through Gmail, which is perfect! I prefer using Gmail!
All in all, I hope I don't have to take too many more college courses to earn my AA Degree in Business Management with a focus on Cyber Security. You see, I already have an AS Degree and have taken several other business, computer, health, anthropology, humanities, and psychology classes! I hope my transcripts help knockout at least half or more of the required courses for the degree!
Are you ready for a change? Need a challenge? Put your best foot forward and pursue a college degree! I understand going back to college can be difficult. You have to learn to manage your time, learn to motivate and focus on your school work, work full time, care for your family, manage your household, and more!
5 Tips on How To Apply For College:
Tip 1: Utilize your resources
Ask your HR department about education discounts offered through your employer!
Are you a union member? Check with your union for any discount programs! You're already paying dues, take advantage of the savings!
Tip 2: Find a college and degree program
My union goes through a specific community college. I looked through their degree programs, chose a few that interested me. I researched them and I thought about what type of work or job I could get in the field.
Tip 3: Be prepared to do some legwork
Just to get enrolled in a community college, I had to fill out the FAFSA application online!
Do not skip this step. Filling out your FAFSA application is the most important! Make sure you have your school code and tax information. You will fill out information about your family and household.
Next, you will have to request official school transcripts! Many schools can send transcripts electronically or via mail.
I thought requesting transcripts would be a tedious task for me. Having to search each previous school I attended and then call or order my transcripts. However, everything took me about 20 minutes or so!
Tip 4: Be patient
Now that you've chosen your degree program, filled out your FAFSA, and requested transcripts — it is now time to be patient while everything gets approved or received by the college.
Tip 5: Jump In
By now, you've been accepted, your paperwork was approved, and you have your start date!
Channel your younger self! Rediscover your focus.
Have you returned to college as an adult? What was your experience like? What did you study?