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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2012, 01:46 PM
ktjones's Avatar
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Default In a Dilemma

I started school with the intentions of graduating. It would be nice to have a degree, but for who? For myself? To show others? Since I began taking the courses in the major I am majoring in, I am finding that I am not enjoying it.

I have my moments where I tell myself "Oh! This is fun!," but after a while, it becomes bothersome and I just want to get it done and over with. I feel like I'm not learning specifically what I want to learn and feel like at times I could teach myself better through other means, such as purchasing my own materials (books), watching YouTube videos and reading online tutorials.

I honestly like what I do right now, which is freelance writing. Sure, I have my days where I don't want to do anything, but I have to say I absolutely love it. I think the whole idea of freelancing is what I love. It's true that I want to be able to design things, but I'm learning so much more print-related material in my classes that it would never help me create designs for web-based work.

I don't know what to do. Perhaps I should finish out this semester so then I don't have the worries of paying back financial aid. That's another thing. I don't want to go into debt for something that isn't truly making me happy. If I continue going to school for the next year and half, I will rank in another $5,000 in debt and that's something that doesn't sit well with me.

Maybe I will feel different tomorrow, but I've felt like this for a while now. I guess, perhaps, I'm not seeing the whole picture clearly. I don't know. I just know that I'm not happy and it's getting tired doing assignments that I just dread.

Anyways, that's my rant, lol, thanks for listening
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:07 PM
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I have a suggestion, it won't get you a degree but it would give you the education you are looking for one your own terms and without cost.

Massachusetts School of Information Technology is offering up a new Open Courseware curriculum. It's pretty much everything that they have available for a degree you can get a completion certificate for. The classes are online at your convenience. The classes match the ones for a degree exactly and are for free. You will not get any form of transferable credits or the degree, but, contrary to a lot of free online classes, you will get a certificate of completion at the end.

I'm going to be taking some classes through there myself.

Considering what a degree costs nowadays, I see this as a viable option. I don't really need another degree, the ones I have don't do me a whole lot of good anyway.

As far as continuing the semester, if your financial aid requires it, do so and then make the decision to go on or not. It sounds in some ways that you are already mentally gone and just need some support or another option.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by karmicwindows; 01-31-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:23 PM
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Don’t know if I have specific advice, but I’ll tell you I felt the same way. I earned a BS degree in counseling education, right after high school. Classes were OK. I did not love it, although I loved the college life. but I was only 22 when I finished, so I figured I would decide later what I really wanted to do. After working as a caseworker with the mentally ill, a preschool teacher and a sub in elementary school I stumbled onto writing. Loved it. I did mostly print and although I did not sell a ton, it was the best job I every had.

But money was tight and I never believed I could make a living doing freelance writing so I went back to school for a degree in the medical field. I felt somewhat bored in classes, did not really like it, but I knew it paid well and had already started the program. That kind of thing. I graduated and took a job. I have been doing it for 10 years. I have grown to HATE it. I still write (that saves my soul and gives me hope I’ll get out of the hospital work)

I wish I just followed my heart back when I started the program. I should have listened to my gut and quit the program. I wish now I pursued other areas of writing to expand my freelance career. I could have taken workshops in business writing or grant writing. I could have taken a grammar class. (Lord knows I need one. ) I am trying to do that now, but it is harder, since I have work, writing, kid, hubby, and everything to juggle.

Just remember there is no shame in finding out a career or school is not right for you and moving on. Life is too short to end up doing something you don’t at least like some of the time.

With that said, we all have days we don’t like what we are doing and maybe it is a phase you’re in. I don’t know what degree you are going for, but I think you should ask yourself if it will help you achieve your long-term goals. I think I would finish out the semester. Earn the credits at least than decide if you what to go further. I will say my degrees have help me land better paying jobs. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karmicwindows View Post
I have a suggestion, it won't get you a degree but it would give you the education you are looking for one your own terms and without cost.

Massachusetts School of Information Technology is offering up a new Open Courseware curriculum. It's pretty much everything that they have available for a degree you can get a completion certificate for. The classes are online at your convenience. The classes match the ones for a degree exactly and are for free. You will not get any form of transferable credits or the degree, but, contrary to a lot of free online classes, you will get a certificate of completion at the end.

I'm going to be taking some classes through there myself.

Considering what a degree costs nowadays, I see this as a viable option. I don't really need another degree, the ones I have don't do me a whole lot of good anyway.

As far as continuing the semester, if your financial aid requires it, do so and then make the decision to go on or not. It sounds in some ways that you are already mentally gone and just need some support or another option.

Hope this helps.
Wow, thanks so much! I'm totally going to check this out.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by writermomtomax View Post
Don’t know if I have specific advice, but I’ll tell you I felt the same way. I earned a BS degree in counseling education, right after high school. Classes were OK. I did not love it, although I loved the college life. but I was only 22 when I finished, so I figured I would decide later what I really wanted to do. After working as a caseworker with the mentally ill, a preschool teacher and a sub in elementary school I stumbled onto writing. Loved it. I did mostly print and although I did not sell a ton, it was the best job I every had.

But money was tight and I never believed I could make a living doing freelance writing so I went back to school for a degree in the medical field. I felt somewhat bored in classes, did not really like it, but I knew it paid well and had already started the program. That kind of thing. I graduated and took a job. I have been doing it for 10 years. I have grown to HATE it. I still write (that saves my soul and gives me hope I’ll get out of the hospital work)

I wish I just followed my heart back when I started the program. I should have listened to my gut and quit the program. I wish now I pursued other areas of writing to expand my freelance career. I could have taken workshops in business writing or grant writing. I could have taken a grammar class. (Lord knows I need one. ) I am trying to do that now, but it is harder, since I have work, writing, kid, hubby, and everything to juggle.

Just remember there is no shame in finding out a career or school is not right for you and moving on. Life is too short to end up doing something you don’t at least like some of the time.

With that said, we all have days we don’t like what we are doing and maybe it is a phase you’re in. I don’t know what degree you are going for, but I think you should ask yourself if it will help you achieve your long-term goals. I think I would finish out the semester. Earn the credits at least than decide if you what to go further. I will say my degrees have help me land better paying jobs. Good luck with your decision.
I feel like I'm supposed to know who I am, what I want to do and where I am going to be in the 5 years and I'm only 20! I want to explore the things I like ... not be so glued down to one thing.

I honestly felt like this was for me and I still think it is, but the courses I am taking are not fulfilling me. I'm majoring in Visual Communications/Graphic Design, which is something I've always wanted to do, but it's just the stuff I'm learning, I don't feel like I could apply most of it for what I would like to do with it, like design webpages, etc.

The ONE class I am in love with right now is Web Design. I coded my first webpage yesterday and I became hooked. It was just simple HTML code, but I want to learn CSS and Javascript now. My school only offers ONE web design class and the rest are geared towards print. It's like, UGH.

However, when I was little, I always, always, always said I wanted to be a writer. There are days I don't enjoy writing simply because it revolves around topics I wouldn't normally write about, but the thought of writing my own book or selling content that I've written makes me have butterflies in my stomach! Now that I've discovered the writing and freelancing world, I don't want to get out. I'm hooked. I'm addicted. lol
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:49 PM
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I know that University can sometimes seem like a waste of time and money, I know I felt like that whilst studying for my degree. I didn't always love it and I often thought what was the point.

Personally I feel strongly about seeing something through to the end, who knows how you might feel when you graduate? My feelings changed a lot by my final year and now I am glad I did it. Yea of course I think now there was other things that might have been better but hey...thats not how it always works out!

Getting a degree is not all about exactly what the degree is either, it can still be useful in helping you get the job in a completely different field as it shows that you can apply yourself in an academic way and are willing to learn, which is what some employers want.

I guess what I am trying to say is don't give up!!! You have your whole life to learn all these other things you have mentioned.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:12 PM
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My degree is in elementary education, and I can say just having a bachelor's is helping me land some of my writing gigs. People want quality work and they believe that someone who has completed college knows how to write, at least somewhat. A degree holds value even if you end up on a completely different field at some point. . .
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:22 PM
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Have you considered maybe switching to a different school? Not all colleges are created equal-you might be able to find one that has a program that better suits your needs.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:33 PM
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And don't feel like you will know at 20 what you'll be doing the rest of your life -- in 10 years you may very well be in a career that doesn't even exist today.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonelle View Post
And don't feel like you will know at 20 what you'll be doing the rest of your life -- in 10 years you may very well be in a career that doesn't even exist today.
This is so true! When I went to college in 1998, I dare say that the type of freelancing I do (web content) was just a brand new field, if it existed at all, and there was no way I would have seen it as a career field. I am now making more than I did teaching, not by much mind you, but I would have never "majored" in journalism. Writing for newspapers is not really my "thing"
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