“Well aren’t you living on the edge?” says Dad.
He means I’m drinking a cup of coffee in the afternoon. Maybe it will keep me up past 7:30 tonight. It certainly can’t hurt my sleeping pattern at this point. I’m exhausted.
But that’s not why I’m writing today. Nope. I’m not going to complain today. Today I’m going to write about victory.
It may be a victory you’re tired of seeing me post about on social media, but I’m going to write about it anyway. Because it’s important to me.
I went back to school this week. That’s right. Back to school. And boy has it been a journey getting here. A long one.
I’ve been wanting to go back to school for awhile now and I’ve even tried a few times. I went to Stevenson right after I graduated from Carroll Community College, but had to withdraw the first week of classes for a variety of reasons. Mostly I found myself in desperate need of a full-time job, which meant no full-time school for me.
Fast forward 3 years and I find myself caught up in the idea of school again. My sister graduated from grad school and kind of inspired me. I wanted to go back. So I started looking at my options and I decided to go the online route. You might remember a blog post I wrote about it. I was trying to decide between 2 schools and asked for some input. Well I made it 3 days into the semester before withdrawing. I just got so overwhelmed. My anxiety was out of control at that point. It led to a downward spiral which ultimately landed me in treatment again. It was bad.
But I still wanted to do it. It’s still been on my mind. Why?
Why do I want to go back to school, you may ask. And it’s an important question to answer. So let’s go down the list:
- I love my job, but I can’t stay here forever. I want to build a better life for Skylar and I. I want to be moving forward. Planning for the future. I’m not getting anywhere in my field without something more than an associates degree. So school it is.
- I get bored. At work. At home. I have too much free time and it only gets me into trouble. I need something that challenges me and makes me better.
- I need to get out of my bubble. Meet new people. Expand my horizons. I need to put myself out there.
- I don’t like to start something and not finish it. I started my undergraduate degree 14 years ago. I hate leaving that unfinished. I want to check it off the list.
- But mostly I want to go back to school because I can. I know I can. I know that I can do it. It might take me a while and it might be hard. But I can do it.
But how? I’ve tried and been nothing but unsuccessful. I don’t have a very good track record with following through on this school thing. I always run into some major obstacle that holds me back. What will make this time different? I didn’t even know where to start.
So I decided to use my resources. I emailed an old professor and we met for coffee and talked about my future and she helped me figure some things out. She said that she had no doubt that I could do online courses, but that I thrive in the classroom. And she’s right. So we decided a brick and mortar school would be best. But I mean…duh. I’ve been saying that for years now. It just seemed impractical. Where would I go that would work with my schedule? I had no idea.
Then she brought up the University of Baltimore. It’s actually a school I was looking at transferring to after I graduated from Carroll. I decided against it when I was passed over for a scholarship that I was practically guaranteed. I got pretty bitter. Then I decided on Stevenson. End of story.
But hmm. University of Baltimore, you say? It’s worth a thought. It’s local. Has a good reputation. Offers evening courses. Is transfer friendly. Why not give it a whirl?
So I applied. And I was accepted. I went to advising. I picked a class. I registered. I bought my textbook. I went to orientation. And I survived my first night of class. I even made it back to my car at 8pm in the middle of Baltimore City. Bam.
It sounds trivial when I put it like that. Easy. A no-brainer. But it wasn’t. It was a process laced with anxiety and self doubt. And some more anxiety. Which a side of anxiety. And anxiety for dessert. Ok, so there was a lot of anxiety. Get it?
And there still is. But you know what? I can do it.
I didn’t want to write about it as I was going through the process. And I’m still a little bit hesitant. I’m not out of the woods quite yet. There is still time to withdraw lol. But I’m not going to. I’m going to finish this.
I didn’t want to write about something that had potential, then have to tell the world I failed to follow through. Again. I didn’t want to get your hopes up. I didn’t want to have you cheering for the loosing team.
But you’re only a loser if you don’t try. And it doesn’t hurt to have a team of cheerleaders by your side during the game, now does it?
Why am I so hesitant to write about the good? The things that excite me? That give me hope? I take pride in being real on this blog. Being vulnerable. Mostly I interpret that to being open about my struggles. But what if being vulnerable is also about sharing my hopes and dreams? Especially when they’re laced with doubt and the opportunity for disappointment. What about that?
So here’s something I’m excited about. I’m going back to school. I’m only taking one class this semester, with the intention of taking 2 going forward. This semester is Finance 331. A 300 level course scares me, but guess what. That’s what I’m left with. Upper level classes. Suck it up, Brittany. You’re in the big leagues now.
I’ve done the math and it looks like I have 4 years to go. Which is overwhelming. And a little bit depressing. But when you look at the span of a lifetime, it’s really not much when it comes down to doing what you want to do with your life. Right? Plus I talked them into counting my calc II as college algebra. I mean I didn’t nearly kill myself as a high school senior taking advanced AP calculus to have to take college algebra 14 years later. So I’ve got that going for me at least.
My major is business administration with a specialization in accounting. Accounting is the specialization that requires the most classes to graduate. Go figure. But it’s what I want to do. I want to be a CPA and work as a forensic accountant. Possibly for the FBI. And you’ve gotta start somewhere. I’m starting on Thursday nights, in room 305, in the business center, at the University of Baltimore.
Class of whenever.