Today was the day – Graduation Day! A day that I never thought would come until two years ago when I started my academic journey at Franklin Pierce University in the Associates of Arts for Business program.
The weather was blah, but that didn’t matter, I dressed to meet the challenge of staying warm and dry while waiting for my turn to walk across that stage and receive my announcement of conferral. When I left home at 8 in the morning, the clouds had just started rolling in. The weather forecast was cold and light rain. Not the best combination for a graduation ceremony.
Some used umbrellas while other wore sandwich-bag style rain coverings only to throw them off just before joining the line to walk across the stage.
I wonder if the same saying for having a wedding on a rainy day brings good luck applies to graduations too?
Since my degree was for Associates, we were last. Shivering and waterlogged we couldn’t wait for our turn to walk the stage. Out of 16 graduating Associates, only four of us showed up for graduation.
My day was made even better by the sudden appearance of my daughter as my turn had come to walk across that stage. She brought her new boyfriend for me to meet along with the new grandbaby that I had not seen yet. My granddaughter will be 2 in four more months. Jasmine, my older granddaughter, did not make the trip because she is at that age where long trips bring conflict in small cars. They were joined by Mike, my mother, and my son.
Later I was told, that mom took a tumble out the door on their way to graduation. I will have to keep tabs on her condition because she is prone to blood clots. Her tumble means that it is time to repair the front step before it happens again. Sounds like a good Memorial Weekend project if it warms back up and doesn’t rain. It always rains Memorial Weekend.
I am looking forward to the coming year. The next graduation is scheduled for 2020 when I will have my bachelor in Accounting.
— Go Me!
Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers rarely think about their future until the world is thrust upon them after graduation or dropping out of school because they are convinced that they can survive without that diploma.
Stop Right There!
I hate to break the bubble, but someone has to do it. We no longer live in the 1950’s where cars can be fixed without being a certified mechanic, and most of the factory jobs that our grandparents had back then are all in China and Mexico. Unless you want to work at Micky D’s or Dunkin for the rest of your life, get your high school diploma.
Do you know that the questions on the GED test are not taught to most high school students, making the test harder to pass than getting that diploma from school?
But I Don’t Want a College Degree!
I know, you have no desire to go to college. You still need that diploma. There is an alternative to a complete academic education. Why don’t you pick a trade? High schools have been offering trade-school classes for years. By learning a trade and taking part in an apprenticeship, you unlock the door to a higher wage or even owning your own business.
Times Have Changed
Back in the 1980’s I never thought there would come a day when an employer wouldn’t want a long-term employee. Times have changed. The average employee in 2016, has been with their employer for no longer than five years. Between recessions, burst dot-com bubbles, and the housing crunch the job market has changed drastically. If you want to earn a living wage you need either a college degree or a trade skill certificate or license.
There is No One to Blame But You!
Don’t blame the illegal immigrants for taking all the jobs away from you. The top jobs they are applying for is farm labor and construction as indicated by the Pew Research Center, Five Facts about Illegal Immigrants. I don’t know too many American’s who will work for farm wages. Construction work, they would probably do, but if they took part in the trade school while in high school, they would be snagging a better paying job on the crew leaving the runner work for the immigrant.
So what if your parents dropped out of school and were able to find jobs. That was then. If you parents haven’t been laid off in the past ten years, then they were one of the lucky ones. Invest in your future not because your parents told you to go to college. Do this for you and only you.
Only you can decide what you like, what you want, and where you will go after high school.
How many times have I said I will start Christmas shopping in July?
The last-minute shopping panic is over, I’m so glad life can return to normal even though time is limited due to school work. I have one year and six months left to finish school, or three plus if I continue on to a Master’s Degree. For the past six months, I have been sticking my nose in a textbook every night, pushing myself to learn topics that I don’t really enjoy. Math was never my favorite subject, that means Finance, Accounting, and anything that requires equations including economics must be learned by use of strict discipline. Those A’s and B’s I have gotten in any of those classes were more than earned. I worked hard, very hard, for those grades.
Maybe the worst classes are almost over for the time being. – sigh –
What’s in store for 2017 Classes?
Microsoft Office 2013 – I am really looking forward to the next term, almost to the point of excitement. For the past six years, I’ve been playing with Office on my own, stumbling around the software while learning how to format eBooks and print books for publishing. Imagine what I could do if I learned to master the software?
My other class for the next term is Science I. I liked science in high school. Physics and Biology were my strengths. Chemistry falls into the same category as math, with massive distaste. Give me finance over chemistry any day.
Term 4 will give me a second round in Science II. Microeconomics is my other course. Hopefully, I will enjoy the business element of economics over the world element.
Summer I will prove to be interesting with America’s Themes and Dreams and Marketing. Maybe by the time I get to the Marketing class, I will be ready to release a new book. I have several works in progress at this stage.
So far, 2017 is looking to be an exciting year.
Summer 2 may start to shape and change my future career with Human Resource Management and Sociology. With one term left to complete to fulfill what is needed to complete an Associate Degree in Business. The rest of the year will build on my Bachelor’s Degree.
All these classes and working full time does not leave me much time for writing nor doing the things that I love doing. At the same time, I am following the dream of acquiring a degree which I have wanted to do for the past thirty years. I can only imagine where I would be today if I had started on my career earlier in life.
If it hadn’t been for Mike making that call to my high school that day to inquire about getting my transcript, I might have continued to put my education off.
I expect to have a Bachelor’s Degree by the time I am 55 years old. (Probably before that age).
2016 was an eventful year. It is true, when a door closes, a window of opportunity opens. You just need to learn to find those windows in the places you least expect to find them located.
I like them!
You do have to be self-sufficient when it comes to learning. Discipline is a must. The deadlines must be met. You are given the essential tools for survival. That would be the textbooks.
One doesn’t need to be at a complete loss. Make sure you know how to use the internet to research what you need to know, and read the textbook.
I know, you don’t like to read the book. Well, read it anyways. You won’t be sitting in class listening to your professor go on and on with a lecture. Your lecture, if you are lucky will be a PowerPoint of about ten slides. That’s it.
You will have to go online and research if you need to know more to understand your assignments or discussions.
The tests are open book. They are still hard regardless.
I also like the time I’ve saved in not having to travel across the state to sit in a classroom. It would be an hour drive one way for me. That would be two hours spent on the road when I could be reading that textbook instead.
What I don’t like…
There isn’t much I don’t like about the type of course study. I have the discipline for doing what I need to do when I need to do it. Especially, when I set my mind to doing something that I want to do passionately.
I did teach myself to self-publish, didn’t I?
When I’m done with school, there will be loads of stories to come. Which leads me to the other thing I don’t like. That would be not having enough time to write stories. I have all these new ideas popping into my head that I keep jotting down in a journal I keep at my desk. I read something in one of my textbooks, and a light comes on, jot that one down.
Seriously, if you want to return to school, then do it!
Online courses need discipline and self-sufficiency.
There are hybrid courses too. You do some of the work online and the rest in the classroom.
Or, there is old school, 100% classroom.
It’s your choice. I know I’m glad to have jumped at the opportunity when I did.
Are you thinking of going back to school?
For years I kept thinking about my missed opportunity to go to college after graduation. My friends went, their friends went, and all found professional careers.
But I never went. Instead, I settled for being a low skilled worker. I never viewed myself as a low-skilled worker until recently. All those different jobs I did over the years never added much to my skill sets. They were fundamental skills that could be applied to most anything, except to a profession.
I was happy with my basic skill set. What mattered to me was making a living. When I say making a living, I’m talking about a surviving living when one can afford to live off of the weekly pay they make. There was a time when companies would make certain that their workers could afford to live in their communities by keeping up with the cost of living increases. This isn’t happening so much anymore.
More and more businesses are balking at giving employees cost of living raises or any raises for that matter. It takes money away from their bottom line. If they dish out raises than they won’t be able to keep people on for resources.
Well for the past couple of years, it has become more and more difficult for me to continue living within my community. The cost of heating fuel has increased, the cost of health care has grown, and the cost of food has increased. But, my wages have not.
Something needs to change, I guess it has to be me. If I want to earn a better salary, then I need to have a better job. To do that, I need to improve my skills by going back to school and earning that degree.
How will you pay for your education?
When I first started looking at colleges, I didn’t know anything about financial aid. I thought one had to pay out of their own pocket for schooling since it had been years since I had applied to go to school. Financial aid packages were only for the students that were heading to college right after high school. At least that was what I thought. Had I only known…
Have you ever wondered if you could afford it?
I thought, I could take out a loan, or put my education on a credit card. But that sort of financing would only cover the cost of one or two terms. I lacked the cash or monetary funds to pay for the courses from my own pocket. Scholarships would work, but how does one get them? Especially when they have been out of school for so long?
More than likely you can afford the cost of college if you have never enrolled.
I hemmed and hawed about going back to school until my student advisor told me that it wasn’t as expensive as I thought.
How could $380 a credit not be considered expensive?
She had me apply for financial aid, otherwise known as a Pell Grant.
Pell Grants are money from the Federal Government that is used to pay for a higher education. This money is not paid back. The loans that follow that is what is paid back over time.
This money is based on your income. You submit a copy of your tax return and then the government decides how much money and what kind of money you qualify for based on your income. Then you don’t need to repay the loans until you are done with school or drop your course load below full-time status.
Are you still wondering if you can afford to go back to school?
Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa to learn how you could afford your higher education.