View Full Version : Advice on going back to college
Birds On A Bat
01-23-2003, 07:15 PM
Due to the current state of the economy I could lose my job in the next few months. I've started looking for new opportunities in the industry I'm in now but they don't exist. The thought of having to start fresh in a new industry or even worse, going back to retail, are not very apealing to me. So I've decided to go back to college.
I went to college for a few years after high school but ended up dropping out. The problem is that I get bored taking classes that I will not use after graduation. For example, if I'm getting a degree in history education I have a hard time understanding why I have to take a lab science. Okay, I understand why, but if I won't use what I learned in that science in my post college career I get frustrated and bored and end up dropping out again.
This has happened the few times I tried going back to school. I keep telling myself that it won't happen this time, but there is a nagging doubt in the back of my head that it will. I don't like the idea of jumping from job to job for the rest of my life, so going back to college is now a priority. Does anyone have any advice on how I can get over this hump so I can finally get my degree?
P.S. I realize that having a college degree may not eliminate the "jumping from job to job" thing, but it would help open new opportunities that don't exist for me now.
01-23-2003, 07:29 PM
Go back to retail for a month or two. You'll be motivated to take any class that's required for your degree.
01-23-2003, 07:33 PM
The purpose of college isn't necessarily an ends to a means. You take classes in subjects unrelated to your degree in order to give you a well rounded education.
I sort of work in the history education field myself: as part of my job at a local museum, I give tours to schoolchildren. If I confined myself only to learning history, I wouldn't be able to answer a lot of their questions, which can sometimes get pretty obscure. Sociology helps me explain why people acted the way they did. Chemistry helps me to explain how certain technologies were developed. Physics helps me to explain how primitive machinery works. Astronomy helps in telling people about primitive navigation, and planting cycles. Literature helps explain how people saw the world around them at the time.
You never know when a bit of knowledge might come in handy. Perhaps in a casual discussion, you might know the answer to a question everyone is pondering. It's good to know a tiny something on every subject. Heck, it will even help you out here on the SDMB.
Just try to enjoy the learning experience in of itself, and stop worrying about where you'll use the knowledge. It may come in handy someday, and even if it doesn't, having diverse knowledge never hurt anyone. You might even discover a new passion, and decide on a new field of work.
01-24-2003, 10:06 AM
In principle, I fully agree with what Lissa said.
In practice, however, it's worth keeping in mind that colleges vary in the number and type of core courses they require for graduation, and a few have no distribution requirements at all. If you're genuinely not motivated to study science (or whatever) and you don't see that changing, you could always try shopping around for a school that doesn't require it.
01-24-2003, 11:27 AM
I dropped out of college in 1994, and in 1999 I decided to go back. I started going part time while still working, but eventually quit my job and went full time. I will be finishing my degree in computer science this semester (spring 2003).
Here's my advice. Figure out what you want to do as precisely as possible. Decide what school you want to go to, and have a pretty good idea what major you want. Have the school evaluate your transcripts, as you may have completed some of the G.E. requirements already. Read the catalog carefully and figure out EXACTALLY what classes you need to take, both G.E.- and major-wise. This way you won't waste any time or effort with unneeded classes. Yes, you will have to take some classes that don't seem very usefull, but if getting your degree is important enough to you, you will push through.
Also, there are usually a wide range of classes that can satisfy a G.E. requirement. Pick the one that is most interesting to you.
If applicable, try to take as many classes at community college as you can before transfering to a 4-year school. Again, check the catalog to be sure of any residency requirements or transfer limitations.
01-24-2003, 11:39 AM
I got a degree in American History with a minor in education from an excellent (highly competitve admission) small liberal arts college.
Moved to the south (US), later decided to get a master's in special ed. The state college where I went insisted I take Health 1 to fulfill a science requirement despite the fact that I had taken "Neurochemstry for Non-Majors" while completing my BA.
I gave up.
01-24-2003, 03:04 PM
I graduated with a degree in Meteorology - a field that you can almost always get a job in, but in my senior year when I really looked at the job opportunities, I realized something. Unless you're on TV (which is far less glamorous and pays less than most people think) in a major market, my degree was a ticket to a dead end desk job in the federal government, which does/did not fit my personality or ambition.
I have never worked a day in the field I trained for, and have used the skills and knowledge I got in my liberal arts classes more than I have my scientific/technical know-how.
I guess the moral is that you can't tell when your in your early 20's what you're going to be doing in your 30's and beyond, so don't pass on something because it doesn't look relevant at the moment.
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