I am 31 years old, married with a 10-year-old daughter, and am currently employed full-time as a shipping clerk at the factory where my husband works as an industrial engineer. I do not fit in well with my current job. At every other job I’ve had, I’ve never had much trouble gaining respect from the boss, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening here, and it’s frustrating. I work hard, but my boss seems to expect utter perfection. She’s never happy with my work (or my co-workers’, for that matter) and it is stressful. I dream of the day I can tell her to “take this job and shove it!”
What I would really like to do is complete my college degree. I went to college for two years after high school. My grades were good, and I was in the honors program, but I never chose a major…I never could figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. Then I got pregnant with my daughter and decided to take a leave of absence…I honestly thought I would get stir-crazy and be itching to get back to school after a year or two, but it didn’t happen. So, I got a job as a telephone operator. The hours really sucked, and the constant having to be “on” all the time (I’m rather introverted, so it goes against my nature) got to be a bit draining. So, my husband got me the job I have now, mostly because it was close to home and I would be home in the evenings to cook dinner. (He did not know that my boss was such a she-beast at the time, unfortunately.)
In the meantime, I discovered the internet, and message boards such as the SDMB. I’ve dabbled in HTML and making web pages (at one time, my mother-in-law wanted to start a web development business and have me work for her…it did not work out, probably for the better.) I also spent several years editing a newsletter for a club I belonged to in college, and I was a page editor for my high school newspaper. I could definitely see myself doing that sort of layout work for some company’s webpage or a newsletter or a magazine. I’ve seen a few jobs out there that involve such things, but they always want a bachelor’s degree…sometimes they say they want it in communications, English, or journalism, but sometimes it just seems like they only care if you’ve put in the seat time.
Well, that’s what I’m leaning towards, and I’m seriously considering chucking it all in at the end of the summer and starting back up at the University of Minnesota full-time. I know that I could probably go part-time and have it be less of a blow to the family budget, but, frankly, I hate my job (see above), the sooner I get my degree, the better, and it might just be cheaper, since once you pay for 13 semester credits, any more you take that semester are free. (They did not offer that when I was there before.) My husband is supportive…he already has bought me a laptop computer for Mother’s Day and mentioned that half of my paycheck is going into savings right now (401K’s, my daughter’s college fund, etc.) so we only have to worry about the other half. I know we can try to cut expenses, etc., but this scares me a little. Of course, I could also get a part-time job and, of course, student loans.
I’m also not quite sure what I should major in, although I have it much more narrowed down than before. The U offers both Communications Studies and Journalism. I know that someone at the school would probably be more qualified to answer this question, but what is the difference? If I am interested in the web, is one better? How about print journalism? It also looks like the U has some classes on technical writing. Is that a good field to consider?
Most advice that seems to be out there on returning to school seems to assume that you’d be doing it part-time or online, so am I crazy for just diving head-first into things like this? Is it tough to remember how to write essays and take notes? Should I try to join clubs? Will I be that “crazy old lady” that always sits up front and has her hand raised when everyone else is snoozing?
I just feel like such a late bloomer…I should have figured this out years ago, I suppose. And I’m still hesitant…maybe I won’t like it, but I’ll be stuck with a bunch of loans, or I’ll still find reasons to hate my new career. But, i can’t stay where I am.
Any thoughts? Advice?