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I recently received an invitation to my high school class’ ten-year reunion. I have not thought about my classmates in years. I started to wonder what most of them are doing in their lives these days. Unlike a lot of my old friends, I did not go to college right out of graduation. I had a job at my local drug store in high school. I decided to stick with it for a while because my income was steady. Ten years later, I’m still working in the drug store, and I’m assistant manager now. However, I realized that if I stayed here, my income would not improve very much.
Working in a drug store actually gave me exposure to many people who come in to seek solutions to their health problems. I learned a lot from the pharmacist who works here. I helped people find the kind of medicines that they needed. People would come in to ask me things like, “What do you have for my cough?” I knew about the products that our store carried. But that would be the extent of my knowledge.
I started to develop a greater interest in finding out what specific ingredients in drugs can do for people. I found myself doing research on the web for information, just for my own knowledge. As I was doing that one day, I asked myself why I never thought about studying to become a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician.
When I got this invitation for my class reunion, these ideas resurfaced in my head again. I liked my job at the drug store, but I wanted more in my life. I have a genuine interest in studying about medicines and helping people. I thought more and more about it, and I decided to find out about going back to school to study to become a pharmacy technician.
I did some research online to find institutions that offer a program like this. There are programs in community colleges, four-year institutions, and also programs that are online. I actually have many options.
I thought about what a wonderful career path this would be for me. I already have a strong interest in this field. As a pharmacy technician, I can work in a hospital, clinic, or back in the drug store if I wish. I would be making a lot more money, however. I would have a better future. After getting a degree as a pharmacy tech, if I wish, I can even continue my education and become a full-fledged pharmacist. I can really earn a high income in that career.
I have started to narrow down my choices of the perfect program. I told my boss about my intentions, and he is genuinely happy for me that I have made this decision to improve my life. He has confidence in me that I will do well, and that really encouraged me.
I am proof that it is never too late to go back to school to pursue your dreams. A good education is the ticket to a higher income and a better quality of life.
Ever since I can remember, my Father and virtually all my uncles and grandfathers worked in the construction industry. Even as a little kid, I can recall going out on jobs with my Father. He was an excavator, just like some of my uncles, who were site engineers as well.
I was always fascinated with construction and engineering and watching big dump trucks haul the dirt that the bulldozers dug up beneath the topsoil As I got into my teens, I started to give serious thought as to what I wanted to do when I go out of high school. At that point of my life, I couldnt imagine sitting through four years of classroom lectures. I wanted to get out and work and make some real money. So I joined my Father’s excavation and bulldozing business.
I knew the simple things to that were associated with my Father’s business, such as reading construction documents and interpreting blueprints and construction drawings, as well as estimating commercial excavation jobs out for bid. That was the easy stuff, but I wanted to garner more knowledge regarding excavation and its interaction with the rest of the construction process and associated trades such as concrete, plumbing and electrical. In order to ascertain that knowledge, I would have to go to night school, like a vocational training institute. What I was interested in was construction management, which involved managing a project from the beginning to the end, taking full responsibility in conjunction with the other trades.
I believe that my Father wanted me to work with him and eventually taking over the excavation business, but I had a curiosity to learn more about construction than just excavating dirt. So I did my homework about what different vocational institutes offered in the way of construction management programs. I was fascinated with what the counselors spoke of their institutions and they told me about what to expect in a career in construction management. I was looking for a career, not a job. I believe a career provides more stability and a better income than just a job. I would learn more in a vocational classroom and field experience than just working for my Father.
The only way I was going to have a career was to get the education, I so badly needed. To find a career as a construction manager, without a degree and applicable experience, is an exercise in futility. Employers are seeking educated individuals with solid experience. I have the work experience, but not the education. So I am taking the big leap and getting myself a degree in construction management. Getting that degree will provide me with a new world of opportunities and income. I may have been happy working with my Father through the years as an excavator, but I have an opportunity to provide more for my wife and three daughters. Some individuals are content with where they are in life, I want a degree to explore my fullest potential!
Hi there! Im Dr. Raymond and Im here to convince you that the pursuit of higher education is worth the blood, sweat and tears you will likely encounter on the journey to your degree. Actually, Im just Judy, mother of eleven, grandmother of nine and excited about achieving greater things in my own career. However, I have sat through many introductions that promise to motivate and inspire with an outcome of sending you off ready for the next rung on your personal ladder. Truly, that is what I wish to do here yet perhaps by a different method.
Im a college dropout. I started strong and had excellent grades then opted for a wedding ring. My fiancé finished his degree and had certificates all over our walls. I began hanging baby pictures in my designated areas and didnt stop until I counted eleven! Six of my children have gone to college thus far, each with their own journey and their own outcome. Most saw graduation with honors, fanfare and a well-planned entry into their chosen fields. Some of them dropped out, like me, and chose marriage or the enticement of a huge opportunity that just couldnt wait! Im happy to say their decisions have proven wise yet, not easy in most respects. Two more of my children have just begun their secondary education and three still muddle through our local, public school system. I have pushed each one through their respective years of learning in ways that seemed the blood, sweat and tears of their young lives, and my old age, but you gotta love those grad day celebrations!
So, now that Ive witnessed, and continue to enjoin, over 35 years of my childrens educational success what about my own? My extracurricular loves are catering, event planning, assisting with humanitarian endeavors and writing. At times, these hobbies came together and went something like this; writing about a wedding, I just catered or using my knowledge of nutrition and the hunger issue to write blogs and speeches for food advocacy. I had easily logged thousands of hours in English homework with the kids but I needed to invest in some targeted writing lessons if I were to write more gooder as my husband teased.
I began taking online writing courses and joined a writer’s club. I obtained a personal editor and committed to writing about something, anything, everyday. For years, I had told my children, To live is to learn and to cease from learning is to cease from living. I applied my mantra to my own future as an individual with the determination to acquire greater experience and expertise. Ive encountered a formidable learning curve, and truly, I do not aspire to introduce myself as Dr. Raymond. However, with the same tenacity I have required, I will progress, and with each written assignment or on-line exam, I will in fact, become more gooder!
The world of academia can be exciting or scary. For those who have prepared for college and know what career path they want to pursue, this can be a great opportunity for them. For those who want to advance their self and are seeking to do so through a college education, this can be a very pressure oriented situation. The thing to do in this situation is to just keep your eye on the ball. It can be done.
The first classes seem to be the most difficult. Perhaps because college is a new experience, it’s a new environment, you haven’t quite gotten your study habits perfected, you may not know what to expect, and so on.
Not to worry. This is doable. You just have to keep your eye on the ball. The ball being that new career that is going to increase your livelihood and your lifestyle.
The first thing I would do is to incorporate my study habits, join a study group and brush up on my high school english, math, algebra, science, etc. because the first year courses will likely be extensions and refreshers of what you learned in high school.
Once I have established a routine, coursework and being successful should come easy. Its the first high hurdle that has to be mastered. Once that is done, you’re on your way to that dream job and career.
It is essential to understand that academics is no cake walk. You will have to put in the work. And the rewards will follow.