Next week its back to school! Am taking a Statistics course during spring session. Enrolling in this course marks the beginning of my final year of a 4 year degree – which I recently decided to switch to from a 3 year degree. When I looked at the number of courses I needed for the 4 yr I decided to go for it – why not?! And, I’ve also decided (gulp) that I am interested in pursuing graduate studies and teaching at a university level (double gulp).
The majority of the time I do not question my decision to return to school. I love it! My confidence and self-esteem have grown, I have a new respect for those 20 somethings — not all of them are shallow after all, and am excited to learn! And, the bonus, is that overall I am doing well in my studies. This is huge, I’ve never felt I was smart or had the ability to be smart. Breakthrough!
When I do searches for information on going back to school later in life I find many articles on the pros and cons. Surprisingly you really have to look for anything that speaks to the overall benefits, beyond salary increases. I am here to tell you that yes, it is an investment in your future and, more importantly, an investment in yourself. Feedback – you get feedback on every assignment, paper and exam that you take. As an adult learner I feel like I have the ability to take the marks I receive and use them as a way to improve the results of the next assignment — I see my progress and it motivates me to work harder and do better. when you have had a full career and have lived a bit of life, you have the resources to be able to connect what you know to what you are learning.. and that makes a huge difference in how much I learn and in maintaining my interest in a course/subject as well. For me, the bonus is that I now seek out feedback and when I do not find it outside myself I am better able to look inward to seek my own feedback. These two forms of feedback are known to us as Internal and External feedback (very logical terms..). I’ve learned that we need BOTH forms of feedback to achieve success. For me, this is important as I’ve lived most of my life relying on external feedback — and feeling a bit lost as a result.