If you’re in school, are you enjoying your classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?
I went back to school when I was 50 to get a Master of Social Work degree. An MSW opens the door to private practice counseling, which was my goal. I chose to do the work in the three-year part-time program that was available.
I’d been a teacher for many years, so being in school was not new to me. Being in the student desk was a big change, though, and one I didn’t always like. When you’re used to being the head of the classroom, it can be hard to make the switch 🙂
I loved the studying and learning. I wrote 47 papers, anywhere from ten to thirty pages in length. There was a lot of research involved, but I’ve always enjoyed doing research. It didn’t take me long to catch up on the differences in style for doing those papers. When I was doing my undergrad, I was using a typewriter. Footnotes were at the bottom of each page, and we used a lot of “ibid” and “op.cit.” (Old people will know what that means!) It’s much easier now, with style changes and working on a computer. What blessing to be able to rearrange whole paragraphs without using whiteout!
There were some challenges. The year I had to take Research and Statistics just about did me in. The research wasn’t a problem. Stats, however, will have a special place in hell.
My favorite paper was my final one, and my professor doubted I’d be able to find any information. I had chosen to write a paper dealing with the connection, if any, between faith/religion and use or abstinence from alcohol. I found a little book called Staggering Steeples that was a wealth of information and statistics. There were also dozens of articles around the same topic in magazines and journals specific to social work. I loved writing that paper, and my professor was pretty impressed 🙂
Would I go back to school now? Nope. No reason to do so. I would get a PhD only if I wanted to teach in the field, which I don’t. I’m happy in my work, have no need or desire to continue my education any more than I have to in getting my CEU requirements in every two years. I don’t miss the tons of reading, the deadlines, the papers.
It was kind of fun, though, to be the grandma in most of my classes. There was one other woman, older than I, who started the course when I was in my third year. Other than that, I was always the senior person, sometimes older than the professor. I enjoyed it, but no, I wouldn’t go back.