Adult Education

By on 3-22-2012 in Featured, Laurie Learns

Adult Education

I should be studying right now. I’m taking a final in a sociology class tomorrow morning (intro to sociology – social movements). Instead I’m just thinking about studying as an adult. And I’m thinking how lucky I am to be able to work on getting my university degree. My husband is supportive, my work gives me flexibility and while it is a financial challenge sometimes to pay for each course, my university (Athabasca University which I HIGHLY recommend!) allows me to take courses at a slow pace so I can spread out the spending.

I don’t have a goal in getting a degree. Well, some days I do, but I can’t decide from day to day if I’m ever going to change careers or if I’m going to keep growing my business, which I do really love. My main goals are just to learn tons of really interesting stuff and set an example for my children that learning is a lifelong and valuable pursuit. And so far I am already on top of the learning really interesting stuff and since my kids see me studying, and listen as I tell my husband about my courses, I think that goal is covered too. Yay me!

I didn’t even consider going to university when I was in high school, except maybe in that vague way of thinking it might be interesting.  During high school, all I cared about was getting out. Out of my home, out of being dependent, just…out. My stepfather was an abusive alcoholic and it damaged me more than I realized. I was a good student too, honor roll and AP classes, that type of thing. I loved school in and of itself. I liked to learn, but in my family people rarely even finished high school (seriously I have two sisters and neither has their high school diploma). It was this big deal when I graduated and it was just pretty much expected that I’d get a job and work and probably have a baby before too long. I’m only 36 by the way, it’s not like I grew up in the dark ages. Somehow I actually missed realizing how common it was for people to go to university. I didn’t think I could afford it and I didn’t really even think about student loans as a possibility. So naive. Makes me sad now to think about it.

A couple of years working part-time at a bank and part-time at McDonald’s made me want more. I decided to go back to school, but even though I’d always wanted to be a lawyer it still didn’t really seem like a reasonable plan for me at that point, so I went to paralegal school instead. I really enjoyed it, did really well at it and for a few years I didn’t look back. Then I got pregnant with my oldest.

I took my first university course when Iwent off work early for maternity leave. I was uncomfortably full of breastmilk during my first final exam. Actually I think that exam was probably the first time I left my little guy for more than an hour or so! I took a couple more courses over the next couple of years, but found that motherhood and work were keeping me busy enough to neglect my plans for getting a degree. In the last year or so though I’ve really found focus again. And when I took my first sociology course last year I knew I’d found an area to really concentrate in, because I really, really enjoy the material, even when I don’t agree with some of it. Hopefully I’ll be registering for my next class soon – I just have to decide between Sociology of Families and Sociology and Crime. Hard choices!

Ok – back to studying, wish me luck!

Featured image © inacio pires –