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To College or not to College, That is the question

How do I decide if I should go back to college?

The roots of education are bitter
photo credit: Schlüsselbein2007

Recently I’ve been regretting my decision to blow off college ten years ago and never really finish my degree. Back then, it seemed like a waste of time and money. I was young, a bit burnt out from pushing myself harder academically in high school than I probably should have, and somewhat short sighted. I had this idea in my head that just being smart and hard working would eventually either land me a high paying job, or I would end up a creative genius that was too good to sell out. It was a time in my life when I thought being starving artist meant be awesome and cool.  What can I say, I was stupid.

The Advice my Father gave me

My dad once told me, Go to college and major in business. Then even if you want to be a writer or a painter, at least you will know how to make money doing it.” Now here it is, ten years later, and I’m finally realizing that this was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given in regards to education. I wish that I had taken that advice back then. Instead, I did something crazy. I double majored in English and French. That’s right, English and French. I’m not even sure what I thought I would do with that. I had some ambition of going on to become a linguist, and working as a translator in the international business world as a way of funding my lifestyle while working on the greatest novel ever written.

One day, I still plan to write that novel, its just not coming along as well as 18 year old me thought it would.

Why would I go back?

Here I am, a decade later. I have a fairly comfortable job that gives me a fairly comfortable lifestyle, but its not the fulfilling creative outlet that I’ve always craved. I like my job, but I still think of it as just that, a job. I began writing online at the end of September last year, and have discovered that its probably the greatest thing I ever could have done. I would love to find myself in a place a year or two from now that I could make a living by writing. It would fulfill two of my egotistical requirements, 1 – I’d be creating something that had value, and 2 – there would be people actually listening to me spout my silly words out into the universe instead of just humoring me.

In pursuing this goal, I started looking at what I’m doing as a little bit more of a business and a little bit less of a hobby. This got me doing research on things like starting a company, a tax laws, and how to hire an illegal immigrant for a couple of dollars an hour to do my actual work for me. You know, the usual business stuff. As I was doing this research, of course questions began to come up and I turned to the all knowing hivemind we call twitter to see if anyone had some answers. I got one.

“Local community colleges have classes on business.”

It hit me. Yes, yes they do, and I bet I have a couple of classes that might still apply to these things. I jumped over to my local community college’s web page (http://mcckc.edu/), and started looking at business degree programs. The more I was looking at it the more I thought to myself, I could do this, it probably would help me with what I want to do, but, should I? Do I need to?

Is this something I’m serious about?

I still haven’t answered that last question, and I think its ultimately the only one that matters. There is no point in going back to school if you’re not serious about it. If you’re not going to put everything into it, then it is still just a waste of time an money.  I know that getting a degree, even an associated degree will help me open doors for myself. I know that taking classes will help me figure out this whole how to run your own business thing. Ultimately, what it comes down to is simple. Am I finally ready to commit myself to doing it?

I’m just not sure yet.

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

6 thoughts on “To College or not to College, That is the question”

  1. Dravenkain says:

    MCC is a pretty good school in my opinion! Both Canaan and I have taken classes there, and when I did transfer the people @ MMC knew what I would need in order to make the process smooth. However, take your time and make a comittment because you know how crazy my life is most days.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      If I decided I’m going back to school it will be MCC at least until I get my Associates. Really its a matter of deciding if I truly am dedicated enough this time around to stay the course.

  2. Canaan Roling says:

    yeah, that dedicated part is important. Dedicated and no family…a perfect school combination. don’t get me wrong I am EXTREMELY proud of my hubby, but man, if we’d done this the right way I really don’t think either of us would be so tired. No matter what, yes I am going to be sappy, I am proud of who you have become in the past two years.:D

  3. Dravenkain says:

    “Really its a matter of deciding if I truly am dedicated enough this time around to stay the course.”

    Trust me, your dedicated enough, but that is for you to realize. Because I have seen your dedication before, and it is a tour of force

  4. Tracy Ann Mangold says:

    I hope you do go back. It took me ten years to get through college – due to family issues – parents’ divorce, health problems in my family meaning I stayed home to give care and of course, I worked on a ranch and in the Bob Marshall Wilderness as a camp cook. So I only went half a year most years. Finally in 1996 – six years after high school, I knuckled down and went to college full time. It is a decision I am so happy I made. It was the time of my life. I always tell people you cannot compare college to high school. They couldn’t be more different. If I could go back to college RIGHT now, this instant, I would NOT hesitate. In fact, at some point, I do plan to go back and get my Masters and a Ph.D. but that is a ways away. I’m now 38 and I still don’t think I am too old for school.

    If you get a chance to go, take it. Grab it with gusto and throw yourself headlong into it. Revel in it, enjoy it, thrive in the intellectual food you will be feeding your brain, your heart and your soul. You won’t regret it if you give yourself fully to it.

    I pray you go. Keep us posted! Just remember, you have to do what feels right to you. Just don’t ever, ever think you are too old. 🙂

  5. M.A. Brotherton says:

    I really appreciate the encouragement. I filled out my FAFSA today and applied for Metro Community College for Summer Semester.

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