"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." Maria Robinson
Making a career change is not any easy affair. Almost every job opening in today's market requires a specialized degree. If one decides to take this challenge, most likely going back to college will be in their future. The idea of college for someone who has been working for over 10 years can be quite intimidating.
My decision to leave behind a career as a Veterinary Technician and leap forward into a career as a Nurse was not an easy choice. It had been a year since my separation for a long-term boyfriend and I was struggling to "make ends meet." I became accustomed to being able to split my bills with somebody, now I was on my own. I had moved from Nashville to a small town in Kentucky, after my separation, to be closer to my parents. The closest city was almost two hours away. I found myself longing to get back to a city. I missed being in Nashville.
It was a hot and humid summer day, I was exhausted from working 50-55 hours a week where I was constantly on my feet. Sitting on the kitchen table, in front of me was the mail. I quickly threw out the junk mail; I was left with one envelope. It was my semi-annual bill for car insurance. I had been so busy that I had forgotten to budget for my insurance. I had no choice. I needed to borrow some money.
I decided to lean on my parents. We are close and asking for money isn't usually a big deal. The idea that I was 31, working overtime and still not able to pay the bills was very depressing. I also felt frustration and anger. I could feel it in the pit of my stomach, churning.
I enjoyed my job at a Veterinary clinic a great deal and I worked exceptionally hard to be the best employee. I was always buzzing around the clinic as fast as I could making sure all our clients and patients were taken care of. Unfortunately working your behind off in the animal field doesn't necessarily result a great paycheck. Another downside was I had no benefits and no health insurance. I asked myself what would happen if I get sick and would I be able to afford any kind of treatment. The answer was no.
I needed to make a life changing decision. Do I continue to struggle financially and continue to feel like I had no stability in my life or should I make a career change? I pondered these questions for several weeks. Upon discussing my future options with my parents I decided to make a big move and go back to college. I set my future goal to become a nurse, acquire my BSN degree and perhaps a master degree. The final deciding factor was something my father said, "If you become a Nurse then I will no longer have to worry about you."
This new door that was opening gave me several choices to make. The biggest choice I had to make was where I was going to attend college. I loved living in Nashville and this was my opportunity to move back. I had several options for schools: Aquinas, Belmont, Lipscomb, TSU, or Vanderbilt. Each college had their pros and cons. I weighed them carefully. I chose TSU because it was a public university. I couldn't justify going $50,000 + in debt to further my education.
After completing my first week at school I was a little over whelmed. I wondered could I do this, do I remember how to study. I looked around and realized that there was many people that in the same boat as me. I was surprised how many non-traditional students I found in my classes. If they could do it so could I and I would do it even better. It took me a while to get back into the swing of things. I found myself hitting home runs; making A's in subjects I had no background in like Chemistry.
I am in my third semester at TSU. I have a long way to travel to get to my final destination. I try not to be discouraged by the length of the trip. I focus on what I am doing right now and try to remember to enjoy the road I am on. I look forward to meeting new people and the experiences that I will treasure on this journey. When I get to that final exit I will have accomplished one of my largest tasks I have ever taken on. There I hope to find the happiness, contentment, and the stability I long for.