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Going Back To School: Is It Worth It?

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Christi Stapleton is a Christian wife and Mom who is in a graduate school cohort through her undergrad Alma Mater. She also loves and teaches first graders all day! She writes at Blah Blah Blog, Blah Blah Reviews and Showered by Blessings.

Get up. Get ready to go to work. Get 5 and 7 year old dressed, fed, and out the door. Teach first grade all day. Go to meeting after school. Once home, help with homework while hubby gets dinner (Bless him!) Go to meeting after dinner. Get boys bathed, teeth brushed, devotions said, in bed.

homeworkPhew! Now I get to sit down and relax for a bit! Right? Not exactly…I have to do MY homework!

Yep, I’ve headed back to school. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but here I am: 14 years after finishing my undergrad, I’m hitting the books again. I am working toward a Master’s Degree in Reading and hope to fulfill my dream of becoming a Reading Specialist.

Nervous is one word that describes how I felt about going back to school. I was nervous about having to study again, nervous about how to balance my classes with work, family, church, and sanity, and nervous about how it would affect my family. I was worried that I couldn’t keep up with the workload.

Philip knocking on the door outside the ColesiumThen there was the dream I had that I tried to enter a classroom on campus, they wouldn’t let me in!

But nerves aside, it is working out well. I have learned several things on the journey thus far. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Prioritize!

Day 127: To Do ListThough part of me would love to sit at every ball practice that my children have, it isn’t the best use of my time. Take advantage of times when the house is quiet. Sometimes you have to turn off the “Mama Guilt” instinct and insist on time to do work.

2. Your study skills will come back to you.
Pink Highlighter GuyYou may even realize that you are more of a perfectionist than you were when last you cracked a textbook. You will remember how to prepare for tests, write papers, and even your forgotten love of highlighters!

3. Life will not cease to exist if you’re housework doesn’t get done.

77. it shakes all over like a jelly fishHonestly, my house has never been spotless. I’ve had to learn to ‘let go’ of things that bother me some in order to focus on my homework. Yes, it’s still irritating, but I have to remember that this is temporary. Though it may inconvenience us for a while, it is ultimately FOR my family that I am pursuing this degree.

4. The pros outweigh the cons.
I love the satisfaction of getting a paper back with a good grade, or knowing that I did well on a quiz. I also enjoy showing both my own children and my students that adults can learn things, too. It is reassuring to know that I am working toward a goal of helping others learn to read. I especially love knowing that I am following my passion.

Is it hard to go back to school? Yes. Would I do it over again? Absolutely.
Is it worth it? Without a doubt.


Photo Credits: Vatsug, rachelak, jugbo, maltesefalcon59, dogbomb

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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