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New mommy. Southern. Conservative. Sorority woman. Army wife. Avid reader.

20 May 2010

Back to School? Maybe?

Ayres Hall, University of Tennessee, 2005Image via Wikipedia
Blogskeeping first, then blogging: I've seen a lot of blogs doing "ask me anything" types of things to introduce themselves to all of their new readers. I'm not really sure anyone wants to know anything about me, but if you want to ask me something, go for it! I'll see if I can get enough questions to make a post out of it in a few days. 

After months of dead ends in the job hunting world, I'm seriously considering going back to school. Again. The idea has always been in the back of my mind and I think I have always figured I would end up back in school at some point. I enjoy school. I enjoy learning. I feel like I am completely unmarketable at this point. That is hard for me to swallow when I look at how much time I have already spent in school and have racked up in student loans. I'm immensely proud of graduating from Vanderbilt, but was it worth it? Pride wise, sure. It's one of the few things I can say I'm proud of in my life. However, that degree really has not done much for me professionally. I wish I would have known that social studies teachers are not exactly in high demand. I wish I would have known that if you are female and you aren't a coach, you more than likely will not be teaching social studies in high school. I set out to teach government and psychology. If I were teaching those subjects, I think I would love it. The two years that I have taught were in middle school geography. I don't like middle school and I'm not particularly great at geography. Therefore, I haven't enjoyed my teaching experiences at all. And if I'm honest, I don't think I've been very good at it. I think it's partially due to the grade and subject matter, but what if I just wasn't meant to teach at all?

When I graduated from college, I had been accepted to the University of Tennessee's graduate program in social work. I was planning on moving to New Hampshire with the guy I thought I was going to marry a few months after graduating, though, so I didn't attend. That was an epic mistake. I worked a couple of jobs in entry-level mental health positions and found it incredibly depressing.  Every job opportunity dealt with the "system" of DCS, DHS, agencies that weren't accomplishing much, etc. I didn't want to see neglected and abused children every day of my life getting screwed over by a system that sucked. I felt like if I continued my education in psych or social work, that was where I would end up. Eventually I made the decision to pursue my M.Ed. and teaching certification. Another awesome decision by me, right?

I have now found so many jobs that I think I would enjoy that require a MSSW or MS in Counseling. Jobs that I would find rewarding. Jobs that aren't like the ones I held in the years between college and grad school. UTK now has their MSSW program online, too. I don't know if it is something I should pursue or not. I'll be 32 this summer and I want to sign up for at least 2 more years of school? More student loans? Hell, I'm never going to be able to pay off what I have now. But in doing so, I might be able to find a career that I enjoy. Well, finding a job in general would be a plus right now, but I digress. If things work out with the Captain, then I'll be moving in a few months. That makes the program being offered online a huge advantage, but will both of us being in school full-time be a problem? (He's hoping to go to Naval Postgrad next year.) I'm terrible at making decisions. My track record for poor decision making doesn't help matters any. I have to do something, I just don't know what. Maybe I can fulfill that dream of being a Tennessee grad after all?

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ines said...

I completely know how you feel. I just graduated from my masters and I'm thinking of doing another one. I did my undergrad in something that I've barely used. Now that I've graduated with my masters...well, lets just say that moving around and not living in a big city is going to affect getting a job in what I studied.
I hope that everything works out for you!!!

Now, here's my questions *drum roll please*...what is your most embarrassing moment?

Sespi said...

Tough call! I finished my Masters in international policy, then realized that Augusta, GA, is not a hotbed of policy making. I considered going back for my PhD in psychology, but after looking at jobs realized that I didn't really want to change my career field. I like psychology... but I don't like it in a career way. Plus by the time I finished my MA, I was so ready to be done and I swore that I was done with school. It was a lot of going back of and forth though, because it's a big decision.

My advice to you is that if you think you would be happier with the jobs you could get with another degree, it's totally worth it -- in spite of the money and time you'll have to invest in it. Life is short, do what makes you happy :)

Grace said...

Girl, I wish I had any type of degree!!! I literally have had people tell me not to waste my money going to college if I don't know what I want to do. I don't think it would be a waste, I think it would be an accomplishment. I still don't plan on having a career any time soon. I want to have more children possibly and plan on staying home still. Anyhow, I agree with some about your goals. If you like school and it will help you have a career you will enjoy, it may be worth it. I encourage you to talk with the Captain (if you are that serious) because should you get married one day, those loans will be his loans! Just my opinion! I hope you are great Heather!
-Laurie (signed in under my daughter)

Julie said...

An education is never wasted :)

Just Anchored said...

When I saw your picture of Ayers I got excited, although I *hate* that building because it houses all Math classes and because it sits on the dreaded "hill" I still love UTK. I went there for undergrad, and while I didn't finish (shame on me), I definitely had some great teachers. I really respect your love of learning, it is something that I have struggled with. I'm a life learner, I really do poorly with books and tests. I wish you luck in whatever you do!

Just Anchored said...

I also meant to say that I know quite a few people who have gone through and gotten their masters through UTK and while it is brutal, they did say it was well worth it!

Anonymous said...

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Taylor said...

I just graduated with my teaching degree and am on the job hunt too, apparantly, so many people are getting their 'alternative certification' certificate that it makes the profession overwhelmed with applicants. I am looking into graduate school in the near future also.

Good luck!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

I hope you find something soon!