Ready or Not #237: Being Prepared by Getting Smarter

Been busy?  What a silly question!  I know I have been.  With Christmas now come and gone, I feel good.  Tired, but good.  Now is the time to sit back and finish off the chocolates and goodies and contemplate the New Year that has so quickly coming upon us.

I asked my son if he had any New Year’s resolutions.  He laughed and said that he didn’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  He said if you want to do something, then just do it!  Don’t sit around waiting to make a goal which you never really intend to keep – just do it!  He’s got a point.

But…

If you have decided that you have a goal that you want to achieve (like tracking your finances or figuring out your food storage worksheets), and it just happens to be around the first week or two of January that you have chosen to start, then I say, “Go for it!”

I did.  That is one of the reasons that I am so tired.  I have been filling out scholarship and grant applications.  Nope, not for my kids, but for me.  Yep, I’m going back to school.

In order to be able to provide better for my family now – or at all in the future – I need to earn that coveted piece of paper that says one has earned a Bachelor’s degree.  I’m kind of excited.  I have also started having math class nightmares – and I have already fulfilled my math requirements!  (Thank goodness.  I don’t know that I could have made it through another algebra class.)

I did attend college when I was younger (nearly three decades ago), but when I finally decided that I needed to go back, I just didn’t have the energy or monetary backing to start completely over.  And that was exactly what most of the higher education institutions wanted me to do.  I had been out of college for more than 10 years (obviously) and so I guess they just figured that I had gotten stupid when it came to Health 101 and History 100.

For goodness sakes, I lived through most of what students learn about in their history classes these days.  Okay, not the Civil War, but the Vietnam War and several presidential elections.  I was there, don’t make me relive it – and then I just know that I would have to disagree with the spin history books insisted really happened.  Things could get real bad (but I would have high marks for class participation…)

But I digress…

Knowing that I really needed to stretch myself by going back to college, I started looking for an institution that respected the sweat and tears (and there were a lot of tears) that I invested in my youth.  I was also hoping that if I had learned something on my own (like how to use Excel – or the ability to reason through a problem – a.k.a. ‘thinking’) then I would have the option to test out and not waste my time or my meager resources re-learning stuff.  And then I found it.  My perfect fit.

I will start attending Western Governors University (WGU) February 1, 2012.  Am I excited?  Absolutely!  Am I scared to death?  Even more ABSOLUTELY!  It has been more than 26 years since I have had to write a class paper or since I have taken a test.  Am I going to finish my degree?  Yes – with even more sweat and many more tears!

Being prepared is more than just storing lots of water and cases of toilet (and you know how important those items are), but being prepared also includes how well you can financially take care of yourself and your family.  If that means going back to school and getting a better education, then go back to school and get educated.

I know, easier said than done – until now.

If you are a non-traditional student (basically anybody that is not a late teen or very young adult) and desire to further your education so that you can better prepare yourself for the future, WGU is an absolutely wonderful alternative to the typical university.  WGU is a very affordable, completely on-line, university that is fully accredited and is competency based, not seat-time based.  They offer several different courses of study (Business, Nursing, Teaching and more) and even several Master’s programs.

Of course you have to know your study habits and know if you have the motivation to apply yourself without having to physically attend a brick and mortar institution.  But once you get past the traditional way of acquiring knowledge, I think that you will find it quite stimulating.  And it is less expensive than other on-line or brick and mortar schools.  Thank goodness.

And I am so glad that this is the LAST time that I will have to take an entrance exam!  As a matter of fact I think that will be one of my New Year’s resolutions: “Finish my education so that I don’t ever have to take another college entrance exam!”  I know I can keep that resolution.

Wish me luck in getting prepared.

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