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September is Taking Me Back to School (And I’m So Excited About It!)

September 11, 2019
September is Taking Me Back to School_ Tiny Ambitions

For the first time in five years since I finished my Master’s degree, I’m going back to school. Well, sort of. I’m completing an online certificate program, part-time. Because, as it turns out, working full time, and having a blog and sometimes podcast (with other side podcasts in the works), means that my time is not what it used to be. Oh yeah, and that pesky thing called a mortgage still needs to get paid every month.

This isn’t the sort of thing I’ve written about here, but I think it was worth sharing since it’s probably going to have a not insignificant impact on my work here.

Why even bother going back to school? Well, given that I have two degrees already, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that I like learning. when I was setting up my binders for the two courses I’m taking this fall (and yes, I know, binders are so 2005), I was so excited by the prospect of learning something new. I also love being organized, so the binders play perfectly into that.

I’m not the kind of person who believes that you can (or should, frankly) have one job or career for your whole life. Let’s ignore the statistics that show that we are likely to have 5 or 6 major career changes in our lives. Beyond the numbers, I just get bored easily, in jobs. I’ve been in my current position for two years and that is the longest I have ever been with one organization before.

I saw a tweet a couple of years ago now that still annoys me when I think about it. The general vibe was, ‘if you get bored easily in your job, the job isn’t the problem’. First of all, Mark (fake name), I don’t appreciate the personal attack. Second, people can get bored. We change our minds about what interests us or we up-skill and outgrow jobs (which is increasingly relevant in our current economy).

I’ve been doing the same kind of job for almost five years. I got hired in marketing right out of grad school, despite that not even remotely being what my education is in, and I have yet to stray from the marketing model. So yeah, it’s fair to say that I’m getting a teensy bit bored of the status quo. That’s not to say I want to leave my current organization. But, I don’t want to turn down opportunities to enhance or broaden my skill set when they present themselves.

Given the personal finance sphere I sometimes find myself in, I genuinely wondered if going back to school made financial sense. If I want to reach financial independence, and/or retire early, spending precious dollars on tuition didn’t make sense. That money would be better off being invested and letting the benefits of compound interest work its magic. However, thanks to the personal development gods at my organization, I not only receive a MASSIVE discount on tuition, I can also submit a good portion of it for total reimbursement. (Don’t get me started on how it is fair that I, as a salaried employee, have access to cheaper tuition than full-time students. it doesn’t make sense to me).

As I have been in my field for so long (lol five years is an eternity, folks), I started to keep my eyes peeled for other fields that may pique my interest. Thanks to an opportunity I had to sit on an interview panel for a human rights position that was recently hired at my organization, I had the great idea to try out Human Resources as my next foray into higher education.

When I consider my previous educational pursuits (anthropology, international development, geography, and digital marketing), human resources doesn’t seem like a totally off-hand idea. On a personal level, I am genuinely fascinated by how humans interact, communicate and organize themselves. This fascination was first piqued by anthropology during my Bachelor’s degree and continued during my Master’s degree where my thesis studied how people do or do not collaborate for mutual benefit. As an awkward turtle of a human being, the irony is not lost on me that I want to learn more and explore human tendencies. I just want to be one of you! And not whatever weird robot thing I currently am.

So, I’m going back to school. Because I am overly ambitious and wanted to take full advantage of all of my organization’s PD opportunities, I am taking two courses this semester. Is that a bad idea? Based on the two, 3-hour long final exams I will have to write in December, my preliminary guess would be yes.

However, I am excited to learn something outside of my normal daily realm of social media and digital marketing. I am also excited to have the chance to read more on a daily basis things that aren’t just in the minimalism or personal finance sphere (I still love you, blog friends). Basically, I’m excited to broaden my horizons.

I would say that it feels weird to be going back to school. But, it doesn’t. I’ve only been out of school for five years and not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about going back to do one thing or another.

You can take the person out of academia, but you can’t take academia out of the person.

Are you learning any new skills right now? I’d love to hear all about them. 

Image Credit: Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

  • Erin | Reaching for FI September 12, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Ahhh that’s so exciting! I LOVE the idea of going back to school and learning things, but I cannot at all take the thought of doing coursework. I guess I’m still super burned out from all the papers I wrote, even though I graduated five years ago? I do have a certification that I’ll probably get through work, so I’ll have to see how that goes.

    Also I don’t know how long it’s been around because I have been so bad at reading people’s posts the last few months, but I love the site redesign!

    • Britt September 13, 2019 at 7:17 am

      Doing homework will not be my favourite part of this whole experience, that is for sure. And thank you! I think I’ve had the redesign up since July? I’ve also been terrible at reading other people’s work this summer, but hoping to get back into the swing of things!

  • Sarah | Smile & Conquer September 11, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    I always thought I would go back to school and do my masters but then I ended up with a job I truly enjoy and a decade flew by. I just signed up for an online course to complete this fall/winter buts a requirement for work and pretty darn boring.

    I also love school and learning so I’d be interested in taking random courses at some point.

    • Britt September 11, 2019 at 10:45 pm

      That’s too bad that your course is required. That takes all the fun or if it! But I hope you get to do some other random courses in the future. Continuing education departments often have really cool, out there courses that might be right up your alley.

  • Brooke September 11, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I’m also taking a certificate program starting in October. The cost (kindly paid by my employer) is also steeply discounted compared to anyone outside my company. Our company partnered with the school and donated experts to help write the content and develop the certificate program curriculum, so it makes complete sense that our company gets a discounted rate for our employees to take it.

    • Britt September 11, 2019 at 10:47 pm

      It’s great that your company was able to provide some benefit to the school! In general,I just think higher education needs to be more accessible, even in Canada where we already have pretty subsidized tuition rates. Thanks for reading! And good luck with your certificate!

  • Amanda @ My Life, I Guess... (@mylifeiguess) September 11, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Now that I’m a full-timer, I too have access to amazing PD funds and steep tuition discounts 😉 — And yes, you are absolutely right about how that doesn’t make sense…
    I haven’t looked into yet, but I am absolutely planning to take some online classes, as well. Probably in the HR realm, too, considering that’s the industry I’m working in (with little experience, other then being a job seeker myself for so long!). Or maybe I’ll flip and take something in Marketing.
    Either way, I think it’s so smart to utilize whatever “work perks” you can, especially if it’s to your benefit! Hopefully your courses go well 🙂

    • Britt September 11, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      Woot for full time! And absolutely, you should definitely take advantage of everything you can while it’s available to you. I will say that I’ve really enjoyed online so far. Not being tied to a specific schedule is glorious. Let me know if you’re going to take an HR course, maybe we’ll end up being in it together!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.