Returning to School After a Long Break

So despite all my bitching about school and student loans, I’ve returned to school this fall. I’m getting my master’s in Library and Information Science. It’s still not something that’s going to make me a ton of money but it’s something I’m going to enjoy doing. And in the end, I’ve decided that’s a lot more important.

I have not been in school since the fall of 2009. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to sit in a classroom and deal with homework. It’s been quite an adjustment. Here are just a few of the things I’ve had to deal with.

Seeing all the undergrads walking around campus.
new girl - there are youth everywhere
OK, I get these kids are young. But I’m only 28, they can’t be THAT much younger than me. Why do so many of them look like they could be in middle school? And don’t get me started on some of the underclassmen that gave me a cougar-like reaction.

Realizing that the price of textbooks hasn’t gone down a penny.
uncle jesse - full house - why am i not surprised
I’m taking four classes and each class requires two textbooks. There goes an entire month’s paycheck on books. No it’s cool, I didn’t need to eat or anything this month.

Giving up on eating solid meals. 
parks and recs - avoid salad
I don’t have a healthy diet on a regular schedule. Add 30-35 hours of work and four grad school classes and it’s chocolate and ice cream and whatever else I can easily stuff down my throat for the rest of the semester. I have lost 4 four pounds since class started so take that all you diet gurus!

Finding out that teachers still make you do oral presentations. 
friends - phoebe - stop tormenting me
My anxiety can’t handle this! Forcing a student to do a presentation in front of the whole class should be illegal. I am already having a panic attack over a presentation I need to do in December. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on some Klonopin? I’m gonna need it.

Getting your total bill for the semester.
It's always sunny - cash from my money tree
So my school makes you fill out the FAFSA form for financial aid. I fill it out and then call a week later to find out when it would be processed and when I could find out if I’ll get anything. I’m swiftly told that as a grad student I’m not eligible for any financial aid. It gets better. I am approved for student loans! Yay! But as a grad student the gov’t will not take care of any of the interest like they did while I was an undergrad. All that’s my responsibility. Lovely!

 Looking at the assignments on the class syllabus. 
pretty little liars - i want to enjoy my life again
Oh no, that’s cool. I actually wanted to live in the library from now until December. Thanks for making that dream a reality!

Realizing that you’ve voluntarily signed yourself up for two more years of schooling. 
britney spears - what the hell was i thinking
Oh God, what have I done?

Remembering that in the end it will all be worth it. 
Harry potter - you're gonna suffer but be happy

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35 comments

      1. Love the post. I am thinking of going to law school after being out of school for a couple years. I went and sat in on a law class and felt so old. I was also extremely annoyed at some of the kids that were surfing facebook or shopping the whole class. I wanted to yell at them!!! Why are you wasting money on law school if you just want to surf facebook the whole time! Take it seriously. Then I was reassured at the fact you should wait until you are ready to go back to school so you don’t waste your money and time.

  1. Yay!! First of all, let me say that I am so super pumped that you’re going after what you want, chica. And I’m not biased or anything, but an MLIS degree is only the best degree everrrrr! 😉

    Secondly, I have been there, done that, although my experience was a bit different. I was an online student so walking around campus and seeing all of the youngins surrounding me didn’t really come into play (however I did have some classmates who decided to jump right into grad school after having graduated from college just a mere few months prior).

    Thirdly, the work doe suck sometimes. And yes, you will cash out a chunk full of dough on text books and tuition, eat loads of Cheezits and KitKats (no judgment from this girl) and spend adequate amounts of time in the library. But hey, that’s like, our dream local isn’t it? A win-win for sure.

    But, it will ALL be totally worth it! I can’t even tell you how good it feels to have these doors opened up for me, doors that lead to work that I love, that I am passionate about, that I don’t even really consider work because it’s so much fun!! So hang in there! You’ve got this! 🙂

    1. Aw thanks so much for your comment. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately and your comment made me feel a lot better. It’s nice to hear from someone who just got a degree in the field and is enjoying it. I know in the end, it will be worth it but I can’t help but have these “What was I thinking?” moments!

      1. Good, I’m glad girl. it can be overwhelming at times, but I also had an absolute blast! And if it makes you feel any better, I thought that in all honesty, graduate school was a lot easier than college for some weird, odd reason. Enjoy it, hon! it really will go by so fast and you’ll wish you were back in school (or at least that’s how my crazy self feels sometimes).

  2. My education was interrupted a couple of times due to depression. I have my heart set on returning this spring and finishing up and I WILL do it; my experience over the last couple of months has truly taught me a lot about my own resilience.

    I’m happy for you! I have a friend who just started college at 28 and she’s a married mother with two lovely kids. She’s super mom, juggling work, school and their care, which is immensely difficult when they’re both in the toddler stage!

    YOU CAN DO EEEEET.

    1. Thanks! You’re friend is awesome. I’m barely making it through myself. I could only imagine doing this and having kids to take care of.

      So awesome that you want to return to school in the spring. I know you can do it!

      1. She does it! And she’s a waitress – restaurants boast the most unforgiving schedules known to man, haha.

        I already have an appointment with admissions the second week of October!! YEEEEAAAAH!

  3. I get this, except I’m an undergrad still because I joined the military right out of high school. It’s really bizarre (little annoying?) listening to all the 18 year old men (boys?) who don’t even pay their own phone bills yet planning out these illustrious careers, and I am just shaking my head and thinking about all the terrible statistics I’ve heard about how few of us are even going to graduate within six years. And why did I leave my perfectly good military career again? So that I could spend as many hours per week studying extremely frustrating physics problems as I used to spend working while I was deployed? So I could worry about random shooters at school instead of North Korean missiles at sea? Not really joking. :/

    What I find cruelly funny is that as a student, and actually as a service member too, places like movie theaters, museums, all kinds of things, love to give you discounts… that you have NO time to use!

    Oh well, anyway… you’re a graduate student… doesn’t that mean you get better parking?! 🙂

    1. Starting school, whether undergrad or grad, is always frustrating. You really start questioning why you even started this in the first place.

      The whole discounts thing is ironic. With my school ID, I can get into all the museums and various other cultural centers in NYC, but I don’t have any time to actually use it. Maybe eventually. And luckily, I haven’t had to buy a parking pass because there is a lot of parking in the area surrounding my school.

  4. I work at a library so a lot of my coworkers have a master’s in library science. They all told me to do that because the government will pay back a large portion of your loans. They don’t make much money, but none of them have debt so that’s a plus! It’s awesome you are doing something you enjoy! Sadly, I am one of those college students that look like I should be in middle school. Maybe something I will enjoy when I’m older? I also find chocolate and ice cream to be a very essential part of my diet…sometimes the only part of my diet haha. I bet your semester will go great!

    1. Thanks! I haven’t heard anything about the gov’t paying off my student loans. I really need to look into that. And looking really young is a great thing. I always used to look a lot younger but I think my face is starting to catch up with my age. I’m at that point where I get excited if someone wants to see my ID.

      1. You should look into that because working in a public library is considered a public service job. You can work at a local library or a university library, but I’m pretty sure they pay back half or more of your loans!

      1. 🙂 It does, and it’s a new school too so I have a new campus to get used to. And don’t even talk about the homework. I already know I’m not going to ever sleep again. Thanks for the luck, and same to you! 🙂

  5. You have a gif gift – these perfectly encapsulated my grad experience. I just graduated this summer, and although it was a grueling juggling act at times – totally worth it. The next couple years will fly by. But the youths will just keep looking younger 🙂

  6. The struggle is real. And I second essbee14 on your ability to capture the grad school experience in gif form. You’ve nailed it.

  7. I am thinking of going back to do my Masters in Library and Information Science also. I was going to start mid-year, but this year is crazy full on already and I honestly didn’t even have a scrap of space to study in at home so decided to wait until we move into our new house.
    I got a stack of my texts for my BA through https://booko.com.au/ and Amazon, it seriously saved me hundreds of dollars over the four years. I work in a Uni Library now and even though we are probably supposed to promote the Uni bookstore I tell all my students to look online. I figure a Librarian’s job is to assist their clients in the best way possible and by suggesting they look elsewhere for their books I am sometimes saving them in excess of $20 per item, times 4 subjects that is a minimum of $80 per semester, that is a lot of two minute noodles (in the case of one law text they saved $90).
    Also I don’t know what your Uni is like, but with lost property at many Unis when they get textbooks that have been found anywhere on campus they are just chucked in a pile for a couple of weeks then thrown out (I know, just don’t even get me started!!!) so you should also check out your lost property, you might be able to save a lost textbook before it becomes landfill. It is a green solution for the environment and saves your own green for all that caffeine you are going to need LOL.

    1. I got all my textbooks from Amazon. It seemed to be the cheapest option. That thing with the lost books being thrown away after two weeks is insane! That doesn’t even make sense to me. Why not bring them to the bookstore and sell them as used? They’ll be able to make money and the books won’t go to waste.

      1. I know, I know, don’t even get me started! I have asked about it, I have even kept one of the 2014 texts and asked if they could add it to the Library collection, but I was told this was incorrect procedure and to send it to security.
        With the changes happening in Oz Uni’s next year they are looking for ways to save students money, what about raffling off the lost texts? Small amount per ticket with the funds raised going towards a scholarship or something?
        People need to think outside the box 🙂

  8. Good luck! I always thought the best thing about university was being able to do something that was all for myself, instead of working for the goals of a company I didn’t really about. That’s part of the pressure of it, of course, but also why it’s so fulfilling!

  9. Yikes! And congratulations on taking a chance! I’m in grad school too. It’s not quite as difficult as some folks made it out to be. But it is challenging. Thankfully, I only have two classes next semester. (Of course, I’ll be teaching 40 hours/week…)

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