Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Just reading another blog about Continuing Education. One of the posts was entitled, "Should You go Back to School: Eight Things to Consider Before Deciding to Go Back to School." One of the eight things to consider was "Do you have the support you need?"

Being a nontrad is tough enough as it is - going back to school after a certain age, after being out of school for a number of years, because you've lost your job, etc. - without throwing in a family, aging parents and a full time (or part time) job. It makes one feel like the guy trying to keep all the spinning plates in the air and spinning.

That's why we need support - from family members, friends and employers. Before I made the decision to go back to school, I asked my family about it. Husband and children were fine with the idea. However, when we got into the thick of things about a year ago, husband no longer wanted to be the "House Dad". I sighed, sat down with him and talked about it. He's better now.

I knew I could not go back to school with younger children. I remember my own mother returning to school when I was a pre-teen with little brothers and sisters and I remember how hard it was for my family without Mom there. Dad did a good job in picking up the slack, but it was still hard not having my Mom around when I needed her.

My children are very supportive of my pursuit of a college education. My middle son still has a bit of a hard time with it because he doesn't think he and I should be in school at the same time - something about my age. Hmmm. At least we're not on the same campus.

My sisters and Mom are very supportive. I also have a brother and brother-in-law who are back in school - online, though. My extended family is a family of learners! We are all very supportive of one another.

Deb's Continuing Education blog and Elizabeth Sheppard's blog are two blogs I find to be very supportive regarding nontraditional students. Deb and Elizabeth are great cheerleaders. I have family and friends who are great cheerleaders as well. It's great to have support as I hash through this process.

What about you? What is your support structure? Family? Friends? Profs? In the construction of one's college education and future, one needs sufficient scaffolding. Do you have the support you need? If not, find an online group, like Deb's and Elizabeth's. Stay tuned . . .

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