Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Second Chance in Life - Back to School

Students taking a test at the University of Vi...Image via WikipediaBy Irena Pergjika

Nothing is certain when it comes to our sharply competitive world. Amidst bank bailouts, and economical crashes it is difficult to keep a job, let alone find one, especially when the people lining up for the job you want have five different degrees. The harsh reality is that we are all replaceable no matter how effective we might be at performing our job.

Right now you probably have a job that keeps you comfortable, a job that in all likelihood you dislike, but have no choice but to deal with it since you have nowhere else to go and a family to feed.

I would like you to imagine leading life as the poorest citizen of this country. Without a high school diploma, you have settled for a dead end job that pays just enough for you to afford the rent. Strapped for cash, you try to figure out ways in which you can satisfy your personal needs, yet come up short every single month.

The only thing certain in your life are the bills which come in, like clockwork, every single month. Living such a life would lead one have constant anxiety for fear of running out of cash. Fortunately for you and for many others who fell short on completing a degree or a high school diploma, there is hope!

Ask yourself, is it a good idea to go back to school?

In short: YOU BET IT IS! Getting your GED is the first step onwards to your personal success. The more rungs you reach on the educational ladder the more doors you will notice opening up. However, going back to school is not an easy task to do after years of being away from the education arena.

Initially it might be tough to get back into the rigor and routine required of a student. Change is and will always be something difficult to achieve, and going back to school will require you to change your lifestyle. Once you me the decision to go back to school there will be no more watching TV for endless hours, catching up with friends every weekend or going partying as soon as you get the chance.

All the free time you have now will be replaced with endless hours in front of your computer completing an assignment, reading material on your way to work and the 8 hours of sleep you get every night will be replaced with "I'll sleep when I can." Just like everything else in life school requires serious commitment.

Although it is going to be hard and you'll be restless for half of the year, nothing beats the satisfaction of achieving your goal. Once you submit that final paper and finish answering the last question on your test booklet, it is all worth it once you see the straight A's across the board.

I like to think of it this way: Day by day, semester after semester, I'm a step closer to fulfilling my dream. You can do it, everybody can, you just have to set a goal and do everything possible to complete it! Don't give up as soon as things get harder because at the end it's all worth it, trust me.

Getting started

People drop out from high school for many reasons. There is the inability of balancing both work and school, being left without a choice by having to work in order to provide for your family, or simply peer pressure. You can always consider GED - life's second chance to pursue your dream and making it in this world.

You might think it's too late for you to attend school since you've been away from school for so long but you're wrong! No matter what your age group, it is never too late to continue with what you left unfinished. Open a new tab and start searching for the nearest GED center that will provide you with the class schedule and the examination booklet.

Attending class and keeping up with your daily schedule can be hard, and in some instances may act as a set up for failure. Thankfully, there are programs that you can easily find online which provide you with the assistance and preparation needed to ace tests and the final exam without you having to go any further than your computer. It only gets better!

If you feel that you don't need the extra practice tests and the courses, you can proceed to the final examination right away. However, I personally recommend for those who have been out of school for some time, and didn't keep up with the material to take some courses just to become more familiar with the material in order to refresh your memory.

What's next?

After you successfully complete your GED, it's important that you continue your education. Two year schools offer Associate Degrees in many fields such as Nursing, Arts, Early childhood education and many more. To complete an Associate's Degree you usually require 60 credits but that number might vary on what major you decide to pursue.

Many colleges offer morning and evening classes to best fit everyone's schedule, but online courses are available as well. You can also seek programs that don't require two years for completion. You can get training and start working right away after just a few months. Such trainings are available for EMT's, Mechanics, Motorcycle mechanics, home attendants and more.

It all sounds nice and dandy and I'm pretty sure your heart is pumping fast from all the exciting possibilities, but when it comes to paying for all these programs many people fall behind and end up dismissing the idea of going back to school all together. This is where many people are wrong!

There are many ways you can pay for school, such as applying for financial aid or creating a payment plan with your school. For many students financial aid helps pay for most of their tuition, and whatever is left gets paid for out of pocket. Alternatively one can set up a payment plan with the school. Other options are available depending on which school you decide to attend.

So in the end, this is only the beginning for you. No, there are no more excuses to make. The doors are open to those who are willing to walk through them. As I stated here, it does take time and commitment, but the pay off is tremendous. Not only is the prize an upstaged lifestyle, but the feeling of accomplishment. It is time to grab the steering wheel of your life, and turn towards success! Do not deny this to yourself any longer, and go back to school!

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