Yes, you read that blog title right. I am officially back to school. For some of you, this must be a surprise but to those who are part of my close-knit circle, you already know my story.
This year I am turning 40. So I am not young anymore and would probably not the usual age compared to other college students. In fact, I am already a mom of 3 beautiful children. So why am I back to school?
I will bravely share with you my story.
I am a college drop-out. Yes, I haven’t finished my courses (and yes that is plural). My first college course was Mass Communication which I honestly thought was the perfect course that fits my talents and God-given gifts. Back then in college, I was in fact doing so well and flying with colors. But like any other teenager, I got sidetracked because of my first love. I fell in love and eventually got broken-hearted. To make the long story short, I have made a huge mistake in my life dropping out of school for the wrong person. I threw all of my future ahead of me for nothing.
Fast forward a couple of months after the heartbreak, my parents asked me to go back to school in a different course – this time in a medical field which I definitely do not have any inkling at all.
Like my previous course, I studied hard and did well, and aced my exams. Fast forward a couple of years, I did my first internship courses in several hospitals and this is when it hit me, this was never my calling. Working in a hospital set-up was never part of my dream. So even if I was doing so well at school, I asked my parents if I could stop and do some soul searching. I wasn’t sure if this was the part I was meant to be.
In short, I did not finish my medical course.
I managed to get into the career world through the BPO industry – as a customer service associate/call center agent early on in my 20s and that paved the way for my career now as a Virtual Assistant.
So maybe you are asking – so why go back to school Ella?
Well let me give you 3 reasons:
1. I am doing this for me – for the past 2 decades, I have been living my life with regrets in this area. I wish I had finished off my first course and made my parents proud. Where would I have been if I had done such a great job at school now. I always wondered how my mom would react if I gave her my diploma. Well, this enrollment is 5 years late. My mom passed in 2015 and she never saw me graduate which is probably the greatest regret of my life. Part of this decision is for her, but mostly this is for me – so I can regain my self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
2. I want to serve my clients better – As a virtual assistant, I serve clients all over the world, and enrolling in a US-based University (I am enrolling in the University of the People) I am hoping to learn things that my local Universities won’t be able to provide.
3. I want to broaden my knowledge with Business Administration – most of my role now involves online business management, marketing, and administration. And without formal knowledge, part of me feels like a fraud. However, I know that my work experience (13 years and counting) plays a major role in my current career. However, having a degree to back my experience up will make a huge difference esp in providing services to my clients.
Part of me is still scared with this decision of going back to college. Given my past mistakes, this decision is scary for me because this is my third attempt at getting a degree. However, I keep in mind that my previous mistakes don’t define the outcome or my future. It can only propel me from moving forward.
For sure I will have struggles along the way, perhaps in the areas of work-life balance, and in all other areas but I am hoping, given my maturity now and given that I have a very supportive family surrounding me, I will be able to pull through. So I am taking a leap of faith and giving this to God.