How did anyone ever finish college?

What should you do when you want to do everything? If you're fascinated by everything, and you've been called dabbler, dilettante, undisciplined, indecisive etc., this forum is for you.

Moderators: BarbaraSher, Tituba

How did anyone ever finish college?

Postby ladybug810 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:27 pm

Hi all, I'm new to these boards, but I read "Refuse to Choose" almost four years ago and have just started to re-read it. I've noticed that many of you have bachelor's degrees, and am curious to know how you were able to stick with it long enough to finish? I'm 36 years-old and have taken many classes over the last 18 years--enough to accumulate 70 college credits. I'm one English course away from an A.S. in University Studies. Last summer, when I was looking for a new project to fill some time (I do work full-time and am married, but no kids) and provide some "personal growth", I enrolled in a few aviation administration courses at a local university and completed three classes online that semester. I tried to make it clear that I was just doing it for personal growth (and I work at an airport, so I thought it was a bonus it might actually apply to my job). Nonetheless, my father, my husband, and my boss (who teaches at two colleges on the side) got SO excited that I was finally going back to school to finish my degree. :| (I wouldn't have even told my boss, except I couldn't pass up the tuition reimbursement through work.) I had registered for classes last fall too, but my father became sick (and passed away a few weeks later), so I dropped the classes early in the semester. After the new year, I enrolled in a few more classes for spring semester. I've since become really disappointed in the quality of the aviation program (not just unresponsive instructors, but out-of-date information and horrific grammar and usage in several of the classes), plus I'm just getting bored with school period. I dropped my classes last Friday. Now I want nothing to do with school for awhile, although I may take that English course this summer just to at least have an A.S. degree. I don't know how to tell my husband and boss I quit yet again. I've found a few other programs that would allow me to do something like a "liberal arts" major, but I don't know if I could stick with it. I'm really starting to develop a complex about not having a degree, and in some ways I wonder if I could actually finish one, then maybe everyone would get off of my back about finishing school and actually accomplishing something. That daybook exercise early on in RTC about listing all of one's accomplishments just depresses the crap out of me because I rarely finish a craft project, let alone something big. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent for so long. I'm just down today because I'm not looking forward to the "I've quit again" conversation with everyone. I'm curious to hear how those of you who finished a degree stuck with it. Kristen
New User
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:56 am

Re: How did anyone ever finish college?

Postby Scenario Thinker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:19 pm

Welcome, Ladybug. Well, you have to do what's right for you. Not everyone in this world thinks you need a degree to be "successful" (see links below), but I'm sure it helps to get some sort of secondary education or trade school training. Just from my experience, I'm sure glad I did it when I was younger. Not that I don't like to study any more, in fact I have about enough extra credits floating around after I graduated to make enough for another degree of some sort, but the classes are all over the board. It's just a little tougher to do when married or in a relationship and even tougher with kids. At least your husband and boss supports getting a degree, lots of other people have the non-supportive obstacle, too. One thing too, now that you have an A.S. degree, it could waive some general studies requirements in a 4 year program (it did with me anyhow), and you could concentrate on what you wanted to take (for a major) and possibly some fun electives along the way. As far as majors, I have seen general ones for adults that are more liberal arts minded and exploratory that might be more fun than trying to concentrate on one field for too many classes. Here's a couple more recent threads that you may also find interesting: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=22733 viewtopic.php?f=16&t=22267 viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22611&p=219502
User avatar
Scenario Thinker
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
Posts: 7331
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:01 pm
Location: near Chicago

Re: How did anyone ever finish college?

Postby skannie » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:55 pm

Since you're so close to the end of your A. S. degree I think it would be worth making the effort to finish it. Whether you take it any further is up to you. A bachelor's degree is certainly not necessary for leading a satisfying life, and you shouldn't try to get one just to live up to other people's expectations. And if you decide you want to do one for your own benefit, there isn't any hurry. I don't think there's an upper age limit. Here's an interesting blog post by another Scanner about the same question ... d-a-degree
That daybook exercise early on in RTC about listing all of one's accomplishments just depresses the crap out of me because I rarely finish a craft project, let alone something big.
Why does it depress you? Barbara didn't say it's only an accomplishment if you finish it. She thinks all the things you started and didn't finish are great too. I suggest you re-read the section on Durations, Rewards, and Honeybees, pages 29 to 36, then use your list and work out what are your rewards and why you finish when you do. Because Scanners are finished when they've got what they need from a project, not when other people say it's finished. As for finishing a bachelor's degree, I think there's a certain amount of pure slog involved for everyone, not just Scanners. It's probably easier if you attend classes with other students to motivate you, rather than doing it online. And if you get bored and aren't a steady worker, it's surprising what can be achieved by last-minute cramming. A lot of people get burned out near the end and are tempted to give up, and at that stage it's worth pushing yourself to get through it. But if you've really had enough at an earlier stage, maybe giving up is the best plan. With me it helped that my subject, biology, is one of my long-term recurring interests. I deliberately picked a university where I could study the full range of biology instead of having to restrict myself to zoology or botany or biochemistry, which was the case in most UK universities at that time. There was also a lot of variety in the types of work i.e. academic study, practical lab work and field work. And I joined some university clubs for other interests. I didn't finish many of my assignments and I wouldn't hand them in if they were unfinished, which now I think was a bit stupid of me. But even so, I passed with a respectable enough result, though I always felt I was capable of better. If I was starting out now I would pay more attention to the quality and research interests of the lecturers at a university, because I generally didn't find them very inspiring. I was spoiled by an exceptionally good biology teacher at high school. I did a master's degree many years later in a completely different subject. It was short and intense and totally fascinating, though quite tough too. And I used the postgrad computer lab to teach myself to use computers and design a website at the same time, and I read lots of interesting stuff in the library. All the resources and variety of interesting people at a university can be great for Scanners.
Scanner Tribe Group on Facebook
Scanner Tribe group on LinkedIn
Twitter - @scannertribe
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
Posts: 1050
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:25 am
Location: Slovakia

Re: How did anyone ever finish college?

Postby Unique Journalist » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:13 pm

Ladybug, if it makes you feel any better, I currently have enough college credits under my belt to have a bachelor's degree--and would have one if I didn't change majors and drop out twice. Not sure if I ever want to try to complete it cause I'm afraid I'll just flake out again. In my twenties, family, friends, and coworkers kept urging me to go back to school, finish my degree, get a better job. They're baffled that I would not finish what I started, and it does look as if I lack ambition. (Funny how I can stick it out in a low-paying job for nine years, but can't finish a degree?) The last time I returned to college, they had switched the state university sytem from quarters to semesters, and my advisor had to sit with me and the head of the English department for a few hours to work out the credits so they all converted properly. Gave us all a headache...half my credits became quarter credits and half were semester credits. Then I had the audacity to drop out two semesters later.
Unique Journalist
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
Posts: 481
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: How did anyone ever finish college?

Postby Andreya » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:30 pm

Hm, sounds like you got disappointed with course quality and that stopped you. If that were always true, very few people would actually finish any courses - there's usually at least one course at any University, college or programme that is terrible or boring! (At least that is what I've been told by many other people studying) Trouble is if you have more knowledge than the teachers, which happened in your case. OR it could be a benefit. Maybe you could even help rework the program & get it up-to-date? Especially since you work in the inudustry? Could you eg get credits for updating/re-designing course materials or such? If that is something you might like to do, of course. Professors are more than happy to get students to do any helpful work - trouble is sometimes it goes uncredited. But if it means more interesting school work for you and happiness of hubby & boss, maybe it'd be still worth it? (You'd probably need to have an MA first to have your name appear on the coursebook - others from USA could probably have better guessses on this though) I wrote my BA theses with the intention of improving the education in my field, so that's also something you might consider. (I ended up a bit burnt out even with the topics I previously loved, so it's not always all roses, it can be survivable though! :)) You could also write theses or such with this intention... If you consider studying anything else, always ask people who already study this, ideally accompany them to lessons/courses, check their reading lists etc.
'Everything is possible. They make rockets and put them on the moon, you know!' (neighbour, on closing up a balcony)
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
Posts: 414
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Slovenia, Europe

Re: How did anyone ever finish college?

Postby shparks » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:08 pm

When I first started college, I did ask myself "how am I going to stick with anything for four years straight?" As it turned out, it did not really feel like getting a degree was doing only one thing. During my first two years, I took a variety of introductory classes and participated in fun things like campus clubs. Then I transfered to another school to get my Bachelors. Instead of studying just one subject for two years, I got a "Social Science" degree. This allowed me to focus on three different areas: Writing, Child Development, and Psychology. After a bit of a break, I went back for a Masters in Teaching. That only took 15 months. And even though all of the classes were about teaching, there was still variety. I learned about teaching science, math, reading, social studies, art, P.E., and other topics. If you do it right, college can be a great place for scanners.
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:00 pm

Return to Refuse to Choose: The Forum for Scanners

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests