How Online Learning Is Beneficial To Me

I can’t help thinking that giving my toddler some homework or digital training over the weekend is a super-creative way to ease back into my workflow. It’s actually very similar to spending time with her, giving her opportunities to wander and to do very little.

If you’re looking for a career and already halfway down the career road, a college degree is just one route you could take. You can also forgo a degree and go straight into a job.

And I’m here to tell you that’s just as valuable. But that’s not exactly how it works. In reality, I’m one of those people who knows what a degree is supposed to do. I went to the four-year college in the city where I grew up, graduating with a degree in art history. But if you don’t know exactly what this education means, I can help you.

To be clear, I know how important a college degree is. In fact, I thought about going to college the entire time I worked and traveled and became married (!) — the whole college-going-while-traveling thing I learned the hard way. I know what it is to be burned out and sad that, if you have to attend class to make enough money to pay your bills, then you have to dig up another work project. You can’t win.

But with all this “this degree” stuff getting thrown around, here’s the thing: I’m not saying that I don’t know what it means to be in school. You know, like art history, English or physical education. I got a good, solid education. I studied everything that I’ve ever wanted to know. I went on a lot of field trips and participated in the day-to-day faculty activities. And now that I’m a mother, what I’ve heard a lot of people say is, “You know, I was talking to my husband yesterday and we had nothing to do at night. I wonder if we could get a night class started?”

Now, I can tell you that’s impossible. You can’t even schedule the work-life balance that you’d want to have. And without that ability to figure out how to sit in a room all day with people and learn new things, I’m pretty sure I’d be dealing with burnout.

Even though I did attend college for four years, I’m happy to report that I went to school part-time (and I did still get a degree). I’m lucky to be in a situation where I know, when I’m called upon to teach, that I don’t have to go through the college application process, that I’m a part of that world. And so, I’m pretty happy that I went to part-time classes.

But it’s not like I didn’t know my goal was to not go to college, at least. For the first several years of my life, I did as many internship and part-time classes as I could. But in retrospect, I wished I could’ve done more college classes while I was working. I wanted to take classes not just for the textbooks, but also for the people around me.

I wish I could tell you that the money college is supposed to make it for each student is right there in every admission packet — but it’s not. We hear so much about how money is our worst enemy. And, even with what we were taught about financing college, it didn’t come back to me — although it’s like, when you’re working and paying bills and you need an education, you just need the right amount of money to do that.

I’m happy I had the opportunity to part-time school. I want my kids to have the same opportunity. Education is absolutely worth the investment. If a four-year degree will get you into a really great place, then great. But when the odds are, by most folks’ accounts, that that degree is just something that will make you happier in your career, there is nothing like taking classes for fun. And that fun has paid off.

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