Learning the Truth: A Degree is Not a Lifetime Commitment

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  • I recently spent a great deal of time and money on classes that I thought would inspire me to find my path. Like a large number of high school graduates, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life when I walked across the stage at commencement. There was so much pressure to find the career that I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life and go on to college to get the degree and find success.

    The truth is, reality is much different.

    After completing my Associates Degree, I was no closer to committing to a path that would fit me for the rest of my life. Then I realized that I was getting hung up on the wording: the rest of my life. Why does a career choice have to be absolute? Why does that have to be it?

    While many people spend a good deal of their life in the same job or career and are content with it, a large number of us find that we like exploring. We like not feeling tied down to one course of action for the rest of our lives. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with changing course.

    I always knew that I wanted to help people, somehow. The actual course was unclear to me. I played around with the idea of becoming a doctor, a social worker, a psychologist, and a lawyer. The problem with all of these paths was that it would take a lot of time and money to get to the degree and I wasn’t even sure it was what I wanted to do with my life. It was a large commitment that I wasn’t ready to make.

    Why nursing didn’t occur to me in the first place, I’m not entirely sure. A Bachelor Degree in Nursing only takes four years and I would still be in a position to help people. I started looking into the top colleges in the country to see if I qualified for any of the programs. That was when I came across Gwynedd Mercy University, which has a nursing program that is ranked in the top tier of nursing schools by US News & World Reports. It’s an accredited college, which means it will be easier for me to find a job after graduation. The courses there piqued my interest, and I qualified to apply for the

    Bachelor program. So I applied.

    Private colleges tend to have a higher tuition than public universities. This is primarily because all of the funding comes either from tuition students’ pay or from donations made by alumni, whereas public colleges get a lot of their funding from the government. The price tag for my education will be higher, but the results will be beneficial to me in the long run. There are a number of grants and scholarships available to help reduce the cost. I took the time to determine the financial cost and decided this was the best choice for me.

    When choosing a career path, many people get stuck in the idea that what they choose today will be their course for the rest of their lives. It just isn’t true. I truly want to be a nurse today, and I will get my degree and start the job. If after five years I’m not happy with the choice, I can always change my career. Anyone can make a change. Nothing is set in stone.

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