Returning adult student fights self-doubt to pursue degree online

I decided to take the plunge back into academia after an 11-year hiatus and two babies. Beyond scared is an understatement. As I evaluated my life and where I was compared to where I wanted to be, I knew I had to jump back in. I originally went to school to become a registered nurse during the first round in college.  I ended up hurting my back while working nights at a nursing facility to pay my way through school.  I was already too far in my schooling to completely change my major, but couldn’t continue nursing because of the severity of my injury. I got a general Associate’s of Arts degree and told myself I would go back later when I found my passion again.

Fast forward to now. I adore my children and want to show them how strong a woman can be. Criminology has always spoken to me, but I never thought I was good enough for that profession. I had every self-doubt you can make up or think of: everyone was smarter than me, more professional than me, had longer and better careers than me. But finally something changed.

I came across a local university that is public and had an online option in criminology and criminal justice. With tears I made the leap for the first time feeling a glimmer of the independent woman I knew I could be. I felt a level of hope I hadn’t dared to feel in a long-time – like I had a path, a purpose. Don’t get me wrong, my children give me so much fulfillment in my life and a level of love I never knew possible. Finishing my degree and starting a career was not only unfinished business and something I wanted just for me; it was also an example I felt I have to set for both of my children. 

I am writing this as I enter my senior year working towards my bachelor’s degree and it is such a needed reminder. I have countless nights where I am up until 2 a.m. doing homework just to get up at 6 a.m. to get the kids off to school and go to my 8 to 5 job that is an hour commute away. I do wonder at times when I feel stretched so thin I could break, why am I doing this? Then I remember all my thousands of reasons and like magic, I pull this unknown strength I didn’t know I had to push on. I hope this blog helps give you a little extra push to remember through one more 2 a.m. night, one more commute, you’ve got this.

Pearson Students: Are you a returning adult learner? What advice do you have for chasing your dreams? Share by commenting below!


Christi is attending Portland State University in Oregon majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a certificate in Criminal Behavior. She has worked full-time as an executive support person to a director for a state agency for over 5 years now. She is also a mom of two. Christi earned a great achievement when she ran in 2018 to become her district’s local democratic precinct committee person and won.



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