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Volume 72, Issue 95, Monday, February 19, 2007

Opinion

While it may take more work, returning to college is vital

Cheycara Latimer 
Opinion Columnist

Twenty-five percent of students at UH are post-baccalaureate, graduate or professional students, according to the UH at a Glance Web site. That percentage may not seem large, but it represents approximately 8,795 students. 

These are people who are trying to expand their knowledge, change careers or want to attend graduate school. While they may not know one another, all share a common goal of obtaining a degree that will improve current job skills or help them embark on an entirely new career. 

  But one can't forget those people who began college way back when and are going back to continue the major they started long ago. There are also several married and career-oriented people who are going to school the second time around. Many have full-time jobs or are full-time parents or spouses (or both) but have a strong desire to be something more (professionally) than what they are at the present moment. 

We have all made goals that have yet to be accomplished. Time limitations and various other restraints have hindered many from even coming within inches of these goals. Events and obstacles, such as pregnancy (planned and unexpected), marriage and certain financial situations (good and bad) also play an important role in whether goals will be completed. 

The same is true for going to school. Whether one is an undergraduate, graduate or post-baccalaureate student, there will always be something that will stand in the way of reaching graduation day or the level of education one needs to succeed professionally. But that's not why one should make the decision to go back to school. 

Going back to college can mean making up for academic and personal blunders from previous stints. It can mean making up for lost time and effort that could have -- and probably should have -- been spent going to graduate school and getting a better job.

However, in order to attend graduate school, one often has to improve their grade-point average and make As in classes they once received failing grades in. 

Ah yes, the things we do to improve the status of our lives and careers. It also means that things will have to be extremely different this time around, as most returning students have a full-time job, a full-time relationship and bills that seem to be multiplying every time they turn around. 

While some students are able to successfully balance school, work and their personal lives without flinching, for others it can be somewhat difficult. Many find every justifiable excuse to get out of studying. Perhaps some thought that attending college the second time around would be easier; that they would be able to breeze through their classes with very little studying. However, many will find they are wrong. 

With all of these epiphanies one can only strive to do better and work harder. One must make all of the proper arrangements to ensure that both life and school efficiently coexist in his or her hectic little world. It will be difficult, but one should keep in mind that he or she is not alone in the world of returning to college. 

Latimer, a communication/English post-baccalaureate student, 
can be reached via dccampus@mail.uh.edu

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