Tips for Women Thinking About Going Back to School

Sis, if you haven’t heard I recently finished my associate’s degree in Business Administration after years of procrastination. At the beginning of 2020, I prayed about going back to school. It was a goal I wrote in my journal.

So you know last year the pandemic hit and shut down everything. In the midst, I was furloughed from my job. About a week later, I discovered I was pregnant with my fourth kid.

I appreciated the nudge from God reminding me to finish what I started.

One evening during bible study I heard my pastor say go back to school. No, he wasn’t specifically talking to me; he was talking to everyone on the line. Often when Lord is speaks like that it isn’t for everybody, it’s specifically for the people that have prayed for it. Honestly, I had forgotten that I prayed about it. I appreciated the nudge from God reminding me to finish what I started.

Before I could start the process, I needed to resolve a previous debt at a school I attended. Sis, I will not lie I struggled to release the funds to pay it off. But the Lord just kept nudging me to pay it - so I did.

After that I re-enrolled in Dallas Colleges to finish my degree. I started out with one class just to get the hang of it. Then I finished that course and ended up taking more 3 more classes during the fall semester and wrapped up in the spring with 3 classes.

Was it easy? Heck no! I was pregnant, sleepy most days, trying to juggle virtual learning with two kiddos at home, then birthed my son while still taking fast paced courses. Sis, by the grace of God I made it. I prayed for God’s strength to make it through daily.

There were times I grew discouraged and wanted to quit. Like the math class that was mixed with algebra and statistics. I hated that class with a passion. But I knew I had to propel forward to get to the promise of that degree I had longed for. I finished that class with a C. All my other classes were A's and B's.

Here are my tips that I would give any woman that desires to go back to school and get her degree.

1. Pray about it and make sure that’s what God has purposed for your life. Everyone’s journey is unique and we are all called to build the kingdom in different ways. So that’s the key thing is to seek his face before you make a move.

2. If he releases you to go forward, take time to plan and set goals. Research schools you want to attend, ask others in your network where they graduated from.

3. Also, count up the cost. Do you need to use financial aid, pay out of pocket or maybe both. Going back to school for me had to make financial sense, which is why I finished at the local community college because I could pay for my classes out of pocket and not be in debt.

4. Also, I would say consider your style of learning in-person or online. Because of the pandemic, they only offered classes online.

5. Look at your calendar and see that you have the time to commit to this process. You will need to set aside at least 3 to 5 hours per class to study and complete assignments.

6. Assign a couple of accountability partners to your journey. These are people that will check in to make sure you are completing your assignments and also encouraging you to finish. My husband was my biggest accountability partner. He stayed with me to make sure I was doing my schoolwork. Did it get on my nerves sometimes? Yes! But I appreciated it because it showed that he believed in me as well.

7. Determine your reason why you are doing it. For me it was to honor my granny that raised me. She always told me her story growing up that she had to drop out of school in the 8th grade to pick cotton for her family to survive. I believe in my heart that she would have graduated from high school and even pursued her college degree. But she wasn’t afforded that opportunity, and I desired to honor her legacy. She played a huge part in my success and even me knowing Jesus. So even though she’s no longer here, I live to honor her every day. She was my favorite girl.

If you have any tips for going back to school. Drop them in the comments!