the 30 & over project: if you had the chance to do “undergrad” over again….


education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

If you are anything like me, you probably had a blast, the best time of your life in college. You probably also have a few moments that are frozen in time because, unfortunately, you probably don’t remember some of them. LOL

Well, fast forward to 2012. You are in your 30’s, a grown up (which some would probably question), maybe a family, spouse, hopefully a good job, etc.  But what if you had the opportunity to go back to, what some of us like to call, “undergrad”, and redeux (in my best French), some moments, a couple semesters, the last first years, or the last two years of college — all over again?  What would you do? And Why?  I know for a fact, I would redo quite a bit.  I ended up with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and while I’m very happy to have a degree and that my parents were able to pay for my education, in hindsight, I certainly would have focused a little more and taken more time to explore another major and perhaps I would have gotten involved in some other extracurricular activities and experiences.  And I definitely would have been a little more picky about some of the guys I dated (although some of them were fun at the time – but most not husband material — but that’s a different blog post, I digress….)

But, Can you believe I’m not a journalist (with all of the blogging and commentary I do)? Well, I was a J-school major at one point in college but I also dabbled in political science, paralegal, and public relations and I just knew I wanted to become the female Johnnie Cochran and I thought the only way to do that would be to get a degree in Criminal Justice. Well, let me tell you, I’ve never worked a day in CJST (with the exception of that one semester of an internship at a halfway house) and my one-month training stint as a social worker right after graduation (do you see a pattern here? — I was somewhat of a wandering fool).  Now, at 39, after a one-year service learning experience as an Americorps VISTA and about 14 years working in Higher Education, touching the lives of the many students I have mentored, supervised, and advised over the years, a career I wouldn’t give up for the world, I realize that one of the reasons I kind of ended up in my current career is because I kind of had no clue what I wanted to be “when I grew up”.

Nowadays, students have so many darn options for majors and careers, it’s ridiculous and classes and courses to back it up.  And they have so many internship, externship, and service learning experiences that if these kids don’t graduate from college without knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives, then some of them probably need to sit out for a semester and think about it. And with the cost of tuition today, that might not be such a bad idea, especially considering all of the other millions of educational options students have with technical, vocational, and online schools. There shouldn’t be any high school senior without at least a small idea of what they want to do upon graduation, they have so much to explore.

Bottom line, if I had it to do again, I may have chosen to go into teaching and definitely would have honed in on my writing career a little earlier.  I’ve always been a poet, in fact, I won a Young Author’s Conference contest in junior high school, and today, I think I’m living a belated dream of being a writer through blogging and self publishing.  So, I guess, really, everything does happen for a reason and we live the life we are supposed to, and live it well I hope. But, I will pose the question anyway…….

#the30andoverproject Question of The Day:  If you could re-do any part of your “undergrad” years, what would it be and why? I’m curious.

Thank you for reading The 30 & Over project!

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

2 thoughts on “the 30 & over project: if you had the chance to do “undergrad” over again….

  1. Thanks for commenting. Yes, of course I think my Criminal Justice degree was valuable. When it boils down to it, it’s a Bachelor’s Degree and at the bare minimum, I have the qualifications to do many things with that. Do I use my Bachelor’s Degree for the field of Criminal Justice, definitely not, but do I regret taking those CJ classes, no. I loved them. And actually my CJ degree did come in handy quite a few times in some of my work with students. I was a Residence Hall Director for about 10 years and much of what I had to do was discipline, including residing over preliminary “judicial” hearings. So, for that, it was useful.

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