On Monday, I learned that my brother is in the hospital after hitting his head and lapsing into a coma. He is expected to recover but the waiting day to day for updates (I live on the east coast and he lives on the west coast) is awful. I would be at the hospital every free minute if I lived closer to him. I'm relieved that the initial news is positive but I will be on edge until I know he is fully awake, breathing on his own, and functional.
Previous to receiving such bad news, I had been gearing up for my career job licensing exam which takes place May 9th. I feel totally unprepared and have only added to my stress by visiting various universities around me trying to determine what I need to do in order to finish a degree separate from the one I graduated with in 2003. I've determined that my best option is to return to school in pursuit of a second bachelor's degree. I was hoping to finagle something on a Master's level but my previous bachelor's degree does not lend itself to other fields. To get my second degree will take about two years and I will likely have to quit my job (of the past 5.5 years) so I have waffled back and forth dramatically over whether or not to go forward with this idea. On one hand, I have a job in the middle of a recession. On the other hand, I work in a notoriously low-paying field for even less than the average rate because I work for a religious organization. Such was the case before the recession and such will be the case as long as I work here. I could go for a Master's degree in this field but unless I were to work in the medical/healthcare arena it would probably not benefit me as much as following through on my desire to finish out this second degree. Workers in my second degree field make about $15,000.00 more a year than I currently do working in my first degree field. Money isn't everything but I went to college in order to take care of myself long-term. Though I didn't choose I high-paying career, I thought I'd have more to show for it by now.
In conversation with Axl yesterday, I came to the conclusion that had I been earning what I should have been all this time, I probably never would have considered changing careers. So, this morning, I got to work and filled out an online admissions application. With a little luck, I will be a student again in the fall.