Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Thinking about Leaving School?

Two months ago, I was faced with a choice: do I continue taking 3 credits a semester, and eke out a college degree by 2005, or do I take the plunge, put short-term monetary concerns aside, and become a bona-fide part-time student?

Debt weighed heavily on my mind, and my wallet. Working full-time paid the bills: car, insurance, rent, credit cards, etc. And, I was making pretty good money.

Unfortunately, the money didn’t help me find time to study. The last two times I tried taking six credits and working full-time, I ended up failing one of the courses. As long as I was working full-time, I could only take one class a semester.

Maybe if I hadn’t dropped out of college eight years ago … but that was then. My mind wasn’t as fresh and young as it used to be. My brain had been through a lot: death in the family, divorce, lay-offs, ethical dilemmas, work-related stress – I couldn’t regain my misspent youth. I had to play the cards I was currently dealt.

Then, December came, and I was finally approved for a student loan. Suddenly, I had money to pay for class and some bills. If I could find part-time work, I could get by financially, and still finish school.

The advantages of taking two or more classes were a sequential plan for success. I could get a degree in Computer Information Systems by 2003. Next, I could interview for jobs that require a degree. Eventually, my financial situation would be much improved. And, I could have a job that satisfied me intellectually and emotionally.

I needed the credibility that a degree provided. I was tired of getting beaten out of jobs simply because another candidate, who had less experience than me, had completed their Bachelor’s.

A final factor was the effects of September 11th on the non-profit organization I was working for. Money was trickling in, and budget cuts were looming. In the past, I would’ve waited the situation out … and gotten laid off. I didn’t want to go through that again.

So, I made a decision. I decided to quit my job, work part-time and go back to school. It was a scary decision – looking down at the precipice of debt and bills had kept me from making the leap into school for quite a while now. However, I finally realized that I needed to cross that precipice. Education is a bridge that helps us move forward financially.

Sure, I could’ve kept working full-time … but the opportunity to take the leap had come, and I decided it was time to jump. In the past, I would’ve kept working, and put off school. Not any more. I’ve learned my lesson.Completing school is a priority that can no longer wait. I’ll work towards my degree for the next two years … and reap the rewards afterwards.

If you’re reading this, and you’re thinking about quitting school, or you’re unsure about taking more classes, I hope you’ll take my story into account when making your final decision. You don’t want to spend years spinning your wheels, like I did. Finish your degree, while your mind is still fresh. Pay for those extra classes, while you can still afford the tuition. Put the short-term concerns and worries out of your mind, think about your future, and plan accordingly. You’ll thank yourself later.

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