Yup. I’m going back to school at 30.
Okay I’m technically 29, but basically 30. I’m trying to make it more dramatic. Go with it.
Back to school…back to school…to show mom and dad that I’m not a fool.
Name the movie.
First of all, since this is my first real post, you may be wondering where my intro to the blog is…and I don’t really have one. It’s such a ginormous task to describe oneself, one’s purpose for a new blog, etc that I am doing what I do best—procrastinating.
Or maybe I will just say that I wanted to jump right in.
The best solution I have for you if you need to know more about me is to either check out the About page or my food + fitness blog if you want to see what I’ve been up to the past 5 years.
Back to the story. going back to school at 30.
I’ve decided after much mental anguish over the past few years to finally finish up my bachelor’s degree at the ripe old age of 29. And by “finish up” I mean go for a totally different degree than the one I started out with which will take a full 3 more years (despite the fact that I have an associate’s degree AND attended UNL for over a year).
I realize that there are plenty of people “going back to school” at an older age, but I feel like a weirdo because I just never really finished school.
People ask me all the time what degree I graduated with and I mutter something about only having an associate’s degree. Awkward sauce.
Or people have just assumed that I was a student the past 3 years because I had jobs like working at a café and coffee catering.
Every time someone asked me how school was going I wanted to give them the finger and tell them, “I’m a career barista. Eff you.” There was seriously a trainer at a gym I worked at that would ask me this question twice a month and I kept having to remind him that I’m not a student. He was baffled and confused every damn time.
Why are you going back to school at 30? What did you do wrong in your life to end up here?
(Don’t even pretend you weren’t thinking it.)
For awhile, I blamed it on moving to Minnesota for two years. My fiance got a job there and asked me to move with him. Out of state tuition is insane and it takes a year to get in state residency PLUS we didn’t know how long we were staying.
The honest truth was that I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish school. I wanted to be an entrepreneur who forged her own path. Make a living blogging on my food + fitness blog and whatever came along with that (including a biz I still have which is helping people start + makeover their own blogs). Screw all the people who didn’t get it.
I decided to devote more time and energy over the years to my blog, learning the ins and outs, cultivating my social media, all the things a good blogger should do. I did manage to find some small success, although most of my family and friends never really got it (and were probably secretly hoping I would eventually stop being such a failure and get a real job).
Then things started changing.
I stopped getting as many opportunities for blog sponsorships.
Ad revenue started to suck because everything is moving towards content marketing instead of banner ads. (read: more work)
I started to dislike the “healthy living” genre as I saw many bloggers who seemed to have what I think of as eating disorders or unrealistic lifestyles. Plus I eat packaged food and don’t constantly exercise or have a 6 pack so I was finding it hard to keep up or even define what a “semihealthnut” even was.
We bought a house and bills and expenses and responsibilities started to increase.
The natural lighting in our house bummed me out (surrounded by trees) and taking pictures of my food was no longer a relatively easy thing to do.
I basically just realized that I didn’t quite have the discipline and consistent work ethic needed to make such a life work.
so what now?
I’m going back to school for elementary education and was accepted into a great program at my local university. I’ve always loved kids (I nannied for years on and off) and I definitely like the prospect of having summers and holidays off to pursue other passions. Plus, kids are the future, right?
I have to study for and pass three different exams—reading, writing and math to officially be accepted into the program. (this is in progress)
My concentration (for any teachers out there who understand this stuff) will be in STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math –although if you would have asked me if I would want to focus on any of these things two years ago, I would have laughed my head off at you. (totally failed my last Chem class)
It turns out there aren’t a lot of women with a STEM concentration, so that plus the many science classes already under my belt from my would-be Exercise Science/Dietetics degree, made me jump on board quickly.
Proving to everyone a woman can do something + not many more classes for the concentration= motivated Amanda.
Three (more) years of school and I’ll be a teacher. Whoda thunk?
Now I have this weird thing where I get annoyed when people get super excited to hear I’m going back to school.
I know. I’m weird.
I think the main reason is the sense of relief I hear when they tell me how excited they are for me*.
They might as well say, “dear god I was hoping you would come to your senses.”
Like why the heck didn’t anyone care when I got sponsored by Target for 3 months? Or got a free Ninja blender to review? Or made over 1k from blogging in a month? More than once?? I even successfully helped 12 bloggers makeover or set up their own blogs. And got paid for most of them. Or the simple fact that I kept up a blog, posting at least once a week, for over 5 years?
Those were huge successes for me, but since it wasn’t a regular, salaried position with money flowing in regularly, people dismissed my blog as a hobby. Or rolled their eyes or got annoyed when I said I had to work that day when they knew I wasn’t scheduled at whatever part-time job I had at the time outside of the blog. I was working on my blog. My passion. Working to change the world with my very small reach in the way I could and that I thought was best.
I HATE to admit it, but it’s hard to do that for years.
Having to explain what a blog is and yes I make money and no I don’t have a college degree…it gets old.
But man I HATE feeling like I failed and let down my readers over at my food + fitness blog.
Aside from those weird feelings…I’m kind of excited to be a teacher.
I’ve always had this thing where I want to be in charge and I will get a bit of that as a teacher. It won’t be the same as owning my own business and being my own boss, but I think it will be the right mix of stability, normalcy, creativity and being able to run my own show. With possibly a side hustle. (teachers out there, please please tell me it is possible)
But before I get to do that, it’s back to school for three years. And I want to document my life and shenanigans along the way plus practice this writing/creativity thing.
Thus a new blogity blog. starting from square one.
Welp, if you’re still here..you are a trooper. Also, you should probably leave some feedback for me so I know you’re here and that I’m not crazy for feeling allthefeelings about going back to school.
Off to try to define what “Pink Toast” means (<-update: I did) AND to write the dreaded “I might be done with this blog” post (<-update: I did) to the people who have been following my journey for years. Wish me luck!
So tell me…
Have you ever been a non-traditional student? Any advice for me?
*I do of course appreciate the support and love, but like I said, I have mixed feelings about it.
Updated 2-6-2017: added links of posts and updated image