Many people continue their education beyond high school to advance their careers. That is why I began working on my bachelor's degree. I wanted a job that did not involve standing at a cash register. However, I gained much more than that in those four years. When I finished my bachelor's degree in 1996, my emotions were very conflicted. On one hand I was very happy and proud to have completed the program.

My divorce and suddenly becoming a single parent made my last year of school very difficult. On the other hand I, was sad to see those years end. I had enjoyed my years in college more than any prior time of my life. I had enjoyed being in school again because schoolwork was the one thing I was always good at.

People tend to enjoy things they are good at and vice-versa. Unfortunately, much of that enjoyment was lost in high school due to the social aspects there. In high school I was always happy in class but miserable everywhere else. The social problems of high school were nonexistent in college, so I could concentrate on my schoolwork. I took pleasure in learning. A friend of mine once laughed at me for smiling and laughing while doing math homework.

I could not help it; I was enjoying myself. I enjoyed reading, discovering new things, looking for the answers to questions, unraveling problems, and putting that information to use. There was also a great feeling of accomplishment to work through an assignment, obtain the answers, and see the finished product. Somehow that finished product always turned out better than expected.

Graduate Degree 3 I wanted to continue on to my master's degree in 1996, but that was unrealistic. I had a family to support, so I needed an income. Continuing with school was going to cost me more money, not provide me with it. Now I have a career I enjoy and enough income to support my family. I have worked hard to advance my career and care for my daughter. This time I am not returning to school for career advancement.

If my career does advance because of my continued education, that will be an added bonus. However, I am not expecting that, as I have no interest in going into management. I am returning to school because I have missed the mental stimulation I once had there. I do have an ulterior motive for going back to school at this time, however.

My niece and nephews are in pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade, and they love school. At that level learning is still a game to them. My daughter is in fourth grade, and I can see that love of school fading already. Much of her unhappiness with school has to do with the social pressures, unfortunately. She often complains that school is just boring also. I am hoping that I can show her that learning can be enjoyed and should not end at high school..