Continuing adult education is an admirable thing. For some people, however, it is not really that easy to pull off. Going back to school when you work full-time and possibly have a family can be quite the challenge.
Consider Alex for a few moments. He is 25, male, married, two children and a full-time job. He wants to go back to school to earn an engineering degree so he can have a better income and hopefully more time.
Alex works as an injection mold maker and before that he worked as a plastic injection molding machine operator. He went to a technical college for 2 years to earn an associates degree, then was an apprentice mold maker for 3 years. Not bad for a guy of 25.
Sometimes things are not so easy
He is a smart guy and could do very well in an engineering discipline such as mechanical or electrical. Because he is already in a mechanically inclined trade he chooses mechanical engineering as his declared major.
He soon discovers that the physics and calculus are very difficult, even under the best of circumstances. Now he has to find time to work 9 hours a day, play with his two adorable children, spend quality time with his lovely wife, relax a bit, exercise and now study.
Hmmm… there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to do everything, so gradually one thing after the other begins to slip. First he doesn’t get to play enough with the kids, then his wife gets cranky because he is always tired or studying. She wants some companionship, and who can blame her.
Maybe if Alex lived in Denmark he could get paid while he goes back to school. He’s heard about this and tries to find some type of program that can help him, but, of course, there is almost nothing.
He considers quitting and even approaches the academic advisor’s office, but decides to stick it out just one day at a time. Now that is a good idea, just put one foot in front of the other and then do it again and do it all over again. Eventually he made it through the first semester. Now he only has 3 more years to go!
After a year of this Alex decides to slow down just a bit and tries to make more time for his family. This is a huge success and he is amply rewarded by the Mrs. Soon he is inspired to keep on keeping on.
Just don’t give up
One day he got a scholarship offer in the mail, just seemingly out of the blue. He hadn’t applied for it, it just came. This was a godsend for him, now he could cut back just a bit on his mold making hours and get some better family time and focus on his studies.
In the end, Alex made it. It took an extra year, but it was worth it. The company paid for nearly the entire education, he continued to work for the same employer, kept his benefits and increased his earnings by 20% while working just a bit less per week.