This summer I finally pulled the trigger and went back to school! For what? I’m not totally sure yet, but I knew it was something I needed to do.
As you may or may not already know, I do already have my AA and my BA. I graduated from Mt. SAC in 2012 with my AA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Humanities and I graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2014 with my BA in Communications with an Entertainment and Tourism concentration. Up until COVID happened I had been using my BA and working in some form of marketing/communications/PR. Since COVID happened I took some time to re-evaluate where I am at in life and where I want to go next. I’m still not sure what that next step is, but I know sitting at home isn’t going to do me any good, so I decided to go back to school and start exploring some of my interests that I never really took the time to look at in the past or really weren’t an interest when I was in school.
This summer I enrolled at Mt. SAC in two different classes. I enrolled, with my husband in an agriculture class, Food Production, Land Use, and Politics – A Global Perspective. Having my husband take that class with me was a total lifesaver, but more on that later. I also enrolled in Real Estate Principles, one of the required classes to get your real estate license here in California.
I took the agricultural class for multiple reasons. One reason, I honestly would love to own a small scale farm someday. Related to that, over the past year or so I have become very interested in our agricultural industry and how it works. I’ve become very upset with our agricultural industry, at least what I know about it. However, I also knew going into this class that our agricultural system was very complex and that there were reasons things are done the way they are and reasons we got to where we are. I know that if I want to be able to fully engage in conversations about agriculture and maybe in the future make changes in agriculture, I can’t be one sided, I need to understand the larger picture and the all working pieces. That is why I registered for my agricultural class, to start better educating myself so I could start better engaging in the conversation.
I took the real estate class to start to figure out if real estate could be a possible career change for me. I’ve never seen myself as a salesperson, but I love architecture, and real estate, and spend a lot of my free time browsing sites like Zillow. My entire life I’ve loved renovation and home buying shows and have always thought it would be so much fun to flip homes, but have always shied away from it, intimidated by the sales part of it. I also googled and found out it only takes 4 classes to be eligible to take your real estate license exam, so I figured why not check that out? Even if I decide that real estate isn’t right for me, the knowledge I pick up can’t hurt. Even if I am in California, the land of expensive land, I hope to someday be a homeowner.
I love school and I used to be really good at school. In college, I would often take more than a full-time class load and I was fine. I would take my required classes and classes that just seemed interesting. When I left Mt. SAC the first time I had taken enough classes to just almost qualify for three different degrees. I was one class short for each degree option and just chose whichever one offered a summer class to let me complete it. At Cal State Fullerton, I played with the idea of double majoring in Communications and Religious Studies, because you know those go together well (remember my concentration was entertainment and tourism so my communications classes focused on things like travel, and theme parks, and movies).
Now, I was good in school, but I graduated 7 years ago. I am out of practice and I knew that going in. And in case you didn’t know, the summer session at Mt. SAC is not a full semester, it is a condensed session, 16 weeks of class crammed into 6 weeks. It’s a lot. It’s a lot for a normal person, still in school, and yet I still decided to take not one class, but two. Two technical, legal heavy, unrelated classes and it nearly killed me.
Looking back now, taking two classes, during an intersession, on my first go back was a mistake. I survived, I got an A in Agriculture and a B in Real Estate, but it kicked my butt. Both classes had me doing 2-3 chapters a week and that is a lot of information to absorb, especially in real estate because it all was foreign to me. Just to stay on top of my workload, practically every spare minute I had was spent online (luckily both classes were fully online courses) or with my nose in a book. My real estate text book lived with me. I read it on my breaks at work and any time I was home and my husband was hogging the agriculture book (yeah we decided to save money on that one and share a textbook, big challenge there too, especially since we ended up on the same work schedule so we both were home trying to do class work together).
When it came to the real estate class I was on my own and it was a struggle. Even though I passed the class, I still feel completely lost in what I was supposed to have learned. I haven’t thrown in the towel yet though and decided to enroll in the second class for Fall. I’m hoping taking the class at a regular pace will make it easier for me to absorb the things I’m supposed to.
I was all alone when it came to my real estate class, but as I mentioned earlier, having my husband in the agricultural class was so helpful. We both share the same interests and reasons for taking the class, but beyond that, having him here with me and in the class with me gave me someone to have real discussions with and bounce ideas off of. When it came to homework and class work it gave me someone to work with and study with. It really made the class more fun and easier to absorb the material.
Finals for the summer session was the final week of July and we don’t go back to class until the end of August. Both the husband and I are taking three classes this Fall, but hopefully, at that slower pace, we won’t lose ourselves in the school work and will be able to maintain and school/work/life balance.