I'm going through some of the photos I took last weekend at Lake of the Ozarks. I'm thankful I've been able to go to the lake twice so far this year, and I already have another trip planned next weekend-only 2 days, but it should be fun! I have several more pics I need to go through and upload so I can catch up more with memory keeping. I've been lazy about organizing my photos.
Crazy side note from the past 2 days: I was riding in the car with Kati last night (Kati was driving) and someone came extremely close to hitting us. We were driving in the right lane going straight ahead and someone in the left lane completely cut us off, as in nearly side swiped us and proceeded to make a left turn into a parking lot. Very, very close to an accident. Then today as I was leaving the Imos parking lot someone came barreling through the back of the parking lot (not looking) and nearly hit me. I actually had to swerve my car so I wouldn't get hit. I couldn't believe how fast they were driving in a parking lot! So dangerous! So anyway, 2 days in a row of close calls really makes me not want to leave the house tomorrow!
I went out of town for 2 days this weekend and was able to forget my worries for a few days. Now I'm up late again before a Monday morning of work and stressing out. Still as confused as ever about possible career options and now I have car issues to worry about this week. I'm so tired of thinking about money and how I'm going to afford this or that. I better get used to it, as it seems that this is common for adults.
I currently do not feel comfortable enough with my body to buy swimwear, but if I did, these are some J.Crew swimming suits I would love!
All photos from J.Crew
The more I look into degrees and careers the more confused I get. One career might have been great a couple years ago, and now people can't find or keep a job in that field. Sigh.....it's so difficult to figure something out. Also, as anyone who has been job hunting knows, employers want experience, and sometimes that experience can be very hard to get!
I might just have to put this career change/school thing on the backburner for awhile, because I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere. Maybe I can be happy doing what I'm doing now for the rest of my life? I think I'd be ok with it, but I do still worry about money. Can I continue to survive making under $30,000 a year? I guess, yes, of course, I will survive, stupid question, but will I be able to live comfortably? Probably not on my own. If I continue to live with my parents, yes. But on my own? I doubt it.
I was talking to my parents about different business degrees tonight and asked my stepdad what he thought since he is in the business field. He wasn't very encouraging. Probably because I have little experience in business and I'm almost 30 years old. He felt that it would be possible but was encouraging me to look into either an associates at a tech school to progress with lab jobs, or trying out teaching again. So, that got me thinking that maybe the business plan wasn't a good one after all.
I did look into an Associates offered at SWIC. It is the Medical Laboratory Technology Program and is a 2 year, Associate in Applied Science degree. This program could be a possibility. The program has filled for Fall 2013, but they will be accepting applications for Fall 2014 beginning Sept 1, 2013 and all the way through Feb 1, 2013. I'm assuming some of the gen ed courses I would be exempt from-like Eng 101 and College Algebra. The program is highly competitive (I knew this because I worked in financial aid and talked to students that had been turned down from the program) and has only 14 spots open each fall semester. Wow! That makes me wonder if everyone who gets accepted is a straight A student. They show how points are awarded on the application and you get higher points for Biology and Chemistry courses in which you received an A. I was more of a B/C student (especially when it came to Chemistry), so I'm not sure how my points would stack up. The program also includes clinical work and prepares you for the Medical Laboratory Technician national certification exam. The total cost of the program is estimated to be about $11,000, which isn't too bad. The average salary for a Medical Laboratory Technolgoist/Technician is between $32,000-$42,000 per year. Honestly, the lower end of that isn't too far off from what I make now, so that would be disappointing to spend money on a program and not have much of a difference in salary. However, $42,000 per year would be quite a bit, and would be enough money for me to live on my own and begin having an independent, somewhat financially secure life. One concern I have is advancement. Since this is an Associates degree, I would think advancement is limited. I need to look into other degree programs that I could pursue after this. Could I go the unusual route of BS > AAS > MS? Or would I have to do BS > AAS > BS > MS (and pursue a second BS degree). Because I would like to have a career where growth is an option. I hate the feeling of being stuck (as I feel now). It would probably be a good idea for me to talk to the coordinator for this program and see how my qualification compare to the typical applicant and if it would be a good option for me. Some of the courses (Biology/Chemistry) need to have been taken within 10 years and I'm getting very close to being out of that window since I took Chem I in Fall of 2004! I'm wondering if that would still count if I applied in 2013? I guess that would be a good question for the coordinator.
So, that's another idea.
Something else I could do: Talk to someone in the Education department at SIUE and see what continuing ed options I would have or what Masters in secondary education options would be open for me since I have received my initial teaching certificate but never worked in the field. It would be nice to get student teaching experience again since I probably can't use my previous references (no contact in 4 years and I doubt they remember me). Maybe there is an advisor/coordinator that could give me so advice and let me know what options I have in pursuing the teaching field again. Questions, questions.
Now that I have school on my mind, I almost want to take a class at a local community college (without enrolling in a program) just to be able to take a class again. However, I do know from previous experience working in financial aid that if you take too many credit hours (even if not pursuing financial aid) and you end up wanting financial aid in the future, for say a graduate degree, you might run into problems getting federal student loans because of too many credit hours. There are weird limits in place, so I need to make sure I am aware of credit hour/loan limits.
My mind is spinning again, and I feel like I'm getting nowhere, so it will probably be best for me to just read a book and go to sleep.
The past two days/nights have been busy. I've worked at my two jobs, spent at least an hour each night organizing the basement, and spent at least an hour looking into grad programs/career options.
I've continued to look at the Masters in Healthcare Administration, but my options are limited if I stay at home. For one, the two schools (that I've found so far) that offer the MS degree close to home are SLU and Lindenwood. SLU does not list any BS or work experience requirements (and by that I mean not a specific Bachelors degree like Business or other healthcare administration degree) besides one introductory course in Microeconomics (course that I could take at a community college) on their webpage. However, they do require GRE scores (no score cutoffs but recommend at least 40th percentile) and a GPA of at least 3.00 (but strongly recommend a 3.2). I'm good for the GPA, but I think I would need to retake the GRE to be competitive, especially since I do not have a business background or work experience that is related to the degree. SLU's healthcare administration program is ranked among the top 10 graduate programs for healthcare management in the country, so I'm guessing the admission process probably isn't easy. I need to be honest with myself and realize that my academic background, work experience would make it hard for me to compete and get accepted. The other school, Lindenwood, does not provide a lot of information for the requirements, but does tailor the program to professionals already working in the healthcare/health management field (fewer credit hours as well). Their program does not look ideal for this reason. SLU's program appears to be better (as top ten rating suggests), has plenty of courses, and includes an internship. Also, SLU only has Fall admission, so if I did want to go ahead and try to apply (even though it would be a long shot) I would have to apply for the Fall 2014 school year because the Microeconomics course could not be completed before the application deadline. I guess that wouldn't be all bad. I could start taking some business courses at a local community college, like Lewis and Clarke and see how I like it. If I end up really liking the business classes and the healthcare administration idea fell through (didn't get admitted, decided it wasn't for me) I could try something else in the business track. Of course taking classes at the community college would be more like taking one class a semester, because that is all I could afford to pay for at once (most likely).
So, still looking into that option, but also looking at other degrees offered by SIUE. I could always try substitute teaching and try to pursue additional teaching certificates to make myself more marketable in the teaching profession. SIUE does offer a masters degree in Biology secondar education, but it is also geared for teachers already working in the field. Perhaps if I did some substitute teaching that would count? I don't know. There are some aspects I LOVE about teaching, but when I think about my lack of skills in classroom management I am turned off of the idea. Even tonight at Sylvan, with just two students at the table, another teacher had to jump in and discipline one of my students because he was interrupting another table. If I can't control 2 students, how the heck could I control 25? Yeah, that's a problem.
So, of course I still have a lot to think about. There are other ideas turning around in my head. Throughout the day I have moments of feeling inadequate, content, worried, apathetic, and motivated. So yes, my emotions have been all over the place these days. I expressed some of my life concerns to my parents the other day and I think they understand somewhat. They feel I should go back to teaching since that was my original plan, but they would be happy if I came up with another good plan. When I expressed my concerns about teaching I was told I never gave it a complete chance, which is true, but I wasn't given a chance since I never was offered a job. I also voiced my fears and was told I tend to act that way about all of my jobs. I am usually fearful at the beginning (very true). Carl told me that I'm in a panic mode for the first 3 months at my jobs, and then I express how bored I am. That isn't good. Yikes. And bored does not mean that I do my job perfectly (though I wish I did!).
I probably should talk to a career counselor or something. I will say that writing down my worries and thoughts at the end of each night does provide me some relief. Honestly, I think one of the biggest problems I have right now is that I have no long or short term goals and no hobbies. My career doesn't have any direction yet and I think I would feel better if I had at least some direction or plan.
The rest of the week I will be very busy with work, but I will only be working at one of my jobs. I'm looking forward to going out of town this weekend to Lake of Ozarks. That will keep me motivated to work hard the rest of the week.
Next week I need to take my car into the shop because it currently has some issues. Unfortunately I've been told it will not pass the Emissions Test, which is required for me to get my license renewed, so I need to get it fixed or get a new car. If it is a cheap fix I will go ahead and pay for it, but if it is a $700 fix I will not pay for it, and I'll just start looking for a new car (new to me car, used car is all I can afford).
In other news, I'm ready for summer.