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To pass up the opportunity... again

(22 Posts)
blondieblondie Thu 28-Jul-16 16:25:16

5 years ago I started a 2 year degree, paid for by my employer. I did 9/10 months of it, but then was finding it really difficult as I had a 7 year old and a full time job. I had passed everything up to that point, but was really struggling with one of the modules and I ended up leaving the course. I had been studying the year previous to my degree and passed that course quite easily, so was feeling like I could do it when I started. My boss has always been keen for me to get back to it, although was very understanding at the time and really tried to help me. But it just wasn't the right time. I felt like a crap mum for most of those months.

Anyway, I think he's planning to retire within the next year and again the subject of my degree has come up, with him telling me I'll be in the right place at the right time if I get back to it.

Part of me wants to do it, to prove to myself that I can, and to widen my job prospects. I don't even have a mortgage just now. But I'm nervous that I'll feel out of my depth again. And although my son is 11 now and it would be easier from that point of view, I've just changed my hours slightly so that I can be home for him after school. He's gone to AS care until now, but is starting high school. The uni course would mean I'd be out when he finished school and I have no-one to watch him until his dad finishes. (He stays with dad 2 nights and hopefully he'd swap one of those to suit my uni day). I'm also at a point where I'd really like to meet someone and have a relationship, or even just take up a hobby, but I'd struggle to fit it all in.

I feel like I'm making excuses not to do it, but they are genuine. But I also feel I'll regret it if I don't take the opportunity. I'm 34, already working in the sector, and although it's not something I love, I'm not going to have the chance to do anything else that would set my heart on fire either.

I suppose I'm just wondering what others would do? Would I be mad to pass up the chance?

AgentProvocateur Thu 28-Jul-16 16:39:40

A paid for degree that will put you in prime position to get a better job? Yes, you'd be mad to pass up the chance again. Your son may have left home to go to uni in 6 or 7 years and you'll only be 40.

Artistic Thu 28-Jul-16 16:41:58

I would definitely do it. It's worth the hassle & postponing other things like hobbies & dating.

Dixiechickonhols Thu 28-Jul-16 16:43:05

Your son won't need aftercare though if he is 11/12. My mum did a part time degree and worked full time it was my job to make tea when she was at uni on a Wednesday. I would have been 12 ish when she started. I remember feeling grown up.

Dozer Thu 28-Jul-16 16:43:19

Will the degree be good for your job prospects? Would you get credits for the work you completed before?

will you have to pay any fees back to your employer for the course you dropped out of if you don't complete it?

Solasum Thu 28-Jul-16 16:43:47

Sorry OP, but I think you would be mad not to do it if it will put you in a much stronger position career wise. Not too long until uni fees to be paid...

Re meeting someone, would you ideally like to meet someone to have more children with? If so, that changes things a bit, though you might always meet someone on your course.

Oly5 Thu 28-Jul-16 16:47:41

I think you'd be daft not to do it too. Doesn't sound like your son will miss out on you too much while you do it, and it's being paid for!!
I have a degree and it's definitely put me in good standing for jobs. Just get through it and be proud of
Yourself and use it for a fab job before you're 40.
Lots of people combine working, studying and family life. You just have to put your mind to it

davos Thu 28-Jul-16 16:51:05

I think you would be mad to pass up the opportunity.

Can't your son just let himself in the house?

witsender Thu 28-Jul-16 17:07:44

You'd be mad not to. Mad I tells ya.

angstybaby Thu 28-Jul-16 17:17:47

maybe i missed it in the OP but did you actually enjoy doing the degree (if you took all the stress and time pressure out of the equation)?

you say you already work in the sector so i don't get the impression that a degree would help that much and, in any event, you don't really love it.

I'd do what makes you happy: meet someone and then, when you have a bit more time for you, think about changing career to something you love. work to live, don't live to work.

FreedomIsInPeril Thu 28-Jul-16 17:35:18

You're lucky if there is no claw back clause for your employer to get you to pay them back for whatever they have paid up til now.

It doesn't sound like you want to do it at all, you have a lot of excuses.

PragmaticWench Thu 28-Jul-16 17:35:35

My DM worked and also did a degree at night school whilst I was at senior school as she'd been made to leave school before A-levels; it was a real inspiration to me! Don't underestimate the influence it can have on teenage children to see their parents studying and working hard. I used to do my homework at the dining table whilst my DM did coursework...

YelloDraw Thu 28-Jul-16 17:37:19

Its just a question of jam today or jam tomorrow isn't it?

Are you the kind of person who will put up with a worse standard of living now, to gain long term benefits, or not.

It's ok to not be happy to do that, but people generally do better when they make short term sacrifices for long term prospects.

I think you'd be mad to pass up the opportunity of a paid for degree.

Pettywoman Thu 28-Jul-16 17:41:10

I wish I had that opportunity, you lucky thing. You'd be crazy not to finish it.

SlightlyperturbedOwl Thu 28-Jul-16 17:45:01

It's a great opportunity, but you need to want to do it. It's hard going and you need that desire in order to motivate you through. Have you imagined how you would feel if the opportunity was taken away? Would you feel disappointed or relieved?

TheSnowFairy Thu 28-Jul-16 17:52:35

Definitely do it, it's only another year. My employer paid for mine and so did my friend's employer - we've both finished now and are so glad we completed them.

Grit your teeth, in the nicest possible way stop making excuses and go for it. If your boss is retiring you might not get this chance again.

blondieblondie Thu 28-Jul-16 18:48:52

Re my son going home to an empty house, I'm just not comfortable with that. I've reduced my hours for his first year of high school and then I'm reverting back. But I never came home to an empty house and it just doesn't feel right. But if I decide to go back, I've no option.

As for did I enjoy it before, not particularly. There were some parts I found more interesting than others though. I would need the degree to ever get into a management position, but I'm not sure I'm confident enough/cut out for that role. I'm only in an admin role just now, although I have done a well recognised sector specific course that would get me into some lowere level jobs.

Do I want another child if I meet someone? I change my mind about that a lot, so can't say. If I thought it was going to happen on the next three years and definitely work out, then I think so. But there no guarantees so I couldn't put it off based on that.

I don't have to pay back anything for what I did before. But if I go back now I think I'd be best to start from scratch to help my confidence. We've merged since the first time, and technically a new organisation so I think that would be allowed. But maybe in my mind it would be easier to go back if o only had a year and a not to do.

I know I really should blush

Merimum Thu 28-Jul-16 19:32:36

I think you'd be silly to pass up the opportunity. My mum did a degree while working FT with 4 kids. I've done numerous courses and professional exams while working FT, having 2 under 4 and being heavily pregnant. I'd be jumping at a paid for degree in your position!

SouthWindsWesterly Thu 28-Jul-16 19:35:01

Do it! Come up with an agreement with another mum or someone who needs to work weekends that you can have their child so company. This is a fantastic opportunity. Grasp it. Try it. You may not get the chance again, what do you have to lose in attempting it.

RubbleBubble00 Thu 28-Jul-16 20:20:35

Could you spread the degree over an extra year to lighten the load?

junebirthdaygirl Thu 28-Jul-16 20:39:33

I think anyone doing a degree under those circumstances will hit a wall at times especially when an assignment is due and you just can't get into it. If you do it decide that no matter what happens you will see it through. I agree it will have a positive affect on your ds. Also you never know who you might meet as it's far easier to meet people, even make new friends when you are outside the dating scene and relaxed.
The 2 years will go by anyway. Its a short length of time. Could a neighbour watch your ds for you. My youngest ds came home an hour before l got home and absolutely thought he was kingpin being there on his own for that while. Made him more independent. I never came home to an empty house either but things change and you do what you have to do.

blondieblondie Fri 29-Jul-16 00:18:32

It's only one day a week, so I really don't think I could spread it more.

I don't have any mum friends that I'm friendly enough to do that with, or who I could return the favour for at weekend. (DS has football most Saturday's). And certainly no neighbours. I am hoping he'll take up some after school activities, so maybe that would help me there.

Good point about the two years passing anyway, though. And I do really want to be able to say I've achieved something. I'm not lazy, I studied for an HNC when DS was a toddler, and did the other course relating to my job while working full time. I guess I just like coming home and switching off, and knowing my time is my own with no pressures or deadlines.

But the thought that I could have finished it by now and be in a better paid job already does make me think I should just get my finger out or I'll feel even more of a failure in two years time.

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