I am returning to school. I have a difficult time saying this out loud sometimes. After all, I left school for good—or, so I thought. I walked away from a PhD program in the midst of bitter disappointment a few years ago. The reason for walking away is not important here. What is important is that I thought I was done. No more school for me. Yet, here I am, going back to complete a PhD program. Why? What makes one go back to school? And, when should a person go back to school?
I heard horror stories from returning students. As recently as yesterday, I saw a disappointed post from a woman on twitter who went to Phoenix University to better herself. As a returning student, she had high hopes for a better future. Instead of a better future, though, she ended up feeling that she was wasting time and money on her university education. Given the horror stories, should anyone return to school, once leaving it behind for good?
I feel that there is one good reason to go back to school. This reason is to complete a missing part of one’s life. A burning desire has to be there to be in school with the feeling that returning to school will help one’s dream come true. If it helps a dream to be materialized, returning to school is in order.
For example, I believed in the topic for my PhD dissertation. I wanted to complete my thesis on near-death experience. I felt passionate about it. Not being able to complete my thesis left me with a feeling of unfinished business. So, it made sense for me to become part of a PhD program where I would receive the appropriate help and support to work out my project. That is the reason I chose to apply to the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University. I found the program to be suitable and the professors excellent. I received my letter of acceptance a few days ago. Now, I am happy to be back in school. This is my dream coming true!
One more word of advice, speaking directly to those who are planning to go back to school: Choose the school you are returning to very carefully. Not all schools are equal! Choose the school you are applying to, based on your plans. If a school does not have a good reputation, the tools you need in order to gain a proper degree or, the support of the professors for your particular project, do not apply! Keep searching for the school that suits your particular needs! Take the time! After all, returning to school is a big step. Don’t waste your money, time or effort on a plan that has a good chance of failing you.
Good luck everyone! I will see you around with school books in hand this upcoming September at Western University!