You wake up every day to return to the same job you have been dragging yourself to for the past 10 years. However, you don’t see a way out. More sitting at a computer crunching numbers you don’t care about; performing mind-numbing data entry; or performing work that, let’s face it, was fine 10 years ago, but is starting to wear on you physically now.
You’ve always been interested in helping people, or computers, or nursing, or advanced manufacturing but you’re not sure if you can hack going to college at this point. You don’t have time. You’re afraid of math. Your cat wants you home at night. The excuses are endless.
Here are some top excuses. We’ll work on debunking each one.
Excuse #1: “I didn’t do well when I was in high school. Therefore, I won’t do well in college.”
You might have been really great at baseball or football while you were in high school. You might have slept in until noon on the weekends. You might have worn flip-flops in the wintertime. Who you were in high school has little relevance to who you are today. Your values, interests, and yes, your skills, have evolved.
You might be sorely out of practice at playing football today, though you might have been great at it 20 years ago. Likewise, you might be a great student today though you weren’t when you were younger. You’re more motivated. You have a lot of great experience to draw upon. You’re more mature.
“We have students come in that are absolutely brilliant and have no idea of their potential,” says Dr. Dusk Stroud, Lenoir Community College’s Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management. “Returning to college ends up being a great confidence-builder for them.”
Excuse #2: “I don’t have the time.”
We’re all doing a million things. However, think of the time that is wasted in your life when you’re unhappy with your career path. We tend to compensate for our unhappiness with other huge time and money wasters. You may constantly go shopping, eat out, or play mindless games on the computer, all in an attempt to feed yourself because your profession is not feeding you.
Also, most colleges, including LCC, cater to busy adults. “We offer courses at varying times, both in-person, online, synchronous, or as hybrid. Many parents like taking online courses, which allow them to complete their courses without having to arrange childcare,” Stroud said. “Through online learning, students take their classes when their children go to bed, on their lunch breaks, or whenever it’s convenient for them.”
You will probably find that, when you begin learning material that resonates with you, you will have a lot more energy and time to get the work done than you thought.
Excuse #3: “I can’t afford it.”
You may think that college is out of your reach because of cost. However, college may be more affordable than you think. “Financial aid grants and scholarships are available to those who qualify for both full-time and part-time students,” says Shelia Wiggins, LCC’s Director of Financial Aid. Wiggins encourages students to apply early. “This gives you the best chance of a financial aid package that meets your needs. A majority of LCC students receive some sort of financial aid.”
Most colleges, including LCC, have payment plans allowing you to pay your bill monthly instead of in one lump sum.
Wiggins encourages all students considering college to fill out the FAFSA form, the first step in the financial aid process, by going to studentaid.gov.
When it comes down to it, LCC tuition and fees, are $979.65 per semester, costs significantly less than most other colleges.
Excuse #4: “I can’t do math.”
So, you haven’t done calculus since your junior year of high school. So what? You won’t be thrown into calculus your first semester (and maybe not at all if your degree or certificate doesn’t require it). When you enter as a new student, you will be placed in courses that match the level you are at, and you will start there.
Excuse #5: “I don’t know what I want to study.”
You know that you want to earn a degree in something, you just aren’t sure what that something is yet! Do you keep putting off college until the bolt of inspiration comes?
“Students can enroll in a variety of classes which gives them an opportunity to get started where they can explore their interests,” explains Stroud. “From there, they can make an appointment with career services to take assessments to help them figure out their interests and what types of careers would suit them.”
So, you’ve taken courses in the past? Will they count?
Our lives are rarely a straight path. Instead, you may have many past college and work experiences. You might have a certificate from five years ago, two courses you took seven years ago, etc. For students with this type of background, their first question is, does any of this count toward a degree or certificate I would like to work toward now?
First of all, most associate degrees require about 60 credits. LCC can accept up to 30 of your past credits toward a degree. While past credits generally are accepted, the College does not accept coursework where significant changes have occurred in a given field (for instance, computer and technology fields change constantly). Science credits for the nursing program cannot be any more than five years old, either. For more information, visit www.lenoircc.edu.