Last week I was officially accepted into an Engineering program at my local college, this week I have officially enrolled in my first class. At this time, I will only be taking one class as that is all I can afford, but eventually, I will have to return to school full-time. The one class will cost me about $1,450 including tuition and fees versus the roughly $3,800 per semester it would cost to go back full-time in tuition and fees.
I estimate I would need approximately $9,000 a year for a full-time return to school, that number would include the cost of tuition, textbooks, fees, etc. Knowing that I do not have that kind of money readily available I set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help me avoid having to take out student loans to pay for them. I am still working on paying the roughly $33,000 in loans I have from my first degree and to add approximately $30,000 for a second degree plus what I would need for a master’s would be tough financially.
While the finances are enough to give some agita, I am more concerned with prepping myself for school. I have equal amounts of nervousness and excitement on the prospect of learning something that I have had an immense personal interest in. Science and Engineering have been a hobby since I was a kid, along with studying Ancient Egypt. Both could be traced back to the shows and movies I used to watch when I was a kid especially the Sci-Fi franchise Stargate.
The one advantage of taking only one class this first semester is it gives me the chance to reacclimate myself to the learning environment, it has been a decade since I was last in a class, and even longer since I took classes seriously (that is definitely a failing on my part). Taking just one class also allows me to focus my energy on that one class and ensure that I get a good grade. Thankfully the one class I will be starting off this journey with will be College Algebra and Trigonometry, the very subject that I have spent the last month preparing myself for. In a while, the preparation I have been doing has given me the confidence in myself and the motivation to want to be a better student than I was when I got my first degree. Keeping up this motivation when the work gets more difficult will be the true test of my will to make it through this journey, but I am keeping an open mind. Engineering classes are not for the faint of heart, knowing that going in is important.