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YOU CAN DO THIS.
There are many times in life when we need encouragement. One of those times is when we decide to continue or further our education. My husband and I have both gone back to college in our adult years (those post-high school and first round of college years). My husband is currently finishing up his degree with approximately a year and a half left. I remember his emotions when he first started the process of earning his Master’s degree. We had many discussions regarding what it would require for him to meet his career goals, and we knew that higher education was the best way for him to pursue them. He considered many North Carolina universities before deciding on the right one for him and his educational major. From excited to overwhelmed, he spanned a wide range of emotions in a short amount of time. After all, going back to school as an adult can be daunting. A few weeks into his first semester left him wondering if he had made the right decision. He needed many “You can do this” reminders that first semester!
There are many aspects of continuing our education that can cause anxiety.
- What school should I attend?
- What degree will help me meet my life and career goals?
- How will I fit this into an already full schedule?
- Will I be able to meet the academic demands?
- Will I be able to afford this?
These questions may seem intimidating, but the other side of the coin is so worth the journey! After all, many jobs require some sort of postsecondary certification/credential or 4-year degree. Higher education allows us to take advantage of more career opportunities. This not only affects us individually, but it can also have an economic impact on our communities. For my fellow North Carolinians, we have the Higher Education Works Foundation. This resource provides information for North Carolina families on UNC colleges and NC Community Colleges. Between both my husband and myself, we have degrees from both a UNC school and an NC Community College. We can attest to their versatility to allow students to gain their degree and meet their life goals.
For our family, the biggest concern in both my and my husband’s educational journeys was finances. UNC colleges and NC Community Colleges have been affordable for both of us. With the knowledge of how important postsecondary education is, we hope that the North Carolina higher education system remains affordable and accessible. North Carolina is one of the few states that has a constitutional mandate for affordable higher education:
“The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of the University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.”
North Carolina also offers opportunities in rural areas. With online course options and satellite campuses available through UNC colleges and NC Community Colleges across the state (like the one pictured below), there has never been a better time to pursue higher education.
Remember, YOU CAN DO THIS.
Trust me, the stack of books and supply lists may seem overwhelming, but what we teach our children, ourselves, and our community through perseverance is so worth the work!
Now that my husband’s degree completion is nearing, we are hopeful for what the future holds for him and our family. With four children and three jobs between the two of us, his degree completion has been a family endeavor. We are proud to continue to support him as he follows his calling.
Are you considering higher education?
Seek out which UNC college or NC Community College that may be right for you.
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