Sometimes It's Difficult Figuring Out What Question to Ask.

Updated on April 27, 2012
E.D. asks from Olympia, WA
12 answers

I'm not sure what my question is. I suppose it's probably, "what do I want to do when I 'grow up' and how do I get there".

I'm trying to write a personal statement for college admissions. I'm not even sure where to start. I want to learn about everything. My mind never stops moving. I love to think. It feels like electric fireworks across my skin. My list of career dreams spans from bee keeper to neurologist. I want to understand the cosmos and the mind; how the butterfly life cycle relates to human trauma; why it is that we experience life as we do...I want to find my place in this world.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I'll be able to hack the academic world. I've struggled in the past. I'm a one time high school drop out and a three time (community) college dropout. So part of me wonders if it's worth racking up debt if I'm not really cut out for institutionalized learning centers.

On the OTHER hand (we're going to need octopus hands here)...

My husband is not yet 30 and his body is starting to break down from the work he does. It's likely that I will need to support our family in the next decade or so. And, while I have worked years of jobs that pay min. wage (or just over), I really would love to work in a field I am passionate for.

What if school DOES work for me, now that I have more information about myself? The possibilities! I could have teachers to teach me and guide me, instead of searching for information on my own like a bat stuck in a disco.

And then there's: how about childcare, how do I give my children what they need during all of this?

Looking at this all is a bit like holding a tangled spool of yarn. How to even begin untangling it?
How do I find direction and focus?

Bleck. I'm seeing more barriers than openings. So one step in front of the other...I pray the pieces will fall into place as I go.

Any advice? Maybe you see an answer to a question I don't even know I need to know to ask ;-)

Biggest hugs and happy blue sky Thursday.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I do not have any advice, but I do want to tell you that I always find your writing to be lovely and thought-provoking. You seem like a wise soul. I wish you luck on your path, whatever you decide! Keep us in the loop!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I started college when I was in the middle of my divorce so I enrolled at the local community college. I took five courses, all core, all required regardless of what I picked as my major and all across the board. Two stood out as interesting and easy. Accounting and psych. No money in psych, accounting it is!

The rest is history.

I was lucky in that I didn't have to apply to SLU until after that first semester. I really didn't want to apply until I at least had a semester under my belt. I wanted to prove I could do it. It was so much easier to write that damn essay after I had a semester under my belt too. It was like haha! I not only know what I want to do but I know I can do it!

Kind of rambling here, just pick out what you need, toss the rest. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

oooo, sistah! i want to know everything about the world, the universe and everything!
i'd love to go to school too, but i don't want to take mandatory classes that don't interest me. i'm an autodidact and traditional education doesn't know what to do with people like me, even though right now i'm working in sort-of traditional education!
i want you to write, and/or teach. i love your lyrical, whimsical, articulate style of thinking and expressing yourself, and want you to spread your gift.
holler off-list if you'd like a tarot reading. maybe your guides are just waiting for the opportunity to answer that question you can't figure out how to ask.
:) khairete

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Hire yourself a Life Coach, one that specializes in careers, and in just a few sessions, they should be able to guide you to a vision of your future that allows you to put a plan in place. Go to Google to find them. Much better than a school counselor, IMO.

(And a meaning in life does not have to come from religion, it can come from creating a purpose and a direction in your life that gives you meaning. )

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I had a similar problem. School teaches us to absorb information and I found that I was good at it and I liked all the subjects that I was good at but I did have focus like I knew that I wanted to help people and I liked science so I went toward the field of life science. I got my bachelor in Genetics masters in Biochemistry and realized that raising my children with love is what I wanted to do most. When I had kids I realized the miracle of life and that raising my children as precious gifts from God is more important to me. School did less to focus on what life means to us.

This seems to be your particular interest..."I want to understand the cosmos and the mind; how the butterfly life cycle relates to human trauma; why it is that we experience life as we do...I want to find my place in this world." You are searching for a greater meaning in life. You won't learn that in school unless you explore religion : ) However, you can explore religion with help for free. Yes, some things are still free. Purpose and direction without God's love would be lacking in the meaning of life would only be a reflection of egotism at best. There is nothing with purpose and direction that is greater than God's love : )

Check out the living faith. Today's is "Outside Our Comfort Zone" reading from Acts 8:26 & message from Terri Mifek about doing what is right even if it means leaving your comfort zone.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

When people come to the end of their life, they don't regret their mistakes, but rather, they regret the things they always wanted to accomplish but never attemtped to. I say go back to school and stick with it! Eat off paper plates in the meantime and arrange for alot of playdates for your kids.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

Okay, over thinker, reign it I mean that lovingly ;)

I would suggest you start with 2 classes, maybe one science and one philosophy. You have time to finish and 2 classes will usually qualify you for part time aid. Most colleges have a care center that is either free to students or charges on a sliding scale.

You do this because your needs are important and your mind deserves the chance to learn from others as well as contribute to others learning. Take advantage of all the resources available at college. Really get to know a professor you respect.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I honestly think you'd make a great high school English teacher. Creative writing would be your "rocket" to becoming published!

You are older and wiser now, Ephie. You have a bigger purpose in mind now as an adult than you did earlier on. You can do this!



2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

One year from now you will be a year older and where will you be?
My aunt started RN school at 40 and retired as an RN with a huge retirement.
She's the one that said right before she started nursing school "In a year I'll be one year older, and I would have one year of nursing school under my belt"...
She passed away a few months ago, but her inspiring words live on through our family.
School doesnt take as long as it did back in the 70's.
Take some classes, youth is fleeting.
When you are 50 you will say "wow, I dont know why I didnt do this or that".. and it will piss you off.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am similar to you, I love to learn about new things. I would suggest a couple of things. For the essay, you can be open and honest about your aspirations and what you hope to gain and accomplish with a college education. They are not looking (or should not be looking) for a cookie-cutter essay about what you want to be when you grow up. It's perfectly fine for you to say you have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. That is something that is admirable in anyone of any age. Mention that in the beginning you would like to concentrate on core curriculum and decide on a path with the help of a guidance counselor. That will show them that you are not interested in being a perpetual student. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But the goal of any college is to educate students and give them the tools necessary to pursue a career.
Once you're accepted, I suggest meeting with a guidance counselor and see if he/she can help reign in some of that passion towards a career goal. If not, you have a while before you have to choose a major. Consider taking a career aptitude test. It might help you see where the majority of your passions and/or skills lie pertaining to certain careers.
Good luck!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

ditto to everything "galwaygirl" said!

I think that we are in the same place in our lives. & I remember a few months ago, thanking you for saying something which popped me out of my cocoon! You helped get me moving....& I'm moving at a snail's pace, but it's forward movement - all thanks to you. :)

My heart goes out to you. I honestly think your post here is a great personal statement! It could be your starting point.... Good Luck! & keep us posted, please.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Instead of college, how about a trade school. You will get through it faster than community college and you will only be studying what you're interested in. Either that or look at going to college on line and you can still be there for your kids. I know two attorneys who went to law school online and they are great attorneys!

1 mom found this helpful
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