Going back to school. As a full time working mom.

I have dreamed about going to university since my last semester of college. Actually, if I am being honest, I dreamed of going to university for most of my childhood and all through high school. I think I was only about 13 years old the first time I toured University of Guelph and thought about what it would be like to be a student.

However, I lacked any focus in high school and didn’t nearly have the grades to get into university. Although I was heavily involved in clubs and extra curricular, I was a terrible student. I have a theory that my abusive childhood played a very large part in my inability to focus in school while still living in that small town…but I digress.

Once I got to Georgian College, I found that needed focus. It was a new community. A new start. The beginning of another chapter of my life that could only possibly be better than the last. I connected with professors who motivated me and I was learning about something I was passionate about. I finished one of the top students in my program and loved every minute.

College changed my life and I knew that one day, I wanted to help do that for other young adults.

A few weeks before the end of my program, one of my favourite professors asked me what I wanted to do with my life. My response was, “I want to work in marketing, advertising and sales for the next 15-20 years. Then I want to come back here and take your job.” I then added with a smile, “You know, when you’re done with it.” She laughed and suggested that I look into Athabasca University to further my education. Although it’s not required for a college professor to have a university level education, it certainly helps. She also figured that by the time I purse a teaching career, a bachelor’s degree and maybe even a masters will be requirements. 

I looked into university right away, ordered course catalogs and did all my research around how to get started, but the timing was just never right. I finally got enrolled last year, but still never started my first class. I had just started a new job that required an extra hour of commute time per day, my blog was starting to take off and we were in the midst of buying a new home. Again, timing and this time finances, got in the way.

Last week my husband and I got talking about it again. University is something we both want to do. We came to the realization that the timing might never be completely right. However this is a process and going to be a long one at that. Being realistic around my crazy busy life, I can foresee myself only taking 1-3 classes per year, so I will be at this for a while.

I had to just bite the bullet and get started.

So I registered for a class called Being Online. It’s a study of human interaction on the internet, the communities we encounter and the social networks we form. As a self diagnosed social media addict, it seemed like a good class to start with…

Last night my course materials arrived. I officially start the class on August 1st, but holding my study guide and text book in my hands made it feel real. Over 8 years after finishing college, I am a student again.

Going back to school as a full time working mom.

The moment made me think of my Mama. Who put herself through nursing school when my brothers and I were young. Who finally left factory work to be a nurse & help people. Something she has always had a natural gift for.

I’m not gonna lie, I stared at those books sitting on the desk in my study and shed a good few tears. I have always known I was smart enough for this. I have always known that I could achieve more than I initially set out to do. I just had to do it.

I love the thrill of being challenged. I love the prospect of once again writing papers and getting involved in discussions. I even love the idea of studying. Ask me again right before my first final and I am sure I will be singing a different tune…

Ideally speaking, the added stress that this next chapter will inevitably bring, will be heavily outweighed by what I stand to gain from the process. 

Do any of my fellow bloggers fall into the category of crazy busy parents who went back to school? Comment below. I’d love to hear any tips for time management and you know, staying sane!


  1. laura says

    I would love to go back and get my communications disorder ticket. I should look into if they have an online version. If you can find the time surely I can too

  2. Melissa says

    I’m proud of you Crystal! I know how long you’ve wanted this, and now you are on the path to your degree :)
    As we tell our grade 8 students, the choice between college and university is highly dependent on what you want to do in life…some careers are suited to one while some are suited to the other…they are two very different paths. I LOVED my time at U of G, and I needed that to become a teacher…not all careers need University to get you started and you were extremely smart in choosing the path that you did at that time, because it got you to where you are today! Both college and university are two great accomplishments and you will have the opportunity to experience both!!!! Congrats!

  3. says

    Good luck. I got my degree online and it is a ton of work. Online classes are great because they are flexible but it is important to keep up with the assignments each week and don’t fall behind.

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