I graduated with my first bachelor's degree in 2012, and I honestly thought that would be the last time I set foot in a college classroom. Little did I know, 3 measly years later I would be back for more. I'm currently pursuing a second bachelor's degree before applying to grad school.
I've had to make quite a few adjustments since going back to school. More than I expected. I figured I would be a doll and give y'all a little heads up about what to expect if you're considering going back to school for round 2.
1. Expect to make less and spend more.
Taking on a full class load forces you to spend a little less time working and a lot more time studying. It also requires that you spend your whole life savings on textbooks. Typically, the second time around, mommy and daddy aren't there to pick up your financial slack. So prepare to spend what little free time you actually have thinking of cheap/free activities that you can do to fill your time.
2. Expect to have at least one mental breakdown per week.
Curling up on the couch bawling like a baby and questioning your sanity is totally the norm if you decide to go back to school. Just be comforted by the fact that you're not the only one sobbing on your couch over statistics exams and physics labs. I mean what is school without having a breakdown or two?
3. Expect to be anti-social.
Honestly who wouldn't want to skip brunch to stay home and complete an anatomy lab report?
4. Expect "the fun college stuff" to be a thing of the past.
This second go round I'm a "real" adult with "real" responsibilities. I have bills to pay, a house to keep in order, a husband/dogs to care for, a business to run, etc. That means that things like football games/tailgating, joining a sorority, and studying abroad just aren't going to be happening.
5. Expect homework, grad school research, and shadowing to basically be your life.
You always have homework. And when you finish it all, you still have homework. Even on the day you don't have homework, you have homework. If you're trying to get into grad school there is never a day that you're not researching programs or seeking shadowing opportunities or agonizing over having to take the GRE multiple times. IT'S FINE, REALLY.
On a serious note: I am extremely thankful that I am able to be back in school. I know a lot of people don't have that opportunity!