I knew it. I just knew it. It never goes smoothly, so I don’t know why I thought it would this time. There is always something I don’t know or didn’t plan for or is more difficult than I thought it would be. I can feel my stomach tying up in knots right now just thinking about it.

I do – DO NOT – enjoy trying to get registered for college classes. At all. Whatsoever.

With that in mind, it was (of course) inevitable that I would experience at least one major freak-out in the process of pursuing a degree in the field of psychology. I would have hoped this would occur somewhere down the line, at least after I had registered for some classes. But, no, I couldn’t even get that far this time, even though if I had just used my brain for a second I would have realized what a dope I was.

Apparently, there are no grants available to post-baccalaureate students. The internet says grants may be available under certain circumstances, but I haven’t found anywhere yet that explains what those circumstances are. From the genesis of this idea to return to school, I have wanted to avoid a loan at all costs. My wife and I have worked very hard to keep our debt down, and piling up college loans would be very counterproductive to all that effort. I’m not saying I wouldn’t ever resort to a loan, but for the time being I would rather not.

now-panic-freak-out1That pretty much just leaves scholarships and grants to cover the costs of my Fall 2014 semester. Since I’ve missed most of the deadlines to apply for scholarships, however, that narrows things down to grants … which I just found out were unavailable. When I found this out yesterday, all my positive thinking, cognitive therapy, hopeful outlook went straight out the window. I felt like a fool. More accurately, I believed I was a fool. There was no way this could work. Why don’t I just give up right now?

Stepping back and looking at things today, I can see all is not lost. My main problem is I would like to obtain a degree which will take multiple semesters to complete right freaking now. The thought of having to begin with just one or two classes didn’t compute. “Do not despise these small beginnings…” I’ll definitely be out more of my own money than I was planning on if we go the route of paying for things ourselves, but it is possible to get started that way. And, really, I’m just beginning to discover what’s out there as far as areas of study and aid options go, so there may be something good waiting for me yet.

I don’t write all this to portray myself as some kind of martyr of the big, mean, expensive system of postsecondary education (although I do think it is absolutely outrageous what schools are charging for tuition these days). I’m writing it to say this: I freaked out. I thought I was moving past doing that, but I went headlong into it yesterday. Granted, in the past, I would still be freaking out today (and the next day and the next day and…), but it was a little frightening to see that side emerge again. I didn’t like it.

What I do like, though, is that I’m able to write all this down in past tense. I’m still extremely nervous and frightened and impatient when it comes to this new course (which I may never even get to), but I realize now there are going to be obstacles. There is going to be time involved. I’m going to have to what I can when I can. The main point of pressure is going to come from me, which means an occasional flip-out will be nearly certain. The real challenge will be whether I can recover from those moments.

By the way, if anyone reading this has had a similar experience with trying to get back into school to complete a post-baccalaureate degree, please contact me. Quite honestly, I have no idea what the heck I’m doing at the moment, so any and all advice would be appreciated. And feel free to share your own freak-outs as well. I’m sure we’ve all had them.
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