Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's not All about Hope...

but I am the one writing here so...

Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to the future. I have been a computer programmer for about 15 years now but I have been working on this Bachelors degree for what seems to be eternity (actually since 2008) and I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My contemplation is, so what happens when I get to the end of the tunnel? History tells me, I find another tunnel...

You might think that programming is what I have been studying for - but you would be wrong. I went into a different direction, Exercise & Sport Science, with a minor in Health Promotion. You might wonder how does one get from programming to exercise science? I'd say simple, but really - nothing ever is. Programming happened quite by accident. When I was in the Army, I was in the IS Department, not sure how I ended up there, but I did. My focus there was more networking and system administration. In 1997, I finished with the service, and enrolled in a Computer Information Systems Associate Degree program. I sat in my first class and was completely startled when the Professor said, 'Welcome to programming.' I was dazed, confused and for the first semester - pretty lost! I guess it grew on me, it was a lot of logic, and anyone who knows me, knows I like the black and white of any situation. Anyway, I have always been interested in fitness, and I have always been active, so in 2007, I made the decision to go back to school to pursue a degree in something I was passionate about. The final push was when Coastal began the Exercise & Sport Science program - I was in.

Now, working full time and going to school full time was something I wasn't so excited for. I started part time just to get the hang of being a student again, after all, I was about 15 years older than the average student. I did discover how much I didn't enjoy being surrounded by late teenies/early twenty somethings, but I wasn't there to make friends. I attended full time for about a year, in which I completed another Associates degree, then transferred to Coastal and began my Bachelors. I went part time for all of 2008 and 2009. In Spring of 2010, I took a full time load with one class during lunch, two evening classes and an online course. I was fine with the work load, until March that is, when I discovered I was pregnant. I really believe your brain shrinks and the semester couldn't end soon enough! So now I am back to part time, with a tentative graduation date of May 2012. The scary part is, people ask me what I am going to do with this degree when I finish & honestly - I have no clue!

I plan on obtaining additional certifications with the ACSM, hopefully pick up some part-time, flexible hours here and there. Personal training, maybe leading some classes, working within the fitness industry. My heart is really in cardiac rehab, no pun My interest peaked as I watched my mom recover from a triple bypass in 2006, without the support of a rehab program. Then in 2008, my father passed away due to heart failure. I really do want to help people, whether it be to prevent disease, or recover from cardiac procedures. Unfortunately, the opportunities is this area are few and far between! So I will just keep on keeping on and maybe at some point and opportunity will present itself.

Right now I have a good paying job, in an established career. So what do you do when you are in this position. In an ideal world, I would go on for a Masters, or jump into position even if the pay wasn't great, but I am not 21 and I certainly have responsibilities. So I guess all I can do is enjoy the personal accomplishment of completing a Bachelors, oh and start paying off the loans!

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