I’ll make my own degree

Earlier in the summer I decided that I wanted to finish school. I have about a year left if I were to go full time. I love school. I especially love the classes that I choose. My major is interdisciplinary studies, I basically get to choose my own classes and make my own degree. My classes include anything to do with people: anthropology, sociology, communications, history, and I had a few culture classes and film ones as well.

The pros to me finishing school are:

  • Finishing something I started
  • I will have a degree
  • I will learn so much
  • I will probably make some more friends

After talking to my academic advisor I was positive that I wanted to go back. Then I started to think of the cons and if it’s really necessary that I finish school right now.

Cons include:

  • School costs money, that means more student loans if I don’t get a scholarship
  • I need to find a daycare for my son, that also costs money
  • My degree has nothing to do with my path right now
  • Commuting also costs money and precious time

Mainly the cons are money. We don’t really have a lot but we’re cool with that. It just doesn’t seem fitting right now for me to finish school just because I like going to school and because I love my classes. My motive for my degree before was to join the peace corps or something similar. Right now, this is not a possibility. After considering the pros and cons I realized that I can be just as happy and do other things that I love just as much as school. I can take other “classes” outside of a University, classes within my community and home. I can make my own degree at home.


I really want to expand my network as a doula.  I need to put all of the effort that I would be putting into school into being the best doula that I can be. This means I need to attend more births, read more, learn more, and possibly attend workshops. I can create my own doula “class” instead of taking a class for my bachelor’s degree. I have only been to a few births but at every one I am assured that I love being a doula. I know that I can help so many mamas and I know that I need to work harder to reach them. If I spent the time it takes me to commute to school every day on developing and growing my doula career, I might get more clients.


I want to dance more and do some yoga too. Taking a dance class in town with a local community dance company is much cheaper than taking any class at a university. Yoga classes cost money too but I can also work on doing yoga on my own for free and just take a class once in a while. Dance is a language that I’m losing and I want to keep it. I want to keep dancing more than I want to take out another student loan. Having a better yoga ability and dance skills means more to me than having a degree. 

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It seems that once I became clear on what I wanted to do I became more and more excited about my path. And then another opportunity came along. My friend and neighbor recently got the opportunity to teach at a Montessori school nearby so that her daughter could go for free. Strictly a trade. I was so happy for her and didn’t really consider doing anything like that since my son is only two. Soon enough, my friend connected me to the same opportunity at the same school, same trade and everything, even the same subject as her! I was a little hesitant to take this position since it meant committing to a full year. Once I started teaching, I was so glad that I added one more “class” to my schedule if you will. I get to teach practical life skills and we also get to talk about other cultures around the world…right up my alley!! Also, my son gets to go to school! Even though I was hesitant to take this opportunity at first, I can now see that my son and I will benefit so much.


These are my students that I taught English in south east China fall semester of 2009

Now that I can see what the next few months will look like (dance classes, births…hopefully!, and teaching) I don’t feel that I am missing out on finishing school. Yes I still love school and I would consider finishing if the circumstances were different. I don’t feel that my path right now is anything less stimulating or less rewarding than school. I’ll still be learning and doing what I love. I may not receive a bachelor’s degree but it doesn’t matter, my current “classes” will teach me what I need I know right now. 


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