Janice Stevens’ Return to School at 41

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October 12th, 2018 by schoolbound

When Janice Stevens considered furthering her education at age 41, she had plenty of worries. She hadn’t been in a classroom in over 20 years and had never completed any classes beyond high school. After years of working in the same job for over a decade with little increase in pay, Janice was still working more than 40 hours a week to make ends meet. Even worse, she dreaded going to work. As her daughters entered high school, Janice wondered what kind of example she was setting for their future.

“I was incredibly nervous during the first week,” Janice admits. “I went into classrooms with students barely older than my own daughters. These students had recent experience with the necessary math and science for nursing, and I hadn’t been a student for decades. At first, I was too intimidated to even speak up during class.”

Janice’s realization came after her first month of school was complete. “I was studying alone in the kitchen long after my family was asleep, and I hit a wall. I couldn’t get any further on my own. I shut down the computer and resolved to quit. Once I got in bed, I was wide awake. The thought of sharing my failure with my family was worse than facing another day of study.”

Her answer came early in the morning in the form of advice she’d given to her own daughter. “When you don’t know what to do, ask for help.”

“I went to my professor for suggestions. The following day I joined a study group. Age made no difference when we were all studying the same thing. These students and I shared the same goals, and the same passion for helping people through medicine.”

As Janice works toward her degree, she gains experience with an internship. “It’s thrilling to work in a doctor’s office with real patients while I’m still in school. I wake every morning knowing I have made the right choice. I am going to love my new career.”

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