I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology almost ten years ago. I expected that I would go directly into graduate school to get a Ph.D. in that field of study. However, after I was a teacher for several years, I became disabled and had to reconsider that choice of career. Mainly, I would not be able to travel and having a career in Anthropology means being flexible about your location. With that in mind, I had to figure out what kind of degree to get that would expand my skills and allow me to switch into a career that I loved as much as writing.
Disability means switching careers
When I developed many neurological problems that prevented me from working in environments with fluctuating lights, I found myself only being able to work from home. With severe consequences for dealing with a typical office environment, I had to choose a profitable career within my skills set that allowed me to control my work environment. While I worked in writing and editing for many years, I wondered if there was a bigger career for me in writing, ethnography, and journalism.
Using disability technology to succeed in graduate school
For the first four years when my disabilities were first apparent, I was definitely too disabled to attend college altogether. However, around year five, not only did some of my more complicated symptoms subside, but I also found technology was keeping up with new disabilities. Mainly, after many years of severe health issues, I had lost part of my vision. Although I might have been able to sit in a class again, I would not be able to function in the classroom… or so I thought.
Thankfully, advances in screen reading technology and the voice recognition system for computers made writing and editing extremely easy for me. In addition to being an accurate technology, Kindle from Amazon started a college textbooks service. This means that if I cannot read the text in print, I can have the Kindle read the books to me. With all the right tools, I found myself suddenly ready to go back to school. Now I just had to find the right career.
I wrote a longer article on this topic that you can access here.
The right college graduate career was unexpected
I never thought that I would want to aspire to be a businessperson. Nonetheless, the more I researched my skill abilities, the more I found myself associated with a Master’s in Business Administration. Not only would I have many more opportunities to work for my home office, I would be using my best quality.
When all else fails with my health and vision, I still have the opportunity to use my mind and my voice. If I have more problems in the future with my vision, I will not need to worry about switching jobs or finding a new skills set. As long as I can speak and listen to the computer, answer a phone, and shake a hand, I will be happy with over twenty choices of MBA degrees. Now the only question was how I was going to pay for going back to school.
Entrance exams and application fees blues
Since I was disabled for over six years, my bank account has been completely wrecked. I knew that I could take out student loans, but I was not sure if it would be enough to cover all of the extra expenses I tend to incur because I am disabled.
Thankfully, depending on the school that I applied to, I can use my MBA entrance exam, called the GMAT, to snag a few extra dollar signs with scholarships. This way, I knew I would need to take extra time to learn the exam and make sure I came out on top. For this reason, I decided not to rush through the experience and instead spent a year studying. I also used that time to appeal to as many rich people as I could find about my plan.
Most of them agreed that allowing me to pay them after I graduated was a great way to help me get a boost out of the financial downhill that disability usually entails. This was helpful because each application was almost $50 and the GMAT fee was $250. Although I called Vocational Rehabilitation services in the state of Kentucky, I never received a call back concerning assistance with any of my back to school technology or entrance free costs.
Gathering my bravery may not be needed
I was extremely distressed that I would be in a class full of rambunctious kids on my first day of school. However, after visiting the programs throughout California, I realized that the population of college campuses has changed a lot. Although I was returning to school in my mid thirties, there were plenty of other people my age doing the same thing.
For this reason, I am not completely nervous about the other students. After my yearlong program is finished, I will continue working as a writer, but I will also have one of the most successful degrees in the United States.
Naturally, after my long struggle with disability, I will feel a great deal more of economic empowerment. Altogether, I know I have made the right decision — now I just need to start my first day of school.
Miniature horses help you go back to school
If you know someone that has a disability, perhaps you need to remind them that there is an unlimited number of miracles that can help them get back to school. Although it seems like a humorous idea, many people are finding that they have the extreme independence, on a place like a college campus, when they have a miniature horse as a service animal.
These mini horses are helping blind and disabled people move through crowds and other areas the sight impaired tend to avoid. A miniature horse as a service animal might not be for everyone, but it is definitely something to consider. After all, the most important thing is that you go to school and become an economically empowered. How you get there depends on how many resources you can access.
This means turning over many stones until you find the right combination. The best advice anyone could give to a potential student that wants to go back to school it is to not lose hope and not give up on your dreams. I stuck with the whole process, and now I will have a solid career.