Sometimes you just know that what you are doing in your day-to-day life isn’t necessarily what you were “meant to do”. Sales is probably one of those things for me. I’m great at it-better than most in my profession, but it doesn’t mean this is my life-long 30-40 year plan or goal.
10 years ago, I had aspirations of completing my degree in Recreational Management at the University of Montana. I didn’t, and eventually ended up with an A.A. degree in Business Studies simply because I wanted complete something and I was a good student with this type of courseload. Math and science do not come easy to me. Writing, English, nature, people – those things come easy to me. And while I love to write, and share, I know that I don’t have the patience or audience to do it full time.
I want to be a park ranger. Or some type of job within the parks. Preferably National, but I would happily take county or state level too. I love working with people and working in nature. I like teaching and sharing with people about the beauty we have around us that we fail to appreciate. I believe deeply in conservation and the idea of nature being our church.
This is the main reason why I began volunteering at Hopewell Furnace NPS almost a year ago. Helping to support a park, and getting my foot in the proverbial door. But beyond that, I know that I could really use more knowledge on conservation, on parks programming, on how best to manage these protected areas. I have a lot to learn (something difficult for me to admit).
I’ve contemplated going back to school to finish my Bachelor’s degree for a long while, and admittedly, despite always wanting to find my own way, I recognize that college could provide me with a lot of useful information and studies at this point my career development. I know that not only would it increase my chances of one day working in a park, but I would also be that much more equipped.
It scares me-the thought of more school debt, of my down-time being sucked up into school. I probably wouldn’t commit until next year sometime, but just thinking about it makes me half sick in the stomach.
What are your thoughts?
Is a college degree the right way to pursue this type of degree?
Do you feel increasing your college knowledge helped you in your career?
Were the student loans worth it?