Had a rough time in college...

  1. There's an accelerated program I'm interested in that starts in 2009...the deadline to apply is over 2 years away but I'm already planning. It's for people who already have bachelor's degrees in another subject and is 15 months long.

    Here's the rub. I graduated from college in 1997 and had a really rough time of it because I suffered from severe depression. I basically limped to the finish line with a GPA below 2.5. It was particularly embarrassing since I was a straight A student in high school and was a national merit semi-finalist, and got a 1350 on my SAT.

    I plan to make straight As in the pre-requisite courses, but I'm wondering how much my undergraduate GPA will hold me back. My undergrad degree is in a liberal arts discipline and I took few science/math courses, so it would be hard to examine my undergraduate record and say "Lady DB Programmer is bad at science/math" because I'm not.

    I can't even ask if anyone's been through this particular program because it's brand new at TWU (Texas Women's University) in north Texas. They also require 37 hours of pre-requisites, which is how they cram the rest of it into 15 months. I'm not sure I could swing 37 hours part-time over a year and a half. That's the punchline...I'm not even in Texas yet. I'm still in the UK. I'm a native Texan, but I've been living over here for six years and we're going back to TX in about 12-16 weeks...possibly too late to enroll for summer, definitely won't be able to get in-state tuition because I haven't been resident for six years.

    Oh, and it gets better...I'm 31 and we haven't had kids yet. We want kids. Badly. Now. We're scared to wait since I turn 32 next year, hubby turns 40, and we're both scared of getting too old.

    I wouldn't be surprised if anyone or everyone says to give up.

    :uhoh21:
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   arciedee
    Wow, that's a lot going on all at once! I'll try to break down your questions.

    Will your prior GPA hold you back? Maybe. HOWEVER. 1) If this is a new program they may not have a lot of applicants yet, so competition may not be as stiff (notice the liberal use of the word "may"...). 2) Many schools pay more attention to recent coursework than a ten-year-old GPA. They recognize that many people suffered from a less-than-stellar college career for various reasons (young and stupid being a big one, but certainly depression and other reasons, too). 3) This is something you can address in your personal statement. Not as an excuse, but more as a "see how I've grown, handled stress/debilitation/etc."

    Will you be able to get all the pre-reqs in? Well, this probably depends in large part on whether you need to work, and if so whether full- or part-time. I have taken up to 8 credits with a full-time job and balanced it pretty well, and if my commute was slightly less ridiculous I could see maybe adding another class on top of that, but it really depends on your family, what you can handle, etc. As for the tuition issue, I don't know how strict Texas is on residency. I know for myself when I took classes at my local CC they did not ask for any proof of residency. I also was not matriculated. But that's something to look into.

    Kids... there never is a good time to have them, is there? My gut feeling is this: if you and your husband are both itchy to have kids soon, then I say go for it now. You have your whole life to become a nurse (not that you want to take that long, I know). And there are other routes to becoming a nurse. Obviously this program is your preferred route. But there are associate degree programs (which combined with your prior bachelors degree will sometimes allow for admission to MSN programs, if you think that is something you'd want to do). There may be other accelerated or direct-entry programs in your area.

    Hope this provided at least a little reassurance that you're not crazy and you should NOT give up if this is something you want to do. Best of luck!
  4. by   sunnyjohn
    Go for it.

    I am also plagued with severe depression. Went to college during the 90's. I got excellent grade the first two years, then proceeded to fail practically every single class.

    Eventually I limped across the finish line and got my degree. A few years ago I went back to a community college and got a certificate in surgical tech. STRAIGHT A"s and excellent clinical reviews!

    I've redone all my prereqs along with advanced college science (Bio, Chem, Phsyics and Math).... A's.....

    I still get depressed, but I really think my age (33) and experience has made me a better student. Being a student and becoming a nurse does not mean you can't still have a baby.

    GO FOR IT!

    By the way I used to live in North Texas. Check out the classes at Dallas County Community Colleges. That's were I did my prereq's. I knocked out both A&P's in one summer! They have classes that start every month and two sessions in the summer. All 7 schools are excellent and the tuition is fairly decent.

    DCCCD: DCCCD Home
  5. by   lady_db_programmer
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    Go for it.

    I am also plagued with severe depression. Went to college during the 90's. I got excellent grade the first two years, then proceeded to fail practically every single class.

    Eventually I limped across the finish line and got my degree. A few years ago I went back to a community college and got a certificate in surgical tech. STRAIGHT A"s and excellent clinical reviews!

    I've redone all my prereqs along with advanced college science (Bio, Chem, Phsyics and Math).... A's.....

    I still get depressed, but I really think my age (33) and experience has made me a better student. Being a student and becoming a nurse does not mean you can't still have a baby.

    GO FOR IT!

    By the way I used to live in North Texas. Check out the classes at Dallas County Community Colleges. That's were I did my prereq's. I knocked out both A&P's in one summer! They have classes that start every month and two sessions in the summer. All 7 schools are excellent and the tuition is fairly decent.

    DCCCD: DCCCD Home
    I've heard that El Centro's ADN program is really good. Some people have attitude about CCs but I definitely don't. I took some classes at Brookhaven during summers when I was getting my degree at UT-Austin and they were just as rigorous as UT. Do they really have chem and bio classes starting every MONTH? That's incredible. I guess I've gotten used to the near-complete lack of adult education up here in rural England. If you want to switch careers mid-stream, it's extremely difficult to do here.

    Maybe I should do an ADN instead of going for an accelerated course...I hear that accelerated courses have really high GPA pre-reqs. I've heard that it's tough to get some nursing jobs without a BSN, but since an ADN has the same certification and takes the same test as someone with a BSN, does it really matter that my bachelor's degree isn't in nursing?
  6. by   stpauligirl
    What do you want more...kids or a nursing degree at this time?
    Now I am one of those "you have to breastfeed your babies" kind of mom and I stayed home with both until they were able to go to school...you are at the perfect age for kids...kids grow and eventually leave...once they leave the baby stage and start preschool you could slowly pick things up agian in school. We have a narrow window for having babies but you can always go to school don't matter what your age. I am 47 and started going towards nursing a couple of years ago. My oldest is 22 and will get married next year, my youngest is 8 and in 3rd grade. a llife entirely without children wouldn't make me happy, finding the right balance is the trick.
    f course this is only my opinion and the decision is ultimately yours.
    Good luck with your decisions.
    Last edit by stpauligirl on Dec 1, '06
  7. by   BSNtobe2009
    This has happened to ALOT of students, and it doesn't mean that you are forever barred from advancing your education.

    I would call the college and explain your situation and see if they have a grade appeals process. How that usually works is if it has been a long break (5 years or more) since you last attended college, they will go by your NEW grades for admission purposes, but will still allow you to use credits earned in your previous degree.

    Your college may have some variation, but that is about how they work, if they entertain it at all.
  8. by   lady_db_programmer
    Hey guys, thanks for all the advice so far. I think what I'll do when we go back to Texas is have some babies, but also keep working in my present field and slowly build up my pre-requisites, and make decisions about programs when I'm closer to achieving those pre-requisites. I doubt I'll finish them in time to start a program in 2009, and I doubt we'll be done with having kids by then anyway. I'll only be 34 in 2009 and that's definitely not too late to go back to school. My parents will both retire in 2010 and they'll be able to help us out a lot more than they could right now. I suppose I shouldn't be in any freaking-out hurry. After all I'm only 31. I still get nervous though; at my office they're outsourcing a lot of the DBAs' work and they're petrified. However, I have read that the I.T. sector will continue to grow in the United States despite outsourcing, and Money magazine stated that software engineering and I.T. analyst jobs will both increase by 40-50% in the next ten years. So I suppose I could be panicking for nothing.

    I find I.T. intellectually challenging, but I find science and medicine even more challenging and I find myself reading more about those subjects than any other. I think nursing would be a good way to balance a solid career with my interests and my desire to help people instead of sitting behind a desk all day. But I can still do that if I have kids first, I guess.
  9. by   WDWpixieRN
    I just left the IT field and it does seem to be settling down here a lot....jobs are available, people are moving around again, and if nothing else, consultants seem to be getting a TON of work....there's always that....

    As for the school and kids issue...I agree that you are still young...I am 50 and in my first semester of NS....I didn't necessarily wait until my kids were grown, but I did get my BS in MIS once they were in grade school (I'm a late bloomer, lol).....so a few years spent knocking out or retaking prereqs and coreqs might not be such a bad idea for you...you will most likely be required to retake any applicable science courses over 5 years old for most programs anyway...

    Also, as for the tuition thing, you might see how that would work with you having been a former resident...when I was looking out of state at a program and asked how long for non-resident tuition, they kind of looked at me with a wink and said, "Don't worry about it"....and I saw that California had enacted some kind of legislation that made you eligible for in-state tuition if you had graduated from a high school there (there were some other exceptions that I can't remember)...so there may be ways around that that you hadn't considered yet...

    Best wishes to you in all endeavors!!
  10. by   PsychGrad2BRN
    Hey lady_db_programmer,

    Your screen name stood out to me because I used to work in IT as well. In addition, our graduation year/age is the same. I really hear what you're saying about depression putting a damper on college grades, because I went through similar issues as well.

    Just some things to think about before taking the plunge:

    1) What kind of lifestyle do you want when you have kids? Being in the nursing profession would offer you greater flexibility in your work schedule, and you can also work part time. With IT, you're more limited in scheduling work hours.

    2) You can probably knock out more prereqs than you think with your previous bachelor's. Of course, look at the schools and their particular requirements. But you may not need 37 hours of prereqs.

    3) From what I have heard, many ADN programs are actually MORE competitive than the Direct Entry/Accelerated BSN programs since they are much less expensive. But DE/ABSN is also much more intense.

    4) Many schools only care about recent grades, or the grades in your prereqs. Check the admissions standards of the schools to which you will apply. If you get A's in your prereqs, it may not matter that you got a 2.5 ten years ago.

    5) As far as projected job growth in the IT field is concerned, I don't believe it. Of course, I am sour on the field due to losing my job in 2004, and not being able to get back into it (I'm a social worker now). Think about this: you can't send healthcare overseas.

    Of course, you need to make the decision that is right for you. Good luck.
  11. by   lady_db_programmer
    Quote from PsychGrad2BRN
    Hey lady_db_programmer,

    Your screen name stood out to me because I used to work in IT as well. In addition, our graduation year/age is the same. I really hear what you're saying about depression putting a damper on college grades, because I went through similar issues as well.

    Just some things to think about before taking the plunge:

    1) What kind of lifestyle do you want when you have kids? Being in the nursing profession would offer you greater flexibility in your work schedule, and you can also work part time. With IT, you're more limited in scheduling work hours.

    2) You can probably knock out more prereqs than you think with your previous bachelor's. Of course, look at the schools and their particular requirements. But you may not need 37 hours of prereqs.

    3) From what I have heard, many ADN programs are actually MORE competitive than the Direct Entry/Accelerated BSN programs since they are much less expensive. But DE/ABSN is also much more intense.

    4) Many schools only care about recent grades, or the grades in your prereqs. Check the admissions standards of the schools to which you will apply. If you get A's in your prereqs, it may not matter that you got a 2.5 ten years ago.

    5) As far as projected job growth in the IT field is concerned, I don't believe it. Of course, I am sour on the field due to losing my job in 2004, and not being able to get back into it (I'm a social worker now). Think about this: you can't send healthcare overseas.

    Of course, you need to make the decision that is right for you. Good luck.
    I don't need any persuading to get out of IT; everything I've read indicates above average job growth in the field but I'm tired of having to prove that I'm worth my salary and that I can do the job better than some guy in India. The company I work for has about 5,000 workers in India and you can really see the difference in quality; if we get data that is *****'d or cases that have been rewound about 800 times, we know for sure that they're from India because they always are. The company I work for is so committed to 'offshoring,' as they call it, that even though the quality of work from India is so bad that some jobs are being recalled from there, other jobs are being sent over in their place.

    In a nutshell, I'm paranoid about the future and one of the things that's attractive about nursing is that nurses can't be outsourced...among many other things that make it attractive. I suppose I should leave that part out at any interview.



    As for my pre-reqs...the accelerated program requires 6 hours of US history, which I didn't have to take in college; and since I was a liberal arts major I didn't take classes like nutrition and statistics. Any A&P I'd taken I would have to retake, but I didn't take any. All the bio and chem classes I had were non-major classes. UT had two flavors of science: one flavor for science majors, and another for non-science majors. I was in the 'science lite' classes, so I don't think they would count. :spin:
    Last edit by lady_db_programmer on Dec 2, '06
  12. by   catzy5
    Quote from lady_db_programmer
    There's an accelerated program I'm interested in that starts in 2009...the deadline to apply is over 2 years away but I'm already planning. It's for people who already have bachelor's degrees in another subject and is 15 months long.

    Here's the rub. I graduated from college in 1997 and had a really rough time of it because I suffered from severe depression. I basically limped to the finish line with a GPA below 2.5. It was particularly embarrassing since I was a straight A student in high school and was a national merit semi-finalist, and got a 1350 on my SAT.

    I plan to make straight As in the pre-requisite courses, but I'm wondering how much my undergraduate GPA will hold me back. My undergrad degree is in a liberal arts discipline and I took few science/math courses, so it would be hard to examine my undergraduate record and say "Lady DB Programmer is bad at science/math" because I'm not.

    I can't even ask if anyone's been through this particular program because it's brand new at TWU (Texas Women's University) in north Texas. They also require 37 hours of pre-requisites, which is how they cram the rest of it into 15 months. I'm not sure I could swing 37 hours part-time over a year and a half. That's the punchline...I'm not even in Texas yet. I'm still in the UK. I'm a native Texan, but I've been living over here for six years and we're going back to TX in about 12-16 weeks...possibly too late to enroll for summer, definitely won't be able to get in-state tuition because I haven't been resident for six years.

    Oh, and it gets better...I'm 31 and we haven't had kids yet. We want kids. Badly. Now. We're scared to wait since I turn 32 next year, hubby turns 40, and we're both scared of getting too old.

    I wouldn't be surprised if anyone or everyone says to give up.

    :uhoh21:


    I won't say give up, many of us here are returning older students. I think it will depend on the school as far as what they take for grades and transfers. I go to a community college and they only look at my pre reqs for admittence to the program and they transfer my classes from school 20 years ago that I need for my degree.

    I will say 2 things don't be so dead set on one particular school if you get in there great! and it works for you fantastic, but keep your options open, if you haven't moved back home yet look at some other schools you might have to step the program going for ADN then later BSN might be the easier or more flexible way for you right now with all you have to do. My best advice is to go for the biggies science ap micro chem etc...peck them off your list anywhere (that has transferable courses) one at a time. Also look at the big picture only once, figure out a game plan then take off small manageble chunks that you can actually get thru. If you don't do this you will become overwhelmed, discouraged and quite possible give up.

    >.....someone who has been there done that>>>
  13. by   MB37
    I think having a kid or a couple sooner rather than later is probably a good idea. Of course, my DH and I are waiting until I finish my accelerated program, but I should start in May so it's not too far off, and I'll be 29 when I graduate (hopefully). You can definitely take prereqs part time, and they probably offer some of them online. If it takes an extra year or two to get into the program, it'll still be worth it. Plus a slower pace will make tuition cheaper if you have to wait a year or two for in-state tuition to kick back in. I like the idea of the accelerated programs for those of us who already have degrees, because they take less time than an ADN program and the prereqs are almost the same. As opposed to first time in college BSN students, we don't usually have to take foreign language, art, history, etc. b/c we've already had most of it the first time around. That being said, gather as much info as you can about this accel. program and any other ADN/BSN programs in the area. The school I'm going to admits on a strict GPA basis, no excuses, and they count every class you've ever taken in college. My old school in Louisiana only looked at your prereq GPA, plus interview, essay, etc. Different schools do it different ways. Frequently though, second degree programs have slightly lower GPA standards than other programs, because we've taken SO many classes already it's very difficult to maintain much over 3.5. Good luck with whatever you decide, and sorry for the rambling response...
  14. by   stpauligirl
    [
    Sounds like a great plan....I had my youngest at 38. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined to go for nursing....I initially worked on becoming a school teacher, was working as a sub but took a nice long break with my youngest for nursing. After he started school I wanted something more challenging than an English major....so here I am....almost finished with my prerequisites for nursing and doing great at 47!!!!!
    We can have anything....just not all of it at the same time?!?!
    Good luck and be gentle with yourself, pregnancy takes alot of energy.
    Last edit by stpauligirl on Dec 3, '06

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