A Journey Back to School by Allison Nimlos

Allison was one of our contributors for our Fall issue. She curated a fun list of back-to-school items on page 14. What you didn't get to see (due to our layout and space issues) was her story of her own journey back to the classroom. We so appreciate our contributors opening up and sharing their stories with us, so we wanted to make sure we featured it here on the blog! Thanks, Allison!

Photo of U.C. Berkeley by Camilla

Photo of U.C. Berkeley by Camilla

After five years away from the classroom, I'm heading back to school to pursue a new dream career in diabetes education. I have lived with type 1 diabetes for 18 years, and there's something very special about helping others who live with the same disease. It's like helping a family member! I know my future work will be very rewarding, but, in the meantime, it means a lot of learning and preparation! 

To do that, I'll enroll in nursing school in a year or so after I complete some prerequisite courses. I'm very excited to start working toward a lifelong goal that I have been afraid to pursue, but I'm also very nervous about all the work it will take. It's one of the reasons I've waited so long to pursue this career. For the past five years, I've worked in public relations and journalism, so my world has revolved around words. Now, heading into nursing and diabetes education, my head will be swirling with biology, chemistry, and math. It's a whole new world! 

The biggest differences, in my opinion, will be the lack of external motivation. I’ll have teachers giving me assignments, but I won’t have a boss checking in on me, and I won’t have coworkers working next to me. I’ll see my classmates for a few hours while in class, but then off we go! There also isn’t a common mission that my classmates and I share other than passing the class. Being so independently driven to do well is going to be very different from the workplace. 

My days will no longer be confined to a 9-5 structure, so time management is a big priority. I’m excited to have my day broken up into chunks of time, but I’ll need to keep my social media addiction in check! Balance is the name of the game as I try to get a handle on my new class schedule, math, biology and chemistry homework, freelance assignments, health and fitness, and, of course, spending time with my husband and friends! I hope there are enough hours in the week for all I’m committed to!

Are any of you in school or thinking about going back? We'd love to hear your stories. Share in the comments!