Category: Masters degree


So… a lot has happened since I last posted.

No, I didn’t run last year’s Marine Corps Marathon. But YES, I did defer it for this year, thus allowing me to skip over the newly enacted lottery. Hooray!

Yes, I finally have a treadmill. It is helping me to keep on track with running. Although, it gets boring. Fast. Let’s say at this stage my running is intermittent. Working on it.

No, I am not a volunteer for my husband’s unit new Family Readiness Officer… yet. But not at the fault of not trying on my behalf. The unit went through some changes like a middle aged woman going through menopause.

No, My husband is STILL (!!!!) not been retrained for a job with the USMC. I mean it’s only been three years. But he is the platoon Sergeant so it’s not like he’s not busy. Some of you are familiar with the term “the big green weenie.” My husband happens to be very familiar. On the plus side he’s been going through the process of applying for an aviator contract for Officer Candidate School. I’ll take bets on which happens first- new MOS training or Officer Candidate Course.

Yes, I’m still a stay at home mom. I’ve been really itching to get a part time job or go back to school but it’s just not a good time yet. Perhaps when our son attends pre-school in the fall. At least I can check off applying for the pre-school off my list. Next up: teaching him to pee in the damn toilet. You’d think it would be more fun for boys. Now if only someone could convince him of that. Geesh.

What does this all mean for me?

I’m going to start eating a no sugar diet. Read: no added sugar; natural sugar from fruits are fine. Although this may start out as a low sugar diet since I’m pretty sure I’m an addict. I guess I have to first convince my husband not to buy cookies and ice cream. I think this is going to help increase my energy because I’ve been super sluggish since turning 30… or maybe it’s since the moment I’ve had to be at the beck and call of a child every moment of every waking hour. It’s a coin toss really.

I also get to start shopping and looking into business licenses for my husband’s house in coastal Carolina. We’re turning it into a short term rental in order to offset the cost of mortgage. So far it’s not. At least everything we’re purchasing will be tax deductible. If we go the route of managing our own property I might take a course or five to make sure I have the professional background to keep it running smoothly.

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I took a little break from running (don’t worry, I still got in some physical exercise. Like on Monday I concentrated on flexibility and my core) to do some major research for a Master’s degree program. It has not been easy.

I am still in the midst of paying off my college loan. Luckily, the interest rate was a record low (it’s only 1.25%) and my balance is less than $8,000. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not that much compared to other college loan balances some of my other friends may have incurred. My original plan was to pay off that loan before beginning another one. I have a hard time accepting new debt unless it is a necessity. It’s now becoming more of a necessity. I have been out of the workforce for almost three years now (doing the whole stay at home parent thing instead) and I haven’t worked within the psychology field in almost four years. While I don’t think my previous education is now irrelevant, I do feel like it would help me to get back to being a valuable member of society by getting my Master’s degree. For all you, psychology majors out there: you all know that if you want to actually work in a psychology related career, you’ll need more than just a Bachelor’s degree. As much as the thought of doing a thesis gives me cold sweats and a bit of the shakes, I feel like I would impress the heck out of myself in the end. So I’m going to dive in the deep end of a graduate program this year.

The first thing I had to figure out was what degree was right for me. M.A.? M.S.? PsyD.? PhD.? I decided upon a M.A. or M.S. although I would prefer a M.S. I’d be just as happy in either. Why not a doctorate program? I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m not really the research type. This is mostly due to statistical analysis. Not my cup of cocoa. I took a statistics class specifically for psychology in college. I’m confident that my professor was a very intelligent woman, but she just wasn’t a very good teacher. She was very soft-spoken and we used old school projection machines back then (Yikes! I feel old!) that drowned out any useful information that escaped her mouth. My roommate and I left that class feeling more confused than when we went in most days. We found we had to teach ourselves from the book because our professor just didn’t grasp the concept of simplifying textbook terminology. No one did very well in that class. She ended up grading our tests on a curve or making them open book or allowing us to bring an index card in crammed with as many formulas as we could fit. *Students*still*failed* Needless to say, my statistical analysis abilities are less than proficient… at least in my own eyes. Even in a Masters program I’ll probably have to take another statistics class. I’m not looking forward to it. But it’s something I really need to understand and know how and when to use. Dang necessary evils.

So that’s how I decided upon a Masters degree. The tricky part is finding an ONLINE Masters program. The reason I need an online program is because there is a strong possibility of moving around in my family’s future. I do not want to be tied down to a program for two years that will not allow me the flexibility to move without having to worry about which courses will transfer and which ones won’t. Online programs are becoming increasingly popular, but research is still required to make sure it is accredited. I’ve been researching programs for the last two years.

The second issue is that my interest is in a very specific specialization. I would like a program that specializes in military psychology, crisis management and response, or terrorism and security. Don’t worry, those specializations do exist in online Masters programs. That being said, I have narrowed it down to three programs. I have to do a bit more thinking before I narrow it down to two.

I have to put some consideration into cost. The program I am leaning towards the most is a 36-credit hour program that can be completed in less than 2 years. This comes to $37,440 for classes alone. There are other semester fees.  The other is 54-credit hours that can be completed in approximately 1.5 years at the bargain price of $23,585 + fees. I will definitely be applying for scholarships and any aid I can get no matter which program I utilize.

Right now I am in the process of writing my personal statement and checking to see if I need to take the GREs. I’m not a big fan of standardized testing especially after not having studied anything in 4 years. Keeping my fingers crossed this process is painless!

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