I have an AA now what?

I never wanted to be a follower of everyone else, a bah bah sheep. I wanted to plow my own road ahead, jump to it and be it. Not everything works out the way our attitude thinks it will. I decided to take a year off school past my High School Graduation. I was stubborn, very stubborn. My mentality in High School was, if I did all my homework and attended each class then whatever grade I received was a direct reflection of how crappy a teacher I had. It made sense back then, it still makes sense now, the only difference today is that mentality didn't benefit me. I figured if I could find a decent job I could just climb the ladder and end up making more money then the friends of mine who had to take out loans and quit whatever "career" type job they may have had. I didn't even walk with my class, I went to the office the next morning and picked up my Diploma with academic studies. I have always had a strong head on my shoulders and once my mind is made up its just best to stay out of my way.

My senior year I began working for a Veterinarian, I loved that job, working with animals, helping with your own two hands was incredible. I did everything and was everywhere in that Clinic for 4 years, everything except what the Veterinarian did of course. I started finally taking classes at college, started getting my general education out of the way. My favorite class, Human Biology really captured my attention. My teacher was a police officer by night and a Biology teacher by day, how awesome is that?! His stories he used to relay the information hit the real world, it made learning that subject fun and something I still give examples of. We moved I went to another Veterinarian for a year and switched schools. So that's 5 years Veterinarian Technician/Assistant experience, and still no degree yet, especially since I was "part-timing" it.

My next job was working for the Capistrano Unified School District, 7-8 years long. Of course I counted school years as a year. I was the "Nurse" in the health office, but official title, "Health Assistant" since I was considered a lay person. Working with children and helping their education was special. I loved that job. I carried on and kept taking classes while working, my boss told me I should just do Nursing and get it done. I really should have just taken her advice back then, I would have plowed through by now and have something for bragging rights. Instead I got scared by my Anatomy class and dropped it, eventually took it and finished it but got discouraged by the wait lists, especially since I had been "waiting" too long already to accomplish something. I still need, Physiology and Microbiology to get into a Nursing program.

I kept putt putting away so I figured I have taken so many Psychology classes and Child Development classes lets just get my degree in Human Development. One class held me back, Research Methods in Psychology. Even though I have taken Statistics for some reason the teacher scared me and I backed out. Not like the Associates in Human Development would really help me advance further then a Liberal Studies AA anyway. So I did it I petitioned in and got my AA.

An AA in Liberal Arts is like 2 years with a company, it might bump you, but if it does its not something that going to allow you to take all your friends out to dinner with. I am faced right now with decisions, choices that I must make about pushing forward in my life. An AA in Liberal Arts is a stepping stone, its a hey, pat yourself on the back you finished the stuff you didn't want to do, now onto the stuff you want to do and like to do.

There are actually quite a lot of useful Associate Degrees. Here's a few for 2012:

1. Registered Nurse (ADN-Associates Degree in Nursing)
2. Dental Hygieniest
3. Respiratory Therapist- Associates and Bachelor Programs
4. Programmer
5. Telecom Installer
6. Industrial Engineering Technician
7. Police Officer- (CHP) look it up directly they should pay you while you go to the academy.
8. Paralegal- Make sure its approved by the board, may be able to just get a certificate.
9. Graphics Design
10. Interior Design
11. Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) - These are "Assistants" not "aids" huge difference in pay
12. Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) These are "Assistants" not "aids" huge difference in pay
13. Ultrasound Technician
14. Licensed Contractor
15. Culinary

While working for the Veterinarian our ultrasound guy came in each week and I would hold the animals for him. I asked him his thoughts on Nursing and what field he thought would be best to get into. It surprised me what he said;

"Go into a specialty, you will be needed that way, and when your needed your pay is higher then others."

I asked him what he thought about nursing, he said,

"Nurses get burnt out too fast, they have to learn all about the body but never go into specifics with it, its like a Family doctor, he has to refer you out for anything out of the ordinary." 

This got me thinking back then, and still give me a bee in my bonnet today. It makes sense, if your someone that specializes in things you will be appreciated differently and also be dealing with specifics that you will be able to help and make a difference in.

The choice is yours, if your in High School, take any prep classes while its free, get a jump start. I know it sounds like everyone is barking down your throat and they think they know but they don't know, and you have the rest of your life to figure things out. BUT. If you want to make money, if you want to provide a roof over your head, if you want to be able to afford food to put on the table, if you want to be able to have a phone to communicate with people, if you want health insurance, if you don't want to get caught without car insurance, or stuck on the side of the road because your car ran out of gas, you NEED to get a good solid paying job. You don't want to be the one your friends make fun of, you want to be able to be independent and take care of yourself.

If you just finished your AA and you don't know what to do you have to stop relying on others and get out there, if you want something you happen you are going to have to make it happen. Do your research, choose wisely. You never want to pay more in a loan they you would be making in your first year. Let that guide you. Find out the deadlines and meet them. Fill out your FAFSA and look into financial aid, ask your schools, be demanding, its your money, its your life.

You never want to look back and say, "I wish I..." Don't have any regrets, do your research on what you want to do and when your head strong on it, push through it, plow on and make YOUR life.

One reason people live unhappy lives is because they are living everyone else's life rather then their own.  So what are YOU waiting for? Go out there and make your life your own.

Get Informed. 


  1. This is wise advice, & very well written! When I was younger it occurred to me that good jobs were not going to present themselves to me, I was going to have to get out and find them for myself. I was going to have to make it happen.

    I thought some quotes on work would supplement your terrific blog post today:

    Do what you love. When you love your work, you become the best worker in the world.
    -- Uri Geller

    Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.
    -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

    Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.
    -- Harvey MacKay

    The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
    -- Thomas Edison

    Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.
    -- Jackson Brown, Jr.

    If it falls on your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and Earth will have to pause and say,"Here lived a great sweeper, who swept his job well".
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The biggest mistake people make is not making a living at doing what they most enjoy.
    -- Malcom Forbes

    "What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do."
    --Bob Dylan

  2. Hey thanks Mike! I appreciate your comment! Those are awesome quotes too :) Nice things to remember in those moments of need.

  3. I never wanted to be a follower of everyone else, a bah bah sheep. I wanted to plow my own road ahead, jump to it and be it. Not everything works out the way our attitude thinks it will. modalert buy


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