A few years ago, I attended a friend’s graduation where she earned her MBA at age 40. I found myself crying at her achievement. But mostly I was crying for myself.

When I graduated High School and saw my friends leaving for college, I was bewildered. What was I going to do? It was my family who encouraged me to attend “The Berkeley School”, where I could learn the skills necessary to become a secretary. I excelled in my courses, and even became the President of the “The Berkeley Club”. Just before I left Berkeley with my Secretarial Certificate, I was encouraged by the staff to attend the “new” degree program offered.  After graduating with an Associate’s Degree in 1986, I entered the workforce.

This year had a lot of twists for me, including my selling my home, a health issue, and the possibility of losing the job I had after 27 years. I decided to seek the help of a therapist to help me get back on track. We spoke of, not surprisingly, life.

The thing about life is, the decisions we make always have potential for regret. While you may feel confident of a choice you make at any given time, you might look back and wonder the very thing you cannot change…”what if”? I told my therapist about my parents’ support of me, but that I wished they had pushed me harder in my education. I told her my fears of starting a new job and proving myself all over again. I told her of watching my friend graduate and the tears which represented the regret I long held – that I should’ve pursued a much higher standard for myself. Without hesitance, she simply stated there was no reason I couldn’t go back to school.

As it turns out, I did lose my job. While struggling with my resume, I found myself before a consultant, who suggested I go back to school so resume would indicate my pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree was “in progress”. I left his office and was determined to take action! Once home, I went online and instinctively typed in “Berkeley”.

I’m now in my second semester at Berkeley College, pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. My parents are long gone, but I know and feel their pride. My three brothers are extremely proud, asking their age 47 “little sister” about my studies. I am blessed to have a supportive circle of friends who were not at all surprised by my recent Facebook post showing my letter from Berkeley that I had achieved President’s List status in my first semester.

So while regrets may have a funny way of sneaking up on you, I can tell you that it is never too late to change your life’s course and make a new decision, a better decision. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be on the path to earning my Bachelor’s Degree at age 50!

About the Author: Nancy Abbott

Nancy Abbott

Campus: Online
I am pursuing my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration online. I am an avid reader, enjoy hosting themed dinners with friends and family, and the occasional jaunt to Atlantic City. I am pursuing my ideal job within the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) field, where I have over 25 years of experience. My story was inspired by, of all things, the recent loss of my job. I had always wanted to pursue a higher education, but it was the loss of my job that pushed me to attain my long-held goal. As they say, one door closes and another opens!

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About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, established in 1931, is a regionally accredited college providing excellence in teaching and learning through a student-focused approach to career education. Berkeley College offers Bachelor's and Associate's degrees, Certificate programs, and non-degree professional courses at campuses in New Jersey, New York, and through Berkeley College Online. A Master of Business Administration degree is offered in Woodland Park, NJ, and online. The college enrolls over 7,100 students (more than 440 international students, representing nearly 75 countries).


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