why i decided to go back to school (by nathan henley)

Yesterday I received an email from Nathan, who was interested in writing a guest post for Live.Love.Learn.Breathe.  How could I possibly say no?  As someone who recently decided to pursue a new career path and return to school, I found myself inspired by Nathan’s own story.  I hope you are to!  Thanks, Nathan, for sharing your journey with us. 

At the end of my twenties, I was at a point where I was far from satisfied with my life. I had the typical office job, stuck in a cubicle answering the phone and typing away at a computer. I got together with some guy friends on weekends but didn’t feel as though I had much of a social life other than that. I had all but given up on dating and had resigned to accepting my bachelor lifestyle.

In school, I was one of those kids that had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up getting a degree in business with a minor in psychology, assuming that my degree would get me a decent job with a good salary. While I did get a well-paying job, it was definitely not one that I found to be fulfilling or even interesting. But of course, I had been thinking about money over happiness, assuming that a good salary would lead to happiness outside of work. Now I was stuck.

A phone conversation with my older brother one evening changed all of this. I happened to mention that I wasn’t that happy with my job. He replied, “Why don’t you go back to school?” This is definitely not something I had thought about before. I didn’t know what I would study or how it would help me. My brother mentioned that a friend of his had done it in order to start a new career and that it sounded like something I might try. I said I’d think about it.

I didn’t really think much about it for a few weeks. Then one evening while I was aimlessly surfing around the internet, I decided to do a little research about going back to school, just to settle my curiosity. I’m definitely glad I did. I read lots of inspiring stories about people who seemingly turned their lives around just by following their passions and getting a new degree.

I’ve always been passionate about sports, but at the time I just assumed that the only jobs in sports were for athletes, coaches, and announcers.  Somehow I stumbled on a page about sports psychology, and it was as if a light bulb went on above my head. I knew it was for me.

To make a long story short, I ended up going back to school and getting a Master’s degree in Sports Psychology. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Now I get to work with athletes and other individuals who need help working through injuries, overcoming mental obstacles, and sticking to a training regime. I get to work with others who are just as passionate about sports as I am.

By the way, my self-esteem improved as well, which helped me to meet and fall in love with the girl I’m now married to. Five years ago, I never would have imagined myself in the place I am now.

Maybe you’re frustrated with your job and have passions you’ve never fully explored. While it may not be for everyone, going back to school is one way to turn your life around. With so many degrees available and even options like online college, it’s never been easier.

This article was written by Nathan Henley. He is a sports psychologist who specializes in performance improvement and injury rehabilitation. He also owns the site, Sports Psychology Degree, for students interested in getting a degree in sports psychology.

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