As it has been pointed out to me that it looks like UBC (University of British Columbia) might have something to do with my educational journey, it might be worth clarifying that I am not currently, not have I ever, attended the University of British Columbia. The “UBC” in this case represents the Ultimate Blog Challenge, where bloggers write a post a day for the whole month. The fact that an educational institution is in my blog post titles beside the words “Back to School” is something that never occurred to me… and that I find quite amusing.

OK, so I decided that maybe I could do this back to school thing. I’m smart, I like to learn things… so maybe I just need something that I find both practical and interesting. What could be easier?

Nooooo problem!

Not so fast there! There are a lot of things I could study. So where do I start?

The idea of pursuing a four-year degree seemed just as daunting in 2022 as it did when I graduated from high school. But Athabasca University had certificate programs. I could do that! I could try this school thing, get a shiny piece of paper at the end of it, and not be committed to a full degree (however long that would take, given I could not commit in time or funds to a full course load). And if I did like it? I could have a degree!

I seriously considered the certificate in French Language profficiency. I honestly can’t recall the reasons I chose not to pursue it; I think I had too many flashbacks from high school and not being certain if I could read the braille course materials I was sometimes given (French has its own braille code, complete with contracted combinations of letters, and I never did learn it well). School should be interesting and informative, not unnecessarily stressful. So… Next!

I found the Certificate in Accounting. Maaaaybe…. but it seemed too corporate for me. Something to think about, perhaps?

OK, what about the Certificate in Human Resources and Labor Relations? It’s interesting… but what would I do with it?

And then, as if it fell from the sky, I found the Certificate in Finance. It ticked all of my boxes: practical, interesting, can ladder into a degree if I want it to. Even the courses that didn’t interest me… interested me! I had some flexibility in electives, but most of the courses I would choose as electives would be part of my required courses anyway. And I know for a fact that I’ve been passed over for career opportunities because I didn’t have any financial background. I found a winner!

But I chose to take a little detour along the way. And I’m glad I did.