Thank you in advance to all who read and comment.
Congratulations on making the choice to return.
I can't say I have a whole lot of advice for you, other than keep trying! But I can absolutely sympathize with the debt, the dead-end jobs, wanting more...
I was the over-achieving kid as well. And I did pretty well... I did go right to college, and finished with a BS in chemistry. I didn't know what I wanted to do with that right away, but soon I decided to try teaching and got a masters. I taught for a few years, but I guess I'm not cut out for it... after getting fired, nervous breakdowns, not getting rehired... I gave up.
So now I'm facing the thought of going back to school again... because the 2 degrees I have (and racked up $70K in debt for) are useless to me. I've never felt so worthless or purposeless in my life. I completely understand not wanting to work and go to school at the same time; I work full-time now in a brainless job and I can barely handle that. I can't imagine adding school back on... when I go back it'll have to be online.
Just know you're not the only one :)
I hear every word you are saying here. I am sorry that you didnt get your break. But I feel that since you have overcame your illness. You are ALIVE today. That is your second chance. You are worthy. Maybe it wasnt the right time in the past. What is your frame of mind now? Do you feel different with regards to finishing your education. Seems like one thing is different from your past. You have your husband that will be a positive support to you. I know that if you decide to complete your education you will feel so relieved that you finally achieved something. I too was in the same boat. I never saw the worth in me to be anything. I am now in school and it is costing me alot of money. I bit the bullet and said WHY NOT ME???? WHY NOT??? I could do it. Actually I am stubborn and said I will prove myself wrong.. that I could do this and I will. I do have days that I think WTH am I thinking??? But I will not quit. I already know what the outcome of that decision would be. I want to try something different. Keep going and fighting for my worth!!
I know I have posted messages here that make me sound like I'm messed up, but I do have a lot of experience with schooling/career choices/work, so here are my thoughts:
Make sure you are not just getting your degree to prove that you are a worthwhile, successful person. You will be the same person with the same self feelings after the degree as you are before, basically. I felt that I had to have a master's degree to be successful. The degree has definitely opened doors for me, but having the degree really has only boosted my self-esteem a little. I feel one can learn as much on their own as they can in school, and I simply got the degree because it is a requirement for the job I wanted and would allow me to make more money.
Do you plan on working as a nurse full time after you graduate? In my mind, I would not take out the loans unless I was absolutely sure I wanted to work in that field and that I would make back the money I put into the education.
Also, I thought you could be a registered nurse with just an associate's degree. Why is getting the bachelor's degree so important? Again, will it truly open up more job opportunities, and do you really want to work in those jobs it will open up?
I ask about whether or not you really want to work in the field, because after obtaining some of my education, I realized I really didn't want to work! I have a really hard time working full time, and I am just very lucky I found a full-time job I can handle. Are you going to be okay with getting the degree if afterwards you really don't want to work??
Finally, have you really exhausted all options for financial aid? I know it is easy to amass huge amounts of student loans thinking that nothing is more important than education and that it will "pay off" in the long run. I would just really be sure this will be the case. You might look into some distance education courses, also. It might be less expensive to take distance education courses from an out of state school rather than payi a really high tuition at a local school.
Don't get me wrong. I love education and would go to school for the rest of my life if I could. I know getting a degree can be a requisite for getting some types of jobs. However, I know for some people, especially over-achievers (myself included), school can be kind of an ego booster and sort of a way to get out of facing the realities of day to day working and living. Again, I would really closely evaluate why you want the degree and make sure getting the degree is really the best way to get where you want to go. If it is, than I say go for it! Nurses make a lot of money, and all of your investment will likely pay off both financially and personally.
Ugh, I reread this post and realize some of this probably doesn't relate to you, but I didn't feel like rewriting. I hope some of it is helpful, at least. :-)