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Should I Return to Education?

Holly Leake
Have you considered returning to education? Are you thinking about studying canine behaviour or welfare? 
If you have a desire to work with dogs but you are feeling apprehensive about returning to education, you are definitely not alone. When we reflect on our past education, we may be reminded of those horrible teachers that belittled us in class. Or we may dwell on how our self-esteem suffered when we struggled to excel at certain subjects. Negative experiences can certainly prevent us from striving for more out of life, especially in regards to obtaining qualifications. But I'm here to tell you that you can do it and here's why. 
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifices and most of all love of what you are doing or learning to do." - Pale'
Firstly, if you are considering studying canine welfare or behaviour, you obviously have a passion for the subject. This is absolutely essential for success in your studies. Although school may harbour bad memories for you, I can guarantee there were subjects you were great at and these were likely the ones you most enjoyed. If we love what we are learning, this motivates us to dedicate time and effort to thoroughly research and study.

That being said, you may be concerned about the amount of work that you will have to complete, especially if you work fulltime or have family commitments. You may dread the weekend of writing essays and the late-night reading but remember nothing worth doing is ever easy. Whilst study involves perseverance, hard work and sacrifice, it will be so worth it when you receive that certificate or diploma. With the help from your tutors and the comradery of other students, you will stay motivated and will find ways to reach your goals.
"You don't have to be great to start but you have to start to be great." - Zig Ziglar
One of the main reasons people hold back from enrolling on courses is due to the question that often plagues each one of us; 'Am I good enough?' If we feel we aren't particularly skilled at studying or writing, we may conclude that such qualifications aren't attainable. We may also dwell on how little we know about the subject. But remember that's why we study in the first place. Marie Forleo once said, “Not knowing something doesn’t make you a fraud, it makes you a student”.

No matter the course, the purpose is to learn and progress. Tutors aren't there to judge you or belittle you, rather they want to see you succeed and will provide necessary support to ensure that happens. Learning is an endless process, especially in the dog industry. Scientific studies continue to evolve our knowledge and methods. Thus, no matter what stage you are at on your learning journey, there will always be more to learn and ways to improve your expertise.
"Create the life you can't wait to wake up to." - Unknown
If working with dogs has been a lifelong dream, then you owe it to yourself to gain expertise that will help you fully realise it. You may have been waiting a long time to change careers. Maybe you've been trying to get secure financially or you've have just had so many commitments, you haven't had the opportunity to pursue your dreams. Let’s be honest, it’s never the perfect time for anything and there will always be things that can get in the way and occupy your time. However, if you regularly wake up dreading the day ahead and wish to start planning to pursue a career working with dogs, then todays the day!

Granted, courses cost money and a career with dogs may not be as profitable as your current job in the beginning, but isn't job satisfaction way more important than financial gain? We spend most of our lives working, so it's critical to our happiness, that we have a job we love. It may require you working in another line of work, while you study but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are dedicating any spare time and money to a future working with dogs. So remember the life that you promised yourself? Obtaining qualifications is the first step to fulfilling that promise and we are eager to see you accomplish it.
"You can. You should and if you are brave enough to start, you will!" - Stephen King
No matter how many reasons there are to delay studying, the reasons to enrol on a course far outweigh them. Think of the sense of achievement you will inevitably feel and how much closer it will bring you to your career goals. Don’t forget we have been in your position. We have had the same self-doubt and reservations but despite the fear, we did it anyway and you can too!
So have a little faith and do it! I promise that once you start studying you'll never stop.

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