3 Tips for Pursuing an Education While in Recovery

Jun 15, 2021


It’s no secret that pursuing a degree, finishing a degree, or seeking any additional education likely took the backseat when it came to pursuing addiction recovery — and rightfully so, of course. However, you have already put in a lot of work to heal from addiction, so now that you are on the uptick, it makes sense that you want to return to that desire to chase after some big educational goals — and that’s awesome!

Education is such a game-changer when it comes to applying for certain jobs, moving up the workforce ladder, and simply better understanding your world.

However, there are a few things to consider before jumping into all the applications. Grab a piece of paper, your planner, and a pen — it’s time to take some pre-planning notes before diving into the gritty details of pursuing an education during your recovery process. Here are three tips to get started:

#1: Pace Yourself by Knowing Your Limits

While you are in the recovery process, it is easy to imagine all of the new opportunities you will have once you are addiction-free. After all, you fight against substance abuse so you can be free to continue investing your time and resources into your passions, the people you love, and other important aspects of your life.

Education is one of those big investments — and that’s a healthy thing! You might want to double-check your day-to-day responsibilities before jumping headfirst into getting a degree, though. If you still have recovery classes, as well as weekly appointments with medical doctors and professional counselors, you might need to wrap up those courses and weekly check-ins before signing up for classes that will consume chunks of your day, Monday through Friday.

This does not mean that you can’t start small — maybe with only one or two classes per semester — but it is important that you recognize your current schedule and avoid overworking yourself. It is good to know your limits, but you also don’t want to test them on something as valuable as getting an education.

#2: Map Out the Best Education Route For You

While big, shiny doctorate degrees are always the go-to, it is essential to recognize where you need to begin your education journey. If you haven’t finished your high school diploma, it is crucial to enroll in GED courses first. If you have a few college credits here and there, it is time to add those up to see which courses are left to enroll in. You should always know where to start.

After you recognize where to begin, take some time to discover both what you love and what you are good at. This combination of love and talent will point you in the right direction as far as a degree goes. If you love working on cars and have a knack for mechanics, you likely need to enroll in a trade school. If you have a passion for science and understand the mathematics behind engineering, you likely need to enroll in a four-year university.

Know where to start, and map out where you’re headed. Once you do, you’ll already be a step ahead of the game.

#3: Don’t Fall Victim to the Comparison Game

In recovery, it can be easy to look to your left and your right, comparing yourself to how others are doing on their road to healing. However, we all know it is not a healthy path to go down. Everyone has their own story and their own journey, and each of these unique features requires a timeline all its own.

The same goes for pursuing an education. You can’t look at what everyone else is doing, because everyone else’s education experience and the journey is going to be different. While it might be easy to assume that doctorate-level degrees are the only ones that anyone deems as being renowned, that is certainly not the case.

Believe it or not, true success in the education world is not based on how many degrees you have or how high you climb the college ladder. Rather, it is based on understanding your career goals and mapping the necessary education path to get there. It’s that simple.

Reach out to a staff member or accountability partner you can trust to help you create the best education strategy for identifying what your next step should be and where to go from there. Congratulations on beginning this incredible adventure!

Here at Renaissance Ranch, we value not only your addiction recovery, but we value your passions and interests that will take you so far in life, even after completing our program. It is essential to understand what your next steps will be when it comes to a career. While this can be intimidating and scary, we at Renaissance Ranch are happy to help you map out answers and solutions to some of your toughest education questions. You put in all the hard work and took all the necessary steps to make recovery such a vital priority in your journey. Now, we celebrate this next step with you. It is important to remember not only what you have accomplished but what you will accomplish in the future, as well. With programs ranging from alumni retreats to family recovery treatment, you are sure to find the support that suits your individual needs at Renaissance Ranch. For more information, call us today at (801) 308-8898.