(107) Part II: Back to ‘Back to School’ and Myth Busting

Molly, the service dog

Golly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

Cool breezes and flashes of orange and yellow leaves signal that fall has arrived and it is time to grab your backpack and head for school. You might wonder why the Molly blog speaks of going back to school while flowers still bloom and the summer heat rises from the pavement.

Even though summer hugs us with warmth, this is the time to fill out your school enrollment application and pursue financial aid. Universities and colleges begin in less than two months.

Still not convinced to head back to school? Here are ten more myths debunked about returning to school as an adult. If the first five (see Blog 106) did not convince you, then perhaps these next ten might:

 Reasons 6 to 15 for Not Going Back to School

(See Blog 106 for the Top Five) 

Myth #

Reason is an Excuse

Busted Myth


I won’t know anyone at my college or university You are guaranteed to meet people from the first time you set foot on campus—especially if you take your service dog (they are chick and hunk magnets). The office of Veteran Affairs on campus employs Veterans, who understand your needs.


I don’t like being around people Nearly every college and university in the US offers online classes. You can get your degree completely online if you want. My art teacher did her Masters of Art online. She had to crate and send her paintings to her out-of-state professor—how is that for never stepping foot in a classroom?


I’m too different because of my war experience so no one will understand me Veterans scored at the top of my grade list in every class I taught. They are life savvy, tenacious, intelligent, committed, respectful, and wise. While we might not understand much about you or what you have endured, others will respect you and will want to get to know you. Veterans often become class and peer leaders.


My dog really did eat my homework in elementary school but no one believed me—I’m still traumatized by that Fortunately, service dogs are trained not to eat homework. Be sure to back-up your assignments, storing a copy on the Cloud so that if something does happen to it, you can print another from the library. Many professors accept assignments online. If yours does not, an online submission may be a reasonable accommodation you can request for your disability—that way, you will not have to worry unless your service animal is a cyberdog.


Education is wasted on me Education is never wasted—not on anyone. It fills your time with adventure and takes you places you could never imagine. Even if you take classes for fun, you will be enriched and that is good for everyone you touch.


I’ll never get a job anyway I doubt that Nola or Leo (see #1 in Blog 106) sought employment as a reason for their degrees. If you need a job, education will help you qualify and by-pass your competitors on the hiring list. Veteran preference plus your schooling will catapult you to the top of the applicant list for state and federal jobs.


People stare at me, causing me to feel self-conscious Ah, self-awareness. That’s a good thing when it comes to education because it means you are open to learning. Use it to your advantage and start your own people-watching. Every act of learning begins with observation so consider this reason/excuse to be positive.


I have no transportation and live in the county with minimal services Online education works great if you cannot get to a school; many library resources are available online through your university account. Ordering textbooks by mail is easy and quick.


Professors are too liberal and hate war Veterans You may find one or two like this; however, you are more likely to find just the opposite. Professors get inspired by working with those who are hungry to learn and have overcome tremendous hardship—and that means, the Veteran. Plus, a student is a student and professors have no jobs without students.


I was a lousy student in high school and I’d be a lousy student in college Time changes us—just as war changed you. You won’t know what kind of student you will be until you try it. The worst case is that you end up with a bookshelf of very impressive books and pages of homework to feed your dog.

As you can tell, I am a school junkie . . . and for good reason. Education changes lives and offers hope to those daring enough to go back to school. While it may not be right for everyone, it just might be right for you!

Post your Comments: 

If you go back to school, what will you study and how do you want to use your education? Please reply below. 

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her granddaughter.

2 thoughts on “(107) Part II: Back to ‘Back to School’ and Myth Busting

  1. Ernest R. Chavez


    Where are you these days?
    We will be hosting a Collegiate Conference this year, along with LULAC and many of Colorado’s institutions of higher education. Perhaps, you could be a guest speaker.
    Please add me to your blog distro list.
    E.R. Chavez, Deputy State Dir. LULAC of Colorado

    • Penelope Culbreth-Graft Post author

      Thank you, Ernest, for reading the Molly Blog and for your comment. Thank you, too, for what you do to help our cities and our universities. By reading the blog, you also help our Veterans. What a guy! Penny

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