After my last little discussion with my boss, I've been thinking more seriously about my dream to go back to school for a doctorate. The program I'd be interested in is the Conflict Analysis and Resolution program at George Mason. Not specifically planning-related, but there is certainly a good deal of overlap.
If I was local to the area, I'd probably have already applied. As it stands, it would involve a move to a high-cost area, selling my house, quitting my job, etc. It's a little overwhelming to think about all the logistics. But I've also realized that planning may not be the ideal job for me to build my entire on. I'm good at aspects of my job, but I'm definitely more of a big picture person, and my job puts a lot more emphasis on details which can be a little frustrating. I could live out my career here and be fine, but I also don't feel like I'm using my talents and skills in the most effective way.
There are some planning programs that have concentration options in public participation or conflict management, but I don't know that I really want to stay in a strictly planning profession.
Anyway, I guess I'm just kind of looking to hear experiences of anyone that went back to school mid-career. I did see that there would be some housing options not too far from the area for about $1,000 a month which is about as reasonable as it would get, especially considering that I'd be bringing two dogs and two cats with me. But how was the transition emotionally/financially? Did you feel it was worth the career break? Was it hard to get back into student mode? (I actually think I'd be a much better student at this point than I was when I was right out of high school.)
There's also the possibility of getting a job in the area should I be accepted and going to school part-time. But I'm not going to count on that should I pursue the program.
I wouldn't be able to apply for another year - the deadline just passed. So I have plenty of time to consider it. Just looking for feedback.