Taking the first step. Advice welcome.

So here’s my story. I’m 32, have a theatre degree, had a respectable acting career. Then I went into advertising, and did quite well in that. But then I lost my wife. The short story: she survived a terrible car accident but succumbed to complications related to obesity. I myself am very obese and write this from an in patient weight loss center. I live in Chicago, am taking bio and math 100’s at Northwestern when I get back in March, and applying to the three post bac programs in Chicago (Northwestern, Loyola and Dominican) and if those don’t work out, I’ll just go to University of Chicago or UIC as a non traditional. I’ve basically got a really terrible do-over going on here. I want to use this awful experience as a tool with which I can save others from meeting the same fate.

So that’s what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I am now open for whatever advice and experience anyone else on this board might have for me. Thanks in advance.

I am so sorry about your wife. I am also married, and cannot imagine what it would be like to lose my husband. My condolences.

In terms of “taking the first step,” as you put it – I also live in the Chicago area, and started a formal post-bac program last semester (fall of 2010). I chose to attend the Dominican University program, and I absolutely love it there. (And as a matter of fact, my younger sister is currently attending Loyola’s post-bac program; she started the same time as I started at Dominican. So I can talk some about that program as well.) I had also looked into Northwestern’s program, but decided it wasn’t a good fit for me.

If you want my take on the Chicago post-bac scene (as much as I know about it), I’m happy to help. I’ll send you a PM with some more details.

As far as OPM goes, I think you will find this site to be a warm, welcoming, and very helpful place – I know I have.

Best wishes.

  • Lorien

Good luck to you and best wishes!


What an incredible story. I’m sorry to hear about your wife, but thrilled to hear how you are turning a terrible, dark experience into something powerful and motivating.

This journey is not easy, but it was life changing for me. The more I did and accomplished, the more confident I became that I could do it. Good luck!

My condolences for your terrible loss. It’s great that you’re using this experience as a tool and motivator on your road to helping others make a positive change in their health. I’m in a similar position, in that I’m beginning to take some math reqs and I’m applying to formal PostBac programs in my region; additionally, I’m looking to go the non-trad route if those don’t work out. Let me know how things turn out for you; I am curious to know the successes other people at this point in this long road are enjoying. I wish you the absolute best success moving forward!