The Student & the Somm.....

Hi All,

I'm in need of some input from my fellow bottle slingers out there. Some of you know me and are aware that I became a Somm after a long Army career. I've decided recently that it's time to use those education benefits and go to big kid school. My plan is to enter the SHA-CIA alliance program and earn both a culinary associates and a hospitality bachelors from the Hotel School. I've already been accepted to CIA and start in Hyde Park this October.

Now the quandry: I attended the Advanced course last year in Dallas and was passed over for the exam this year, so with only two years left on the clock I'm concerned about my chances of getting into the exam as a student and not working the working actively. Of course things like prep time, a week off from school for the exam and such things are a concern as well but I'm hoping some of you out there may have some insight. 

Should I just bite the bullet and plan on having to retake the course? Pursue my wine studies on a less frantic road (WSET or such)? Going to school finally is a huge goal for me and I think the programs will make me a better Somm overall, but I'm not keen on losing what momentum I've built up in my career.

Thanks for any input and cheers.