I like coffee and I believe that caffeine is heaven sent. However, cold sticky coffee on the side of my face, in my hair, on my keyboard, with a trail heading its way to my computer monitor is not exactly what I intended for my formally hot cup of Joe. I didn’t even remember falling asleep, but the stiffness in my neck and back confirmed my ill fate. As I slowly regained consciousness, I realized that I slumbered at my computer for hours, failing to complete my first college level essay. The entire day had escaped me, leaving no time to compose the essay. After all, it would soon be time to start preparing for work once dinner was over. So I began my first lesson in learning to effectively balance home, work and school, as a mother, full time employee and student.
When I decided to go back to school, after an eleven year hiatus, my family and friends were concerned with how I was going to make it happen. Here I was, a single parent of two children, employed full time, working an overnight shift. Although I appreciated the concerns, I didn’t let these issues become a hindrance. I believe that higher educational goals are attainable through hard work, time management, and determination.
Timing is everything. My kids are at the teen and preteen ages and can care for themselves. I had to put everyone, including myself, on a schedule. All members in the household had to actively participate with chores. The benefit of this would allow me more time to focus on class work, and to teach my children responsibly as a bonus. After falling asleep and not completing my assignment, I knew that I had to adhere to a daily routine. I learned to set aside chances to sleep and study, while remembering to designate time dedicated to the family.
With the ability to enroll in online courses, there was really no excuse not to further my education. We live in a technology and internet filled society and online courses offer so much flexibility and convenience. I must admit the number one rule to taking an online course is self discipline. As a procrastinator by nature, this was very difficult for me. But, did I want to allow my procrastination to deter my determination for success? The answer is a simple, NO!
One of the most helpful tools in reaching academic success is to take advantage of advisement, at the local college campus. An advisor will spend as much time as needed reviewing degree plans and giving advice on class scheduling. When I decided to enroll in college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, or which type of degree plan would be best for me. That was okay because I learned that I could take a core class that would transfer to a university just in case I wanted to go beyond a two year degree.
One thing is for sure, with higher education, my options are limitless. It is the opinion of some that college degrees are not a necessity. I totally disagree. I believe that there is always an opportunity for self improvement. I figured I would go to school, and earn a two year degree in some general field. However, the more classes I take, the more excited I am becoming about my future. I know that I can achieve higher. Some say the sky’s the limit, I believe there are no limits but the sky.