Going to College while Raising Kids

I have been a college student since 2001 when I graduated high school. Not once have I sat a semester out or stopped attending at least a class. Not once have I decided that college is just not the thing for me. I have declared at least four different majors and have attended four different colleges. I have been frustrated and I have felt as though the world was passing me by while I tried to better myself. I have had professors tell me that I should explore other options, and I have listened. I have had academic advisor’s tell me that I should try to earn an associates degree or look at the possibility of a vocational school, and I have listened. At times I felt as though the world was laughing at me because I could have been a doctor by now; but I continued to preserver.

Now seven years and four children later I can honestly say I will be earning a Bachelor’s degree in the winter of 2009. My journey has been a long one brought on by my strong will to do things on my own. I have become restless and have refused to listen to my families suggestions about my schooling. I have given up on myself when the classes seemed to rough, and I have time after time felt as though I did not belong. I was coming to classes late with babies and I was leaving early because they were getting fussy. I was allowing myself to get behind on homework and flat out refusing to study or turn assignments in on time, because the children needed me and I could not balance school and motherhood.

I finally came to the realization that I wanted to be able to pass something on to my children. We are no longer living in the days were dedication to a company will someday pay off. This is now a cut throat society and either you have “it” or you don’t. “It” usually entails a college degree beyond a Baccalaureate. I wanted my children to know that earning a degree was not easy for me due to decisions I made in my life, but I still pressed on until I had that piece of paper in hand. I want them to want to achieve, no matter what it takes.

Some lessons I have learned on this journey is that it is better to remain undeclared on a major until you are sure of your career path. Another lesson learned is that you should block off time every day in which to study and work on assignments. Time management is crucial to your education. If you have small children, balance your time by getting them involved. This can be accomplished by handing them crayons or a book and let them do homework like mommy or daddy. Yet another lesson learned is that when you think you have nothing left to give to your studies or you feel that the end is never in sight; fight that much harder. When I stopped beating myself up about everyone else achieving and moving ahead, I finally was able to make forward progress. Becoming a college graduate is one of my greatest joys in life, but being a college graduate with four children and a story to tell is even better. This is just the first step; I am looking forward to continuing my education and watching my children continue theirs. Good luck to all the parents as they embark on this wonderful journey, and remember this is but one chapter in the book called life.