I just completed my first semester of college (yay, me!) and it was definitely one of the hardest and most gratifying things that I have done in awhile. Today is my last day of my Composition class and it is a bittersweet victory. I really think that I have changed a lot, I am more organized and I try to perfect my submission as much as possible. If you look back to my first blog post to now, I am sure that the improvement is very noticeable. I find that I have improved but I still maintain my writing voice, which is most evident in my writing My Way Of Life, because it is something that I personally connect with and had free reign on style.
Over the last semester I have had quite a few people who have helped make it an enjoyable experience for me. Each and every one of my Instructors and Professors have contributed to teaching me valuable lessons and fostering my creativity, but never being harsh or making me feel like I was not doing well. Their support has kept me focused and they have all been very understanding when I have had a bump in the road. My family has also been so supportive, my husband and children tell me every day that they are proud of me. My mother is always reminding me to do my schoolwork, which makes me feel like I am back in High School but in a good way. Without my family, I do not think that I would have had the determination to continue with so much on my plate. Finally, my fellow classmates have been an inspiration and have encouraged me along the way. Chase Derrer showed interest in my project and made me feel like it was worth something, Arik Wright always gave great feedback and suggestions to improve my work, Sabreena Monday was someone who thinks a lot like me and has inspired me with her stories and posts, I cannot name everyone but there were so many who have helped me.
When I began this semester I thought that taking classes from the comfort of my home would be more comfortable and easier for me to handle. I am borderline Agoraphobic so it is often difficult for me to interact with people face-to-face, so online schooling seemed to be a great route for me to take. Boy, I was in for a surprise. Classes from home are sometimes harder to handle than campus classes, simply because there are so many distractions. There is always the television, the husband, the chores, the kids, the phone calls, the door bell ringing to pull you away from your work. It took a lot of support (and sometimes bossiness on their part) from my family to keep me focused on what I had to do. In the end I was able to complete all four classes this semester with the lowest grade being a B. My family is proud of me and I am proud of me too.
Despite all of the support that I have had, it hasn’t been a smooth ride. Being a full-time student, working full-time, and being a mother of three small children is no small task. Often, I felt like I was not able to juggle all of my responsibilities and I lost hope. Luckily, my support group wouldn’t let me quit and I persevered. Since I work at a factory, my time is often at their mercy. I can work anywhere between 40-60 per week with no more than 24 hour notice. My job did that to me quite a bit and it put a lot of strain on my schoolwork, but I did my best even if it meant staying up until the wee hours of the morning and working with only two hours of sleep. My children have been the biggest struggle for me, since I feel like I am not spending enough time with them. It is hard when my children tip toe past my chair as I sit doing essays or research. In the end, I am doing this for them and our future as a family so I keep on trucking. My husband lost his job awhile back, so I am the sole income for my family. To say we are poor is putting it lightly and there have been times when I haven’t been able to financially do school and something else. For example, my daughter wasn’t able to join Girl Scouts this year because I had to pay the internet bill and I couldn’t swing both. Just today my oldest told me that I didn’t have to buy Christmas presents as long as I stayed in school, that broke my heart. I really want to give them a better life, and not have to struggle like we have been. My health hasn’t been too great either, and recently I was diagnosed with Ocular Histoplasmosis which is a fungal disease that has attacked the inside of my eye. Three weeks ago I realized I had significant vision loss in my right eye and four days ago I began a series of injections (in my freaking eye no less) to treat this problem. It is something that I will fight the rest of my life, but the doctors are confident they can save my eyesight. The schoolwork itself was never a problem for me, but life seems to kick me and then keep kicking me when I am down.
In spite of the bad things that have happened over this past semester, I wouldn’t change my decision to go back to school for anything. I know that anything worth doing is going to be difficult, and I was never one to take the easy road anyway. I am very lucky to have an amazing family, great friends and an awesome school to attend. I know that I will achieve success on the path I am traveling and do something great. My dreams are big and my inspiration is limitless. For anyone considering going back to school, I would strongly suggest they do it. Oh, and never give up no matter how rough things get!