I sit here at my computer reveling in the fact that I have just completed my first week of an online class. That’s right, I’m going back to school!
This is something I have tossed around over the years, and even contemplated going back into Nursing, once upon a time. But with my back, being the kind of nurse I want and would need to be; was unlikely. The idea of college at my age is a bit scary, especially since I thought being 30yo and going to nursing school was kind of crazy. That was over 15 years ago and actually the median age of our particular class was mid to late 20’s. We only had a handful of young girls whom had just recently graduated from high school. In fact there were two women who were over 50. I was in awe of their commitment and determination. Now, as I am less than 24 months from that same half century mark I am feeling determined myself. I recall at that time, often hearing the term “non-traditional student” and I certainly fell into what it was understood to be. In the past week as I have worked on committing to a study routine, I have thought about that term again. I even looked it up to see what the net had to say.
Wikipedia says that A non-traditional student is an American term referring to a category of students at tertiary educational institutions.The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) acknowledges there is no precise definition for non-traditional student, but suggests that part-time status and age are common elements.
I also came across the following information from the following site: http://www.youcandealwithit.com. They showed that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has identified seven characteristics that are common to nontraditional students. To be considered a nontraditional undergraduate, you:
• Do not immediately continue your education after you graduate from high school
• Attend college only part time
• Work full time (35 hours or more per week)
• Are financially independent
• Have children or dependents other than your spouse
• Are a single parent
• Have a GED, not a high school diploma
The also stated that 75% of all undergraduate students have a least one of these characteristics and are thus “nontraditional” in one way or another. Among students with three or more of these non-traditional characteristics, having a dependent is the most common at 80%.
So here I sit, quite non-traditional to say the least. But as I have thought about that term I am also reminded of something else that keeps me going on the days that I just want to throw in the towel. Everything that happens in my life, our lives; is all in His timing. With that being the case, I’m not necessarily non traditional as it just was not my time until now. I needed the life experience over a classroom, waiting until He provided the open door. This knowledge really does help propel me forward, especially after the last six months. It was during the earliest part, before the accident when I was searching for work and how difficult it was. There was just nothing available that would give me the income I needed to care for my daughter and I. At most I could maybe find something that was a little above minimum wage but may not be full time.I was most likely going to have to drive, as jobs in my small community are few and far between. Everything that was of interest to me, I was not qualified for because I didn’t have a degree. I could go back into retail, but the continuous time on my feet would not help my back as I discovered recently. I was of coarse sidetracked with the accident and caring for my daughter and then ultimately my own surgery. It was two weeks post surgery, not released for work and going stir crazy because I had limitations of what I could and could not do. Then I sat down and wrote my last blog entry, remembering how much I love writing and that as far back as I can remember, all I have wanted to do is write. It’s what I originally wanted to go to college for. But 30 years ago, fear won out and I put college off, what was only supposed to be a year or two turned into 13. Today, I know my choice was merely a part of God’s plan for me. He needed me to experience the things that I have, which have helped to shape me into the person that I am today. The journey I started on by not going to college 30 years ago has given me much to write about, good and bad alike. Each of these life experiences not only shape who I am, ut will help make me the kind of student I need to be.
Which brings me to share with you what I will be studying. English, I will be earning my Bachelors of Arts in English! Just seeing the words gets me all sorts of excited about the process and what the end results will have to offer me. Its going to be a lot of hard work, but I am ready for the challenge! This first week, my first class is about becoming a Master Student. Teaching us the basics, what you need to be a good student and excel. Time management, To-do lists, Setting goals; all a part of the beginning foundation that will push us up and into success at this educational level. Reminding us collectively to set ourselves up to succeed (not fail). There was a question the reading asked us to ask ourselves, “Is this a piano?” The meaning behind this being, does it have to be perfect? Will doing your best be enough? Perfection is going to be difficult to obtain, but if you are giving your best and giving 100% of it; then that is success in itself. It also stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with people who want to see you succeed. I am so blessed here because I have a wonderful support system that stems from my kids, church family, to good friends in my community. My kids have been especially awesome as the three older kids (who are all attending college classes themselves) will text me or even send a Snap to see how things are going, asking specifically about my classes! 😀 That makes my mamma hear smile. I have had so many people that I know either text me or send me a message on Facebook telling me that they are proud of me and encouraging me in this new endeavor. It is all of that combined that will help keep me moving forward towards this new and lofty, but certainly obtainable goal. I am blessed.
Until the next moment,