Have you ever faced the predicament of having so many goals that you didn’t know where to start? This is how I wake up every morning as the 33-year-old single mother of three and a sophomore at Forest Park.
It wasn’t always like this.
In 2003, I enrolled in college for the first time. I was very excited and optimistic about my future. I bought my first car, and I was ready to explore all the adventures that life had to offer.
Unfortunately, things quickly sailed out of control. I was facing many issues at home, and I did not have much of a support system. Long story short, I left school and went a different direction.
Fast forward 14 years.
I am back! And I am just as excited as that 19-year-old student from the past. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for having the opportunity to return to school and get an education.
On the other hand, the excitement comes with nervousness and stress.
Since my last college experience, life has changed dramatically. I have a whole new focus: Kids. My schedule is no longer my schedule, but my kids’ schedule. I have to plan each day according to their plans, which is difficult at times.
I have forgotten what it is like to have time for myself. Everything I do involves balancing between family and school.
The biggest challenge is time management. It seems like there is never enough time in a day to accomplish all of my goals.
I can’t only think of myself. I have to make time for my boys. There’s homework, tutoring, cooking, baths, laundry, housecleaning and just making sure everyone is where they need to be.
One obstacle this semester was figuring out how to attend my night class. My kids get out of school before my class starts, so I am always trying to figure out a place for them to go for a few hours.
Day care is too expensive, and I don’t know anyone dependable who would consistently watch my kids each week. Usually, I have no choice but to bring them to the college with me.
I go over their homework while we eat dinner in the cafeteria and make sure they are settled before I leave for class. But as you can imagine, it’s worrisome.
“Why don’t you just find a job and worry about school later?” people often ask me. Honestly, I don’t know how to answer. I would be lying if I said I didn’t ask myself the same question sometimes.
I often wonder if I will ever reach my dreams and become a news reporter. As I indulge myself in doubt and worry, I realize that I have a long way to go and a lot to learn. Sometimes I feel that all I do is for nothing.
What if something happens again and I never complete school? Will I be successful? Can I be successful?
Sometimes I feel that the odds are against me. I realize I have kids to raise and bills to pay, and this causes the worry and doubt to be wrapped in fear.
When I get into this state of mind, I remind myself that all I do is for my kids, and that becomes medicine for my soul. I remember that my challenges are only temporary and my kids deserve a better life.
Meditation and exercise are two things that keep me grounded. I started meditating after finding out that it has worked for people with similar lifestyles. In addition, I’ve expanded my workout plan.
Both help keep me motivated and make me feel like I can take on the world. I’m still ironing out the wrinkles, but I’m happy that I’ve taken that first step in a positive direction.
Not giving up!