On this roller-coaster ride that we call life, we will experience thrilling highs, and we will experience stomach-dropping lows. When unfortunate situations occur, our natural instinct is to partake in negative thought patterns by stressing, dwelling, or worrying. We are human and these emotions are expected. But, when learning to become in control of our attitudes, we can reduce the degree of our… negative reactions and become more accepting of what’s out of our control. Instead of constantly worrying about what you cannot control in life, work on shifting your focus towards what you can always control: your attitude. Make the choice to be positive today.
Going back to college as an older adult is just like this. You are not just juggling school and a social life. You are struggling with school, jobs, family and friends. There always seems to be a crisis of some kind and they always happen during exam times. There always is some report that MUST be done, the family has something that MUST be done, one of your friends is having a melt down. If you are like me you will want to just crawl into a hole and hide for a little while and let life just get back on track. BUT we know that is not possible. You have to set boundaries. Setting boundaries are not always easy, but they are necessary. If you are going to succeed on this college journey, you do not really have a choice. Especially if you want to complete school with high honors, not just getting by.
You need to get honest with yourself and accept that you do not have to be everyone’s savior and they have to learn to be their own. From my personal experience, this was really hard to do. My husband and boys were so used to me “taking care of everything.” I handled all the bills, the shopping, the phone calls, the cleaning, cooking and laundry. When I started my Freshman year, I really thought that I could be “Superwoman.” Well, that lasted about 2 months. I thought I was going nuts. 🙂 Why could I not do all of this? What was wrong with me? I began to doubt myself. Had I taken on too much? Did I really think that I could go back to college and have a family and all the responsibilities of life? OF COURSE I CAN! It just required some serious restructuring of my life. I started making lists of priorities. I then sat down with my family and told them what needed to change and the help I needed from them. I also explained my expectations and what was not negotiable. I was surprised that they understood. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy for them to change. I also had to be patient and understand that they were trying. I had to learn to accept that sometimes dishes were going to be in the sink or the vacuum wasn’t being run every day. I had to stand by my expectations. It got tough at times and the resistance tested me. Eventually everyone got the message that I was serious. 🙂
College is fast paced and often overwhelming. The best way that I explained it was I would show a math book I was studying and tell them that I had 12 weeks to learn everything in that book, not the whole year. Their eyes would get really wide and say ohhhhh, wow. It was really awesome to see their reaction and the light bulb suddenly going off. 🙂
You can do this. No matter what the struggles are. Use the tools the colleges offer to you such as: Mentors, Tutoring, Counseling. Contact an Alumni and connect with them, They are the best people to help you through it since they have already done it. You will be amazed at the trials and tribulations that other students have had to overcome. Please do not allow life’s roller coaster and tests to cause you to give up. You are stronger than anything that comes your way. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!
KEEP GRADUATION ON YOUR MIND! It will be worth every single moment.
Enjoy the journey…….