Feels like a spiral staircase ~ KEEP ON CLIMBING! ~

Here you are, in your first week of classes  Whew, it is overwhelming! You feel like you are climbing a spiral staircase that never ends. This is especially true during this first week of classes. Did you get the right books? Do you know your classes? What is your professor going to be like? Do you have any assignments due the first week? If you are doing online classes, have you figured out the system? Are you having any glitches? We you able to download everything you need? Did your books come in yet? OH NO! I’M SOOO OVERWHELMED! I’M SPINNING IN CIRCLES! SAVE ME FROM THIS CRAZINESS! 🙂

You don’t need saved, you just need to breathe. Inhale, hold it, Exhale. Do it a couple more times. There you go. Much better. Ok, now, take it one step at a time. Let’s say you haven’t received your books yet. No problem. Most Universities offer three weeks of chapters that you can print out. If not, you can copy the pages from a classmate. You received prior to the quarter/semester your class schedule. Start a little early and head out to the University and find them ahead of time. If you are taking the classes online, then it’s easy. They are already listed for you on the Blackboard. As far as what your professor is going to be like, that may take a couple of weeks to get a good feel for that. Ask other students who may have had him/her before and see what they say. Remember however, that whatever they say, it is their opinion. Do not prejudge. keep an open mind. You should have received a copy of your Syllabus, therefore you should know if you have any assignments due. Do not wait until the last-minute to do them. That will frustrate you even more. If you are taking online classes and you are having problems. Contact Tech Support IMMEDIATLEY.  They get inundated with calls and it is no excuse not to get your work done. If you have to go the a public library and use their computers until the issue is resolved.

It feels like a spiral staircase when you stress instead of rationally thinking about it. You cannot procrastinate. You have to be your best advocate. Do not be nasty with the staff or fellow students. That will definitely not earn you any points. Seriously. Be a professional and find ways to make it work for you. Do not make excuses and saying I can’t do my work this week because of this that or another. You are a college student. You have to take responsibility for your own education and assignments.  Buy yourself a date book where you keep all the information you need such as; dates assignments are due, professor information, tech support and so on. Stay organized. It will save you in the long run.

You will reach the top of the staircase and like Rocky you will be able to jump up and down, scream and raise your fist because YOU DID IT! Keep Climbing  my friend and I will see you at the top!

Peace

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Time Doesn’t Matter – JUST DO IT!

This is perfectly stated. I cannot tell you how many times while doing my undergraduate work that I heard people say, “This is going to take me forever, I can’t take three or four classes at a time.” Hearing that often made me feel sad. Why? Because people were putting undue pressure on themselves.  As an adult student you have more responsibilities than just school. Many of you have jobs and families. Some of you are caring for an elderly parent or a disabled child. You don’t have to keep up with anyone but YOURSELF.  You have nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, the opposite is true. You a lot to be proud of. You are still going to college in spite of all the obstacles.

It does not matter how long it takes you as long as you JUST DON”T STOP. You will get there. When you can, take more classes, when you cannot, take only what you can handle. Do not take anything on that will cause you to possibly fail. That defeats the purpose. Do not set yourself up to fail. Set yourself up to SUCCEED! Then when you walk across that stage and hear your name, it will mean even more.

I started off taking one class at a time, then when I felt more comfortable I took two. It wasn’t until my junior year that I could take three classes. Even in my senior year a situation happened that forced me to take only two classes during one-quarter. It actually was the best thing I could do for myself.

Do not listen to the other students bragging about how many classes they are taking. They are not you. You do what is in your best interest. Keep your eye on the prize – GRADUATION! Allow yourself to enjoy this incredible journey. 🙂

Peace

Are you a Caterpillar or a ~ BUTTERFLY~

This is who I am! Are you DRIVEN!

For many of us, we have heard this. Or we may have heard the words “Are they nuts?’ “They are being selfish, their children (adult or young) need them.” or “What are they thinking, they are too old?”  You will probably hear this many more times over the next 4+ years of college. You must learn to turn a deaf ear to it. Some people are jealous, some are afraid you won’t want to be their friend once you are “educated” and some just don’t want to see others do better than them. Your going back to college can be intimidating to some people. Co-workers become uncomfortable because they fear for their jobs, or you may make them look bad. That’s THEIR INSECURITIES, NOT YOURS!

Don’t let anyone steal your joy. The further you get in school, the worse it is going to get. I know this from first hand experience. During the last week of my Bachelors degree, all my haters seemed to come out of the wood work. I found it astounding and amazing. It was like they were doing everything they could to upset me or make me angry so that I would lose my focus. Now you might be saying to yourself, “This woman is hallucinating.” 🙂  Trust me, I am not. I had to really stay focused on getting through my last final as an undergrad and I could not allow anyone or anything try to take that away from me. Now I am not saying it was easy, it was a nightmare to say the least. I did get through it. YAY!!!! 🙂

You will see a pattern emerge every time a midterm or final or a big paper is due, there’s a crisis of some kind. I got to the point where I just said to myself “REALLY?” “AGAIN?” You will find ways that work for you. Sometimes you have to take a step back and breathe and other times you will have to be a bull and go forward with everything you have. THIS IS YOUR SUCCESS!!! THIS IS YOUR PRIDE!!! THIS IS YOUR DREAM!!! No one or anything has the right to take that away.

Tragedies will happen. I had a few of them during my undergrad studies. The worst one was during what was supposed to be my last quarter. My 21-year-old son had a life threatening burn injury. He was n the hospital a long time and I couldn’t leave his bedside. I was taking three classes and felt incredibly overwhelmed. I made the decision to drop one of my classes and make the next quarter my final quarter. I did what I thought was best for me an my family. I still has the two other classes and I was able to complete both with an A. I learned how to use the time in the hospital and at home to get the work done. I learned how to prioritize so that my son and my needs were being met. I did not use the situation as a reason to quit. I used it as a way to move forward. If I could get through school during that time, then I can get through it no matter what.

You may or may not face the same things I did. However, the stumbling blocks that you will face need to be handled in a way that does not destroy your dream. We can all make excuses, but it’s the DRIVEN that move forward! Are you DRIVEN? Of course you are! 🙂 Let’s continue with this dynamic journey!!!!!

ENJOY YOUR DAY! 🙂

That huge Boulder in front of you ~ College ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College can be a ~ ROLLER COASTER RIDE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…….
Peace.

 

Integrity

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I was talking to a fellow student last night before class and he said something profound to me. He was talking about how his two daughters were emulating him by “studying”  when when daddy studies. The profound part was the were 4&2!  They would grab their books when he had to study and sit on his office floor and read and color. The two year old would mumble as though she was reading too. What an incredible example he was setting for his children and he didn’t even know it. 🙂

This doesn’t have to pertain to young children only. I have spoken to so many older adults who have returned to school to be an example to their older children that it’s never too late. They talk about the pride they feel when their grown children say “I can’t do this,” and they now have the ability to say “look at me, sure you can.”

Some feel they disappointed their children because they waited so long and  didn’t make education an important aspect of life. Now they can look in the mirror and say they did it.

I’m one of those people too. I was so busy raising a family and trying to survive day to day that I didn’t place importance where it needed to be. I taught my children how to survive but not how to use education to live. Now I have. When people look at me from my past they now see a successful person with integrity. My children can be proud of me. My son talks about how he felt at my graduation and the  pride was overwhelming. “My moms a college graduate!”

It’s never to late. Whether they’re babies or adults they look up to you. Make them and yourself PROUD! 🙂

You’ve worked hard~CONGRATS!

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Most of us are getting ready for that dreaded word FINALS! The end is near. For some it’s the end of journey, for others it’s the end of our first quarter/semester. For some it’s the end of our undergraduate work and the beginning of graduate school. Wherever you are at take a moment to pat yourself on the back-Go ahead pat yourself and say GOOD JOB! 🙂 . You deserve it.  You worked hard, studied hard, slept very little. You made it.

Some of you are preparing for GRADUATION! 🙂  YES! You may have your cap and gown, your invitations are out and you are EXCITED! Be proud hold your had up high. Picture Graduation day. Imagine yourself all dressed up standing in line with the other graduates and hearing those words LET’S GO GRADUATES! (I just got goosebumps). Then you hear that music and you begin the procession of walking in front of all those people cheering. Some of you will year up and some of you will smile so much your mouth will hurt. 🙂

Rejoice in whatever stage you are at. YOU EARNED IT! 🙂

KEEP MOVING FORWARD………..

PEACE

The Art of Visualization ~ Keep Graduation in your sights!

When you look at this picture, what do you see?  Calmness? Serenity? A place where you would love to be? It creates a sense of peace.

Now, when you look at the picture below, what do you feel?

It makes me smile, feel excited.It creates a sense of accomplishment and pride. I couldn’t say  it better than myself. I walked both my Associates and my Bachelors degrees. I am glad that I did. It was exhilaration! Like it says above, “The tassel was worth the hassle.  ABSOLUTLEY!  I have notes everywhere. My screen savers on my computer and cellphone says “GRADUATION.” There are sticky notes on my refrigerator, front door in my car and office. This is what visualization is all about. It reminds you when it gets tough what your goal is. The words GRADUATION is re-energizing and pumps me up to keep going on.

Visualize graduation day. Picture yourself in you cap & gown. Visualize all the people in the crowd, your family, friends and peers. Picture yourself walking across the stage to get your degree. Imagine the words of your name being called and the type of degree that you earned. Go ahead, sit back and visualize it. It will give you the desire to continue. Watch a virtual graduation online. It’s not cheesy, it’s what you are working for. Don’t deny yourself.

Share your graduation stories if you like. Talk to students who have graduated, ask them what it did for them. Go to one of your schools graduations and experience what it is like.

KEEP IN MIND ~ THE TASSEL IS WORTH THE HASSLE~~~!!!!

Enjoy the beautiful day God gave you!

PEACE~~~~

What kind of future are you building? ~Weak or Strong!

I thought this was most appropriate for those of us that are pursuing our dreams of a better life. We have to stay focused and remain stead fast in achieving our goals. I noticed for myself over the last year especially that when I thought about my past that I do not have any desire to go back to it. Not one single bit. 🙂 Not even the good parts.

Life has changed drastically since I returned to college. My perspective, my outlook and my dreams. Walking graduation for both my Associates and Bachelor’s Degrees put everything into perspective. The INCREDIBLE feelings of success and accomplishment is INTENSE and very gratifying. 🙂

I am now starting my journey of my Master’s degree and I have already contacted a University about their Doctorate program. I already know where I am going, and I have all the information that I need. I am not turning back now and neither should you. Do not waste your time thinking about the past for it is GONE! Never to be again. HOWEVER, the future is in front of you. Grasp all the opportunities that are there for you. HOLD ON TIGHT! Make them happen for yourself. You cannot fix the past, but you can pour the foundation for the future.

This is what I used to say to my patients all the time as well as employees that used to work for me, see if it works for you.

You are building a gorgeous home. To your specifications. You will be the first person to live in that home. You hire all the contractors, bought all the materials. You decided to go with the lowest bidder to save money as well as using lower quality materials. Again, to save money. Your house is built and it’s AWESOME! You move in and live your life. Ten years later, you notice that the foundation is sinking, literally.  😦   What is going on?  Why is this happening? You contact the contractor and he informs you that you decided to use cheaper materials and this is the result.  You built a beautiful home on a weak foundation!

Is your foundation weak or are you building your future on a solid, strong foundation? Think about it. If you build your future on a weak foundation, it will eventually crumble. Don’t cheapen your future. 

Enjoy this beautiful day God gave you!

Peace.