When the student is ready~~

 

 

 

 

This is incredibly true. I remember when I attempted to go to college as a teenager, I was not ready. I blamed my failure on my professors and anything else I could think of. I was not mature enough to take on the challenges of college. However, when I went back to school at 47 years of age, it was significantly different. I was ready.

Returning to college this time was amazing. I allowed myself to open up to the experience. The saying above was very true, when I was ready, the teachers appeared. Going back to college at any age is difficult. The challenges are many and sometimes you feel very lost and overwhelmed. I am here to tell you that you will get through that. Only if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities, open to instruction and direction.

Once you are open to the journey, it will all fall into place. You will be less stressed (now I did not say no stress :-)), I am saying less overwhelmed. The “TEACHER”  may come in many different forms. Not just the instructor. The teacher could be a tutor, or a mentor or another student.

Most Universities offer mentoring programs. This is an excellent way to connect with someone who really knows and understands what you  are going through. The mentor can explain how they did it, what methods they used. A mentor can also point you in the direction you need to go if it is out of their realm. Utilize this program as much as you can and you will find a great friend.

Tutoring programs are also offered. Use them as well. I cannot count the number of times that I went to tutoring, especially in Math and Science. I do not think that I could have successfully completed those classes without the help. Individuals who tutor do it because they truly enjoy it. They do not judge you. They know how hard it can be to pass a class that you struggle with. Do not be shy to ask for help. It is your education and you are paying for it. Make the best of it.

Get to know your classmates. This is a powerful way to get through your class. You can have a study group or just a classmate to cut loose with and maybe go out for dinner and a drink with. You may be surprised as to how many students are just like you. You can help one another.

Now that you the student are ready, let the teaching begin! 🙂

Enjoy your journey.

Are you a Caterpillar or a ~ BUTTERFLY~

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.

 

What Exam? What Homework? REALLY!

I just had to write about this because I heard this twice this week and both times I thought I was going to just fall over.

Two classmates of mine called regarding what homework was due this week. Now let me inform you that both of these students left class an hour early for the past two weeks. When I saw this picture I immediately though of them.

I am by nature a very nurturing person, but we are in COLLEGE!  What do you mean what homework is due this week?! First off, don’t you have a ‘SYLLABUS?”  You know that huge print out the professors give us at the beginning of the quarter that takes you step by step, week by week.  It is even numbered WEEK 1, WEEK 2, and so on.  Secondly, it is MIDTERM WEEK. HELLO!.. The butt kicker for me is the class we are in is a Jr./Sr. class, which means that you know the routine by now. You are not a freshman taking this class.

When I told them it was midterms, they both panicked,saying I’m not ready, what do I do and they rambled for a good 10 seconds. I couldn’t help myself and I asked them, “What week are we in?”  They answered correctly. I also informed them that because they left class early that they did not get the study guide that the Professor handed out for the midterm. I also informed them that the Professor had a study group on Saturday that he announced in class on Thursday.

You could see pure panic set in. They created unnecessary stress for themselves. Now not only are they behind on the homework that was due but they do not have any clue to what is going to be on the midterm. I suggested that they contact the Professor and see if they can get what they need.

This is where I get on my soapbox. This is college, you are an adult, you know how to be RESPONSIBLE. There really is no excuse for allowing this to happen. I know that Strayer for example, very clearly in the syllabus details every week what is required. If you lose the syllabus you can get another or go into the Student Center of Blackboard and get another one. Oh, and then there is this magical instrument called a telephone/cell-phone that you can use to call your professor anytime, or email anytime. Why wait until two days before the class?

REMEMBER, you are paying for these classes. Yes, there is a great deal of freedom going to college, but that freedom can get you into a lot of trouble if you cannot discipline yourself.  I for none am not in class “Just to get by,” I want to ace the class.

Ok, off my soapbox. Do you see yourself here? If you do, change it. If not, congrats.

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

 HAPPY STUDYING! 🙂

That dreaded time of year again – MIDTERMS~ SMILE

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you go! What better way to look at it. Glad you took a break from studying  for a SMILE 🙂 !

I needed the break too. Just think it’s almost over, it’s almost over, it’s almost over. You are halfway home…………

Take a breath, take a walk, call a friend. Take a good 30 minutes just for yourself. That is exactly what I am going to do now. Call a friend. So enjoy your break, then hit the books.

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Midterm Time – OH NO!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Here we are the DREADED MIDTERMS! ~~~Sweating ~~~ Long Nights~~~Stress~~~Nervousness and Insecurities ~~~

I feel you. It’s midterms for me too.  It’s time for us to see just how much we have learned so far.  It’s time to see if we slacked off or worked hard.  WAIT A MINUTE- DON’T !  Take a deep breath, go ahead – big breath in, hold it, big breath out.  There you go. Doesn’t that feel better?  Remember to do that often.

Midterms is only a GUIDELINE. Notice that word GUIDELINE.  (Midway)  It is not your grade. Just a measuring stick.  Whew – relief! 🙂

If you look at it like it’s a guideline it takes the pressure off.  Ok, let’s say that (now be honest with yourself) you did slack off and you have to own it. You have another 5 or so weeks to get it together. Midterms are a way to show  you honestly where you stand. If you haven’t slacked, this is where you get to pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you have done. 

Do your best and take this opportunity  to find your weakness and strength. Be real with yourself. If you didn’t do so well, ok, the last 5 weeks is gone. You have a clean slate. DON’T WASTE IT!

If you busted your butt and you ACE your midterms -CONGRATS! Let it REJUVINATE you!

GOOD LUCK!

 

College makes you – COME ALIVE!

College makes you – COME ALIVE!.

College makes you – COME ALIVE!

Think about those words. When we do things that are good for us and others, we literally COME ALIVE. Reflect for a moment on the day you were accepted to college, can you remember the feelings? Yes, some of them were fear, but honestly, there was a great deal of excitement. How man times did you day “I’m a college student!” I know I did hundreds of times. I still do, even after (4) years and two degrees. It is just even more incredible to say “I’m a college graduate!”

COME ALIVE. allow yourself to be fulfilled. I can hear you now “It’s hard to come alive with all this studying, exams, work and family.” REALLY????? Why would you deny yourself the good stuff? No matter what, you are doing what others refuse to do. You are bettering yourself. Improving you and your family’s future. Giving yourself more opportunities.  Stop the self-pity. Stop trying ti pour yourself another glass of failure. Look at all of this as the GLASS HALF FULL instead of the GLASS HALF EMPTY!

As we get older we start to realize our mortality and we realize it is time to make a move. Before you know it the four years will be over and you will have that PRECIOUS DEGREE!  I cannot reiterate enough that feeling you are going to experience. I remember Strayer’s President Dr. Stollards’ words at the end of commencement when she said, “TURN YOUR TASSLES AS YOU ARE NOW A GRADUATE OF STRAYER UNIVERSITY!”  I still get the goose bumps when I think about those words or hear the words “Kathleen Gerber, Bachelor’s of Science, Magna Cum Laude.” You can feel those goose bumps too. Instead of thinking “Oh I wish I would have.” There’s no room here for woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Create your bucket list for life and GO FOR IT! You only live once. Last year, I allowed myself to experience something I have wanted to do my whole life. Skydive. I went with my son and a great friend. Oh yes, I was petrified until the plane was actually flying towards our destination of 13,500 ft. I had a sense of calm because I had made the decision and did not wimp out. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! I loved every single second of it and now I am addicted. The point I am trying to make here is you do not know what you are missing out on if you only allow things to be a dream or a fantasy or wishful thinking.  For me, I don’t want to die with regrets. I don’t want to die with “if only.”

Pump yourself up! Be positive! Yell and Scream like a cheerleader would!

Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a rut or complacent. This is it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

HAVE FUN!

Law of Attraction – Sounds Weird but IT’S TRUE!

Hmmmm when I read this years ago I thought it was just another one of those fly by night schemes but the more I read about it, the more I can to believe in it. The more I practiced it, the more I saw the results. When I don’t practice it, I also see the results of that.

When I first made the decision to return to school was actually years before I walked through the doors of Strayer University. I have thought about it time and again. The problem was I couldn’t visualize it in my head. I couldn’t see me walking across the stage of graduation, or wearing a cap and gown or holding that diploma in my hands. It took almost 15 years before I was able to see any of that. I spoke often of going back to school and I made excuse after excuse I could find; we can’t afford it, the children need me, my husband needs me, work needs me, my friends need me blah blah blah.

Then 5 years ago I heard about this philosophy and decided to check it out.  I started to put it in practice. I started to change the way I was thinking. I started to cut out pictures of what car I wanted, what kind of home I wanted, and yes, even what kind of job I wanted. I cut out pictures of college graduates with their caps and gowns and wrote at the top “This is going to be ME!”

Now I must be honest and say I didn’t see changes right away because I often slipped back into my old thinking habits. It is really difficult to learn to control your thoughts. Whew, it was quite exhausting for a long time. Finally about 6 months later things were beginning to change slowly. First was my attitude. I was not longer the walking billboard of negativity. The words ” I CAN”  became a daily part of my vocabulary. “I CAN”T” started to become much less a part of my vocabulary.  Just changing from I can’t to I can was amazing. I felt different about myself. People said I carried myself differently (I didn’t notice at first). My head was held higher instead of always looking at the ground. It felt great not feeling doom and gloom everyday.

As the I can’s started increasing is when the final decision to go to college became a reality. I was more self-confident and my determination had grown ten fold. One day I was out running errands when I drove past Strayer University and my car suddenly had a mind of its own. I pulled into the parking lot and the next thing I knew I was standing in the front office of the Virginia Beach Campus. I can promise that I had the “deer in the headlights” look and I was really scared. A very pleasant young lady approached me and asked what I wanted and I remember answering her saying “I think I want to go back to school, but I’m not sure if it is for me.”  I also remember reverting to the insecure Kathie and I out my head to the ground like I wasn’t deserving.  The young lady invited me to her office to discuss my interests. I informed her that I haven’t seen the inside of a classroom for almost (30)  years and this was an insane idea. That is when she explained that more adults are returning to college than ever before. I was reassured that I would not be the “old lady” in class and all I had to do was take it one-quarter at a time. She suggested that I start with (2) classes to get acclimated and take it from there.

I completed the application process, and financial aid process and I waited to be rejected. Yep, that’s what I said. Waited to be rejected. The phone would ring and I would see Strayer’s number come up on my caller ID and I wouldn’t answer it. I let it go to voicemail because I didn’t want to hear that I wasn’t accepted, or that my financial aid application had been denied or there was some kind of problem. Funny thing, it never happened. I was ACCEPTED, my financial aid was APPROVED, my classes were SCHEDULED and I was to begin in 3 WEEKS! There was no turning back now! WOW, I’M A COLLEGE STUDENT! 🙂

The law of attraction works for me. It has changed my entire life. I pictured both of my graduations (I picture my Master’s and JD degrees too). I picture myself having high honors, not just getting by in college. I picture teaching other students one day. I picture traveling the country speaking at colleges about my journey and I picture me writing a book soon.  I know it sound weird, and I agree, but the Bible speaks about it, Motivational Speakers talk about it, Minsters Talk about it, so there must be something to it all.

Allow yourself to be open to the experience. To change your thinking. To become more confident. To get that College Degree. To get the job of your dreams. FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS!  When you don’t want to focus or you’re feeling down or overwhelmed – FOCUS ANYWAY! It is hard I agree, but it is worth every teenie tiny step, every frustration, every long night of studying.

VISUALIZE IT. SPEAK IT. SEE IT. WELCOME IT.  “I’M A COLLEGE GRADUATE!” 🙂

Only the Driven

Three little words that mean a great deal.

Making the decision to return to college and sticking with it in fact does require being driven. Think about it. You probably work a full-time job or even a part-time job. You have a spouse or partner and children and a house to take care of. Normally that overwhelms most people. But for the person making the decision to return to college  it can seem like the IMPOSSIBLE! Notice I said the words “seem Like.”  Every situation is manageable if you allow it to be. I know for myself when I first started back to school I was frazzled ALOT! Anxiety now became a daily word in my vocabulary. I cannot tell you how many times I cried, how many times I said “I can’t do this”, how many times I said “I have bitten off more than I can chew.” The more frustrated I was the more determined I became.

The lightbulb went off in my head that said “The Universe is testing how much you want this.” Hmmm, really? Ok then, I had to become willing to fight back. It seemed like obstacles were always in my way; work was incredibly busy, my grown children fought me every step of the way (it was taking time away from all their needs), my husband sometimes got frustrated (but in all honesty he was my biggest fan and constantly reinforced me) I think it was more in my head that I was neglecting my husband than him really being frustrated :-). The house was falling apart, laundry was piling up and so on. I felt like pulling my hair out. I found myself resenting all of those things. I started getting angry at my children and husband and my home. See, here was the main problem, I had trained my family very well that I could handle everything; work, the household, paying bills, going shopping etc. They came to expect it. Well that had to change and fast.

What I had to do was sit my family down and discuss MY expectations. What I needed for a change. College is important to me and it was time that they supported ME. At first there was a great deal of resistance especially when it came to cleaning the house, laundry and dishes. Oh yea and helping to take care of our two dogs. I had to stay strong and not give in. BOY IS THAT DIFFICULT FOR A CARETAKER TO DO. LOL. But I had to stick to it. It didn’t go very smoothly ans sometimes it still doesn’t. I have had to stay strong, oh yea, very strong. I had to let the laundry pile up, leave the dishes in the sink, let the house get dusty and not vacuum. (Let me tell you, it took everything I had, every ounce of energy I had to let that happen).

I stood my ground. There were 4 grown adults in the house, they weren’t children. One son was 22 and the other son was 19. There was no excuse they couldn’t help. Eventually they got the message and started to help A LITTLE. I had to learn what was important and  what wasn’t. School was important , everyone and everything else had another place in my life. I learned how to prioritize. I kept remembering ONLY THE DRIVEN. Only the driven succeed. Only the driven graduate. Only the driven maintain high GPA‘s. ONLY THE DRIVEN!

I even put that saying on the front page of my cell phone. My first Dean, her name was Dean Sizer told me to always remember to keep GRADUATION in the forefront and make that your goal. That word is my screen saver.

The main thing you need to remember is you are not alone and you do not need to be everyone’s savior and caretaker. Learn to delegate responsibilities. (I know it’s hard to give up the control 🙂 ) If you are going to graduate, that is what you have to do. If you have small children, then you study when they go to bed, or on the weekends when your spouse can help, or even ask a neighbor that your are close to if they can help. Your true friends will be more than willing to help. Don’t use these struggles as a reason to throw in the towel. Quitters don’t win. Being an older college student sure does have its challenges, but that is all they are – challenges. Challenges are meant to be fought against and won. Just think about the military people who are completing their degrees online WHILE FIGHTING A WAR! If anyone had the excuse to say “I can’t do this right now, it would be them.”

Pull yourself up, dust yourself off, and STAY FOCUSED! STAY DRIVEN! When you walk graduation, you will reap the rewards for all your hard work and sacrifice. Hearing your name and the degree you earned in front of hundreds of people is MINDBLOWING!

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