Hello Friends! I thought today would be a good day to elaborate on my journey of going back to college. Fall semester just ended so I feel I can give an honest review now that it’s over. What I had to learn, what didn’t help and how I will go into the Spring semester.
The last time I was a student in college was 13 years ago…yikes! Now I’m a mom of 3 kids & a wife, and it has been a while since my mind had to be in school mode. I think it was safe to say that I was nervous, scared and doubtful that I could even do it. But, the only thing that was holding me back was myself and fear!
It’s funny how fear can keep you from living the life you want and hold you back from taking chances.
Managing my time was imperative!
Time management was HUGE for me!!! This was one area that I had to learn, especially in the beginning and I needed to learn it quick.
The classes I took were very content-heavy, you had to remember ALOT and they moved quickly. Another thing I know is my mind is better in the morning, so if I’m tired, I can’t push through. It was better for me to go to bed early and wake up early to study or work on homework.
Also…it’s is hard to concentrate and learn with kids around.
Thankfully my kids are school age, so I would structure my learning (mostly) to when they were at school. When they came home I would shut the books and attend to them, cook dinner or whatever activity was going on. Then sometimes after I put the girls to bed I would do a little work, but not much. When Jarret was off work on the weekends I would study or work on assignments and he could care for the kids.
A MAJOR time suck is social media and your phone. If you follow me on social media and noticed that my posting has become almost nonexistent was because I completely stepped back from it, not really on purpose but because I wasn’t really on there anymore. It is very distracting, so I would set rules for myself that I couldn’t look at social media until I was done with an assignment.
Taking Good Notes and Having the Right Supplies
Taking good notes was another important thing! My mind learns and remembers things when I see them in multiple ways. But, the number one thing for me was to take good notes and particularly ones that are legible. Sometimes the professor is talking so fast you’re like, what did he just say and your handwriting gets pretty crazy.
I learned early on that I wasn’t a laptop note taker, a lot of people now days take notes on their laptop. If you can type fast you can get the info down quick but I needed a notebook, pens & highlighters.
Using the right pen to take notes is more important than you think! If the pen can write smooth and the ink is dark, then you didn’t want to lose that pen. Funny enough, most of those pens were cheap pens that were freebies or by BIC. You wouldn’t think so but those were some of the best.
Learning how to memorize.
Memorizing concepts and functions was a hard thing to get my mind back into and I never really had to remember hundreds of different things in a short amount of time. What helped what seeing the information from your notes, writing it out over & over and also watching YouTube videos about it.
Khan Academy, YouTube, and Google are lifesavers!!! You can read about a certain thing, then you can watch a video about it and look at diagrams! Seeing it in multiple ways really helped me to learn and retain the information.
It’s amazing how your brain can recall a concept of something you learned awhile back, I would surprise myself, haha!
Balancing my time.
Balancing time with family was important. I did devote huge amounts of time to school and it reflected in my grades, but it was mostly when the kids weren’t around. There was a lot going on during the Fall semester like football season for Bryce, Thanksgiving break spent with family and allow me to enjoy and be present for those important things, even though you know you have a looming exam ahead.
Juggling a growing family is hard, especially when your husband travels for work, and by default, a lot falls on your plate, but I couldn’t focus so much time without his support and me not having to work.
I talk about giving myself the grace to enjoy time with family and be present but, it was also important to let myself be ok with making an easy & simple dinner for us or not volunteering or attending every function at the kids’ school, or letting certain things go because I needed to be selfish with my time. It was ok…and somehow we all survived, lol!
What I learned…
I’ve learned that fear can hold you back over something that you’ve built up in your head to be true.
I’ve learned that nothing will change unless you do and it’s ok to fail, that’s how you learn, grow and experience as a person.
I’ve learned to trust in what I know, it has got me this far and you are capable to learn whatever you put your mind to.
And one thing I’ve learned and I know to be true is, the more you take chances and conquer your fears, the easy it is to do it in the future because you know deep down that somehow it will all be ok and you will make it.
These are all things that I have to keep reminding myself, I haven’t mastered anything but, my hope for myself is that I always keep trying and learning.
Talk to you soon, enjoy the rest of your weekend!