When I first found out Jasmine was on her way, shocked and petrified doesn't quite describe my reaction to the news. All future hopes of my education were dashed. It was if suddenly someone put my degree on a string, tied it to a car, and took off with me chasing after it. And no matter how close I got, they would just speed up faster; until my dreams were a tiny dot in the horizon.
No matter how positive I appeared, I honestly never thought I would make it this far. For every class I got an A in, for every obstacle James and I overcame, three more issues would suddenly sprout up. We had to meticulously plan our schedules so that our classes didn't overlap and someone would always be with Jasmine, because we sure couldn't afford daycare. Heck, most of the time we could barely afford our books.
Still it's getting done. And for James, it is done. I'm so proud to say that last month, Jasmine and I (along with 10,000 other people) watched as he walked across that stage and got his degree. To many, he was just another student being handed a piece of paper, but for us, that piece of paper has a mighty long story attached to it.
So when it comes to having a small child and going to school, is it possible? Yes, yes and a resounding yes! Make no mistake, it will be difficult. You will get stressed. You will cry and want to stop, but you CAN do it. Believe in yourself. I already believe in you.
I do however, have a bit of advice:
While I will never turn my nose up at online colleges (in fact one of my best friends got her degree online) I fully encourage those who can actually physically attend college to do so. Why? I've done both. The majority of my Associates Degree was done online, whereas the all of my classes for my Bachelor's Degree were taken in class. The difference between the amount of information I learned and retained is incredible.
Going to school online takes away most of the stress of exams. It's a bit easier and more relaxed and even though professors have methods of ensuring that you actually prepare for your exam (i.e. imposing time limits) there's no sure way to make sure the students aren't leisurely flipping though their textbook and looking up the answers while taking the exam. Whearas physically being in college forces you to study, study, study, because once you walk into that class and that professor passes out the exam, you can't google your way into an A. You have to rely solely on your ability to study the information in a way that you can easily recall.
So while getting your degree online may seem like the simple solution, going to school for 4+ years won't do you a bit of good if you can't remember a darn thing you studied. Going to school online does afford a bit more convenience than physically attending, but like I said, if you have the opportunity to go, do it!
Interested in going to college, here's a few resources for the Mamma's (and Daddie's) who are thinking about going back to school:
1. How to Talk to Your Spouse About Finishing Your Degree
2. How to Handle Childcare When Going Back to College
3. How to Pay for College as an Adult
4. Online Colleges vs. Traditional Colleges
Good luck to you in your journey. If you have any questions, advice or experiences that you'd like to share, feel free to comment in the comment section below.
Until next time,