They say that from the second that you come in to the world you are a learner and that you continued to be a learner all your life. Each and everyday that goes by, I know that for myself that this statement is true.
First, I know my reasons for continuing my education. Be able to answer the question: 'Why am I doing this?' In this way I am properly motivated to reach my goals. I needed to decide what materials I may have needed for the journey. I found that much had changed since I last stepped into the classroom I started to feel that I won’t fit into the college, that it maybe too expensive, that there may not be enough time in the day to get everything done, it would take forever to complete what I needed for the ALP, what if employers won’t view the degree (or certification) as credible. After a time I learned quickly that those fears were actually unwarranted. By taking each fear one by one, I began to understand what these current students now know and how glad they are that they didn’t let their fears hold them back and I wasn’t going to be one of the students to let the fear hold me back
Second, I started to set realistic goals for myself. I needed to give myself a little time to reacclimatize myself to the educational environment. I didn’t and don’t apply pressure to myself to be the class valedictorian. I also take the time to determine how much is too much. I am a single mom with many medical problems. So I prepare to make wise use of my time each and everyday.
Third, I use my advantage as an experienced adult. I have chosen to use the avenue of education to better myself. I am not intimidated by those students who are half my age cause each and everyone learns different than anyone else. I have definite reasons for attending my classes. I remain focused on them each and everyday I am not in school just to earn a grade, I am there to define a part of my life. In fact, I am not surprised when and if the instructor calls on my for real-life examples of classroom material. I have a distinct advantage over some other students because you can associate the education with real experience. I am pleased at the number of younger students who want to know me better for what I know better.
Fourth, I use all of the resources at my disposal. This includes getting to know my instructors and counselors and always ask questions. Teachers expect students to ask questions and often use feedback to direct subsequent lectures and class exercises. I remember the old adage 'the only stupid question is an unasked question'? It still applies!
Fifth, I always try finish what I started! Sure my medical problems may stop me from time to time but I push myself to finish what I started. However, for me it is still important for me to complete the program, even if it means 'toughing it out'.
Believe me; I know that my satisfaction upon successful completion of my goals will be well worth the effort.
Sixth, I plan to look ahead. That’s right! I can see what I can and have accomplished with a little extra effort. I know that one day I will have the degree that I am wanting and be able to use that degree for the job that I am wanting.
Seventh (and last of all!), I enjoy what I have done! So I didn't get an 'A' on that assignment. That's ok. I know more now than I did before? I always take a little time to celebrate and reward myself (and the family that has put up with me for the past few months). After the celebration I make an assessment of where I stand as a result of my new education. Later I will decide if more is better, or if I am content with my current status. By the way, I can't enjoy this if I don't complete#5!