September 7, 2004
This story was written by Sadie Nicholson, from Montague, PEI. Sadie was recipient of a PEI Literacy Alliance bursary in March 2003. She plans to return to the PEI Institute of Adult and Community Education in Montague this winter (2004-2005).
The reasons why I left school are many. I thought that I knew all I needed to make it in the world. I was too busy socializing with friends who had the same attitude that I had. I figured I could get any job and make the money, I thought, I deserved. Hey, who needed school? It wasn’t so very long that reality set in and I knew I had made a mistake. However, I felt it was too late. I was working and had bills to pay. So, for the past twenty years I have worked at dead-end jobs. I was caught in the cycle of working for so many weeks a year and getting unemployment for the rest.
Nine years ago I became a single mom. I not only gave birth to my pride and joy but I also decided it was time to end the relationship I had been in for many years. When I looked at my daughter I realized that in order for her to have a good life I needed to focus on raising her. I also realized that I needed full time employment.
Since her birth my daughter has had to undergo many surgeries on her feet. Watching her courage and strength as she learned to walk over and over again has given me a new outlook on what I myself could accomplish if I only gave myself half a chance. She has been an inspiration and I know that if she can do all that she has done then I can do no less.
I have been promising myself for the past three years to go back to school. This year I took the plunge. I did it for my daughter and for myself. I was so scared but I made it through the first few classes and now feel quite comfortable there.
One thing I found out about going back to school and being a single parent is that it is a real eye opener. It definitely is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. Working full time, picking my daughter up from daycare, getting supper ready, finding a babysitter, getting our homework done (hers and mine), and spending some quality time with my daughter, getting her ready for bed and takes to accomplish your goals. I went between all of this, studying. Both of us realize that this will not go on forever, we just need to have some patience to get through it.
Before I started studying for my GED I really didn’t have all that much selfesteem. I was scared to make that first step but it is true when they say you are never too old to learn. It is also true when they say if you want something bad enough you will do whatever it takes to accomplish your goals. I went back to school to feel better about myself and prepare myself for further study to ensure that our future is a good one. Knowing that my daughter is proud of me is extremely important to me and I can see her pride every time I look at her. When the day arrives that I receive my GED I will know that I have accomplished something that makes me proud of myself and I will be teaching my daughter the importance of staying in school. No matter what or how we have to rearrange our schedules, we will just take it one step at a time knowing that when we reach the top step we will be on our way to a better life.
[This story was taken with permission, from the PEI Literacy Alliance website, under Learner's stories.]