The first one I am going to share was written as a "reflection" on our first week of classes for my Freshman Seminar Class last semester. Now remember, I haven't written much since high school - actually I didn't write much in high school now that I think about it! So be kind! lol
All the years I spent in dance and gymnastics did little to help me prepare for the balancing act that going back to school has made of my life. I feel like a Las Vegas performer spinning multiple plates on rods; trying desperately to keep all of them spinning and not crashing to the ground creating a shower of shrapnel in all directions.
Life as a non-traditional student creates a myriad of opportunities for personal growth. Like learning to manage your time to fit working full time keeping up with family member’s schedules, being a wife/mother/housekeeper, finding time to do homework and the list goes on. I feel that as the semester progresses, my sleep schedule will be what suffers most.
I know that by returning to school at this point in my life my college experience will be totally different than it would have been if I had finished when I started the first time around. I will not be pledging a sorority, nor will I be trying out for the pom squad. Those are aspects of college that I will never participate in and are forever lost chances. On the other hand, my grades will be much better than they would have been back then. While I can’t say I would have gone through my entire college career being happy with solid C’s; I can say it will be stretch for me now to be happy with any B’s at all. My goal is straight A’s, with little gold stars of course! I know what a challenge that would be even if I was a full time student with none of the other distractions I listed previously, but that is my goal none the less.
The first week of classes has proven that balancing my work schedule with my class schedule will not always be easy. Having to miss a class due to a work obligation is a huge source of stress for me. I have been advised to remain strong and not resort to Oreos at midnight as a coping mechanism. Even when I thought I was on top of my game and smiling inside at my innate ability (after a WHOLE week) to stay current on my assignments and homework, I noticed that I appeared to have missed turning in my very first paper on time. After a mild panic attack and a minor bout of self-rebuking followed by a please forgive me email to my professor, I was relieved to learn that I had not missed the deadline after all. Whew! But that little episode reminded me that no matter how sure I am of the facts I think I know; double (and sometimes triple) checking the details never hurts!
I look forward to taking on the challenge that I have issued to myself and I am ready to prove that I can do it. While it won’t be easy, it can be done. There are many of the traditional aspects of college that I may miss out on, but I intend to make the most of my time as a student at ECU. There is a saying that comes to mind I think fits this situation. A rubber band doesn't fully realize its true potential and value until it is stretched.