August 22nd was my first day of (online college) class and it was tough. Not because the content was hard or I lacked understanding of the course material, but because in between studying I was hurrily dropping off kids, picking up kids, going to the orthodontist, making lunch, eating lunch, feeding lunch to Malachi, getting said toddler down for a nap, washing dishes, tidying up the house, and lastly, taking care of my own personal needs. When I went to college ten years ago, I only had to consider the last thing on that list. I honestly don't know how I'm going to do this, yet something inside still tells me I can and I should. I've been doing some pretty serious soul searching lately about why I chose to go back to school to earn my degree. Looking back the past several months I knew I needed a change but I didn't know what it was that I was going to change. Then suddenly it hit me one day that NOW was the time to go back to college. After that, everything fell into place to get me started on my way. I feel that the gentle whisperings of the Holy Spirit started planting these ideas into my head, gently nudging me towards new ideas about the future and new pathways for my life. First it was "You need to go back to school", then it was,"You need to go into teaching children," then it was,"I'm going to help you do this," and now it's,"Hang in there, it's going to be a wild ride but I'll still be here to help you." These are the thoughts I hang onto when I start to doubt myself. I need the guidance of the spirit in my life and I am so grateful for it!
Within my college program there is a Student Success Center designed to help students on their goals towards graduation. One of the suggestions on their blog is to develop a personal mission statement as to why you are following the path you are on. I thought I would do this little question exercise to help me.From the Student Success blog:
"Going to school is not easy, but it is worth it. There is no doubt you have personal reasons for why you are going to school to earn your degree. After all, having a mission is critical to success. Articulate your personal mission by answering the following questions:"
Why am I going back to school?
Because I want to finish what I started ten years ago. Because I love learning and will enjoy the classes I am taking. Because college can be enriching, exciting, and invigorating to the mind and soul, and I want to experience all of that again. Because I want a career that I will love and enjoy and finishing college is the only path to that goal for me. Because going back to school feels right. Because teaching children in a school setting feels like the next logical step in my life.
Why is this the time for me to go back to school?
Good question. Because I feel in my heart of hearts that it is right. Because the spirit has told me it is right. Because my boys are at an age where they are more independent and able to do more things on their own, thus I have more free time to work on college. Because I am at a place in life where I feel more responsible and more capable of managing my time and energy to make this work.
If I start to feel overwhelmed, why should I stick with it and stay on track to graduation?
Because this is what I am making time for in my life right now and I can do this! The time is now! I have worked hard to downsize any outside responsibilities to make it possible for me to do this. I have put graduating college at the tippy top of my priority list and I know if I stick to my plan, I won't fail.
I can envision my life as a teacher. I can visualize my personal teaching philosophies and the positive impact I'll make on the school I work at. I can visualize my classroom, my students, and my busy, happy life as a mom and a teacher.
**Refer to your personal mission statement often during your degree program to remain motivated.