Quitting college and moving back to a small town is almost worse than not going to college at all. I was very aware of the talk. Boy, can small towns talk. This is a con of small town living.
I was surprised to learn that many of my classmates didn’t end up going to college after all. A few did. Some had returned shortly after leaving; as I did.
I wasn’t sure what to do when I returned. I became trained as a CNA. I got a job at a nursing home.
It was not my cup of tea.
I am thankful that we all have strengths in different areas; for this is not one of my strengths. I had no idea how much more I would grow to hate nursing homes through the course of my life, but that is a combination of other stories.
I saw a different part of life working there. This wasn’t my first job at a nursing home, but it was my first working directly with the patients. I think I was there about a year before I quit.
I quit soon after having to body bag an elderly woman that had died.
It took me a long time to make it back to college.
I wanted to go after I had gotten discharged from the military. My first husband initially laughed at my proposal. When he realized I was serious, he became very angry. He told me, “Over my dead body”. It became a fight.
I wondered later on, through the years, what he was afraid of. I wondered why he was afraid of letting me fly. I resented him for trying to cage me.
Honestly, I didn’t fight too hard though. I had a full plate and I was well aware of that.
You see, life didn’t just stop when I quit college. Life became very full.
In that space between college attempt one and college attempt two, there had been a lot of life.
College wasn’t priority. Life became priority.
I made it back to college when my youngest started school.
I had made my last cross country trip back to New York a few years prior. I chose to come back for a ‘maybe’. This is another story.
I enrolled in my local community college part time; less than a week before the start of classes.
It was very humbling returning to college the second time. I baby-stepped. I changed my major a few times. I tried to find my niche. I wanted to find my niche. I have always wanted to be a good mom; to have a good marriage. That took precedence in my life; the most valued. It is not all that I wanted though.
My final choice in majors was Human Services.
I attended a satellite campus of my local community college. I chose this avenue. I knew I was baby-stepping. I was comfortable with this choice.
While it is difficult to be the non-traditional, returning to college, adult student; I remember feeling relieved that I was not alone. There were others there. A few remain good friends of mine; even today.
It wasn’t always easy. There were some challenges along the way. There was a lot of pressure from society and some family to just ‘get it done’.
It wasn’t that easy.
I understand many do not get this philosophy. We all walk in our own shoes. This was my walk; my shoes.
Honestly, looking back it was an uphill battle trying to finish something I started twenty some years before.
There were some setbacks.
One of my mothers had died in this time; I had been blessed to have two. That was beyond a challenge; I had a strong attachment to her. I withdrew from all classes when she died. I returned the following semester.
My brother had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in this time. After his surgery, he ended up contracting meningitis. He almost died from meningitis. I had made a few trips to Virginia to see him. I was so scared that it would be the last time.
My oldest child had a severe snowboarding accident. He had gone with the school ski club. I was not with him. We had gotten the call. It was serious. He had ruptured his spleen. They wanted to operate immediately. I had him transferred to a children’s hospital. He was in ICU for a while. He remained in the children’s hospital for a little over a week. It was beyond scary.
There were other challenges as well.
I remember the day one of my children broke down crying in the cafeteria because his elementary teacher mentioned his father.
I remember choosing to hold back one of my children in kindergarten because he needed extra time.
I remember the challenges of the blended family. There were a lot and it wasn’t always easy. I didn’t always know what to do and I made some mistakes.
Statistics was a major challenge. If you have been following along in my writing, you may have noticed mention of ‘statistics’.
I have been aware of statistics since a young age. I hated the statistics. I hated being placed in statistics. I hated seeing myself in those numbers. I hated when people brought up statistics. It was always in a negative manner. It was always a limitation. The layman never looks beyond statistics. I knew that my hatred of statistics ran deeper than the numbers.
Statistics was part of my degree requirement. I was not happy about that. I tried twice. The first time I attempted was the semester that one of my mothers had died. My stats professor had died too; of cancer. I withdrew that semester.
The second time I attempted I think it was online. I was confused and frustrated. I hated statistics. I withdrew again.
It took me about four years to get through a two year school. I never did get my Associates degree because I lacked statistics.
I put it on the back burner and did what everyone else does; I got a job….
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