|Kelly Writers House, my favorite place to be
on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus
Why did I attend college at the time in my memoir life? A time when my twins, the youngest, started second grade. A time when my learning disabled, oldest child needed me more than ever at the dawn of her high school years. A time when all five of my young children needed me to be the calm, supportive mother they had always known.
This reason to go to college should be a necessity and not simply a desire one of my writing friends said. And I believe she’s right. But what can that necessity be?
At the time I was considering college in my memoir, I was knee deep in motherhood. But I also wanted to publish short stories in children’s magazines. I wanted to establish a writing career.
[I know…who didn’t.]
This was before social media and blogs. Before the internet craze. For me, it was before writers’ groups and organized courses outside the home. My husband was sole provider of seven and travelled occasionally for business.
I felt as if I were trapped in that home, sometimes, shackled to motherhood and unable to better myself through formal education. I adored my children. Still do. They are, after all, my life. My happiness. I wouldn’t change a thing. Really!
But after redoing the twins’ baby room with rejection notices—the paper kind, remember those?—I decided that education was key to publication. At least I felt it would equal the playing field between me and published writers, established writers, the writers I was reading who talked of their college experience in articles they wrote in the baby’s and lady’s magazines I read. I didn’t have this experience. College was not an option when I graduated from high school in my blue collar neighborhood. Only a select few went off to college. I knew nothing about junior college or college loans.
It took me seven years to get the courage to enroll in a community college, in classes that met regularly—outside of the home. I had taken correspondence courses, again before the internet craze, in children’s literature. These only whet my appetite for that renaissance understanding of the world.
Little did I know how ill-prepared I was for college. But that’s what the memoir is about. My quest for knowledge and how I grappled with feelings of insecurity, feelings of selfishness leaving my family behind to become a college student and gain knowledge. About finally becoming published. About someone wanting to read my words. About someone learning from my words.
You beautiful readers have been very kind to me, leaving notes on my blog. Please offer any opinions as to whether you feel this may be that need to attend college I’m looking for or offer your precious guidance, so necessary to my writing life. Thank you.
18 thoughts on “Searching For That Need to Attend College”
I hope your experience was a positive one and well worth the sacrifices. I think when kids see their mom or dad studying and sacrificing time for college, it inspires them and helps them value education more highly.
I agree with Karen. Mothering is important. But being a good role model while mothering is important too. We also have the right to education and fulfillment, and we wind up being happier mothers as a result.
Your memoir sounds so interesting. Many people will relate on several levels.
We can always learn something from our experiences, can't we? I had to smile – I do remember paper rejections (received my share of them!). I took correspondence writing courses when my kids were growing up, and although it was challenging, it was a good experience. I learned more from those courses about writing, and the business of writing, than I expected. It was one of the best investments I ever made.
So glad I'm not the only one who took correspondence classes (by mail and in person) and attended junior college as a non-traditional. Can't wait to read your memoir!
You are my inspiration, Victoria, and I want to be like you when I grow up
College is not necessary to writing, although it's one path that works for many people. For me, college was where I acquired the education for my day job–a day job that I find enriching and that provides the income that enables me to write. But college was also the place where I first learned to live away from home, first fell in love, and first learned what it is to live in a city.
I wish you all the luck in the world. I can't wait to read your memoir!
Absolutely, Karen. I agree with you. I wanted to show my children how important and necessary education is, and more often than not, they are in charge of their education. In other words, reading assignments and questions are crucial to learning all you can in a particular subject. Thank you so much for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog and leaving a note. It is greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for this view, Theresa. Being a good mother and role model is imperative for the children. I've always believed that solid education is power for all people, and that it should be treated with respect by students as well as teachers/profs. I'm hoping my memoir is interesting. Thank you for your encouraging words here at Adventures in Writing. They are greatly appreciated.
This is very true, Karen. I believe people learn something new each day. I also believe that if the person wants to learn something, she will. Effort is more than half the battle to education. My correspondence courses opened my eyes to many things in stories that I never knew were there. Thank you so much, Karen, for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a comment. It is greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for this, Dawn. Yes, I eased my way into higher education. And it's wonderful to know I'm not the only one. Thanks again for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a comment. It is greatly appreciated.
Marie, you flatter me. I thought it was the other way around. I want your energy and talent, my dear. Thank you so much for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog and leaving a note. It's greatly appreciated.
You are correct, Jennifer, that college is not imperative for writing and publishing. However, in my little pre-internet space in the memoir life I'm recounting, I didn't realize this. Bravo for you to enjoy your day job and have it as a provision for writing. Yes, college is where most all young people learn to be on their own and experience many firsts. As I attended college as a non-traditional older student, my challenges were more academic based and time constrained. Thank you so much for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog and leaving a comment. It's greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much, Michelle. I feel that I may need this luck to move forward in the memoir. Everyone has been very generous to me here at Adventures in Writing offering opinions and kind words. Thank you again for leaving a comment, Michelle. Comments are greatly appreciated.
Awww…Victoria…all the best! I'm looking forward to reading your memoir. Wishing you much happiness.
Thank you, Nas, for your good wishes. It is wonderful to have readers interested in my story. Thanks again for visiting Adventures in Writing. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
Hope you had a great 4th July weekend!
Yes, I did, Nas. Thanks so much for asking. Always a pleasure to hear from you, my dear. I hope all is well.