Finding Courage to Begin College
My treasure! They helped
me survive college.
Happy Mothers’ Day, everyone!  I wish you smiles and sunshine, love and laughter.
My memoir is a story about believing in oneself, of finding the courage to begin a dream and then discovering the strength needed to see it through to completion.   The perspective is an older student beginning college, one with no college preparatory foundation.  A person with children to raise, a home to maintain, and a college curriculum to understand.  It’s supposed to be a humorous journey of a mother of five through college: how I coped with both motherhood and college.
I don’t know if I was afraid of academia, afraid of going to college exactly.  I think it was more like I was nervous about embarrassing myself in front of other adults and people I didn’t know.  But aren’t most people worried about that?
            Compounding this was the fear of looking bad in the eyes of my children.  Let me explain.  I was the head of my household.  Okay, I shared the duties with my husband, but I was in charge of the home front.  I did the homework and projects with the children.  I retaught my learning disabled firstborn each day.  I was their entertainment more often than not.  We were a tight family unit.  [God blessed us for sure!]  If I did poorly at college, I thought, it would be like I failed my family.
            These are some mental issues I address in my memoir.  But I need to go deeper.  I need to explore this idea of finding courage.  And then maintain that courage to gain that degree.
            Now because I lacked the courage to begin college, I feigned bravery to be able to register, to take the basic skills test, and then the basic skills math courses.  Because I was afraid and dressed myself in a false front, I became edgy and started lacking in my attention to the children, their antics, their well-being, the home, meals.  These anecdotes fill the pages of the memoir.
            If I think about it, it was more a feeling of being unprepared for college.  Other college students, younger college students, had a preparatory foundation that I lacked. 
            Not having this college foundation tied into my next obstacle attending college:  a feeling of inferiority.  And it intensified once I gained entry to University of Pennsylvania.

18 thoughts on “Finding Courage to Begin College”

  1. But you excelled in college and your children helped you with classes. It does take courage and you prevailed. It was all worth it. Happy Mother's Day to you too! I hope it is a special day for you.

  2. Thank you so much, Michelle, for your kind words. They are greatly appreciated. I did complete my college education and my children did assist, but I was nervous with each class I took, never sure if this would be the class that I couldn't understand enough to pass.

    My Mother's Day was wonderful. I hope you enjoyed your Mother's Day as well. The sun finally came out. We had days and days of rain prior. It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks again for your good wishes.

  3. I applaud your courage! I heard a speaker once say, "Do it afraid." She said we never grow if we don't push ahead and work past obstacles, real or imagined.

    Hope you had a good Mother's Day weekend! Enjoy your week! 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this, Karen. I'm a firm believer that we cannot let our fears possess us. Otherwise we become stagnant. I had a beautiful Mother's Day, my dear. I hope you enjoyed your weekend as well. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing.

  5. I think any memoir that focuses on overcoming great obstacles in meeting daunting challenges is worth checking out. I like to read a memoir that inspires me.

    When I went back to finish my degree in my mid-50's, math was one of the courses that challenged me as well, but I managed through and now can flaunt my degree for whatever it's worth. I kind of enjoyed being the oldest student in most of my classes though since I was going for night classes a good many students were a bit older and already working in careers.

    If I had the money to do it I think I might always be taking college classes, but it does get a bit pricey and now on a fixed income I have to be selective about my spending.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  6. Thank you so much, Lee, for this insight. For math and science courses, I always need to see each and every step to be able to understand the process. [Hopefully!] I think if I were younger when I finished my undergrad, I would have gone on for a masters. I enjoy learning new things. However, at the undergrad stage, with five children all around me needing something, I was a little anxious. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Lee.

  7. Good for you for pursuing your dream. It sounds like you have a a memoir that is interesting because it is written about a life changing time for you and your family. Going through school as an adult with children and other obligations is definitely a big challenge and harder than going to school without those other responsibilities.

  8. what a wonderful, brave story you are writing – and bravo for overcoming your fears and entering college to continue your education and fulfill your dreams! excellent example!

  9. So very true, Jess! My college journey was life changing for the whole family. And the trials and tribulations are in the memoir now. What I need to do is offer more insight from each anecdote. Thank you so much for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog and leaving a note. Your good wishes are greatly appreciated.

  10. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Crystal! This is true. Phobias and fears keep many from attempting new dreams. Thank you so much for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Please stop by again!


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