Diary Entry: Schools Done For the Summer!

Yay!! Schools done!!! I have an A and a B. I think. I’m pretty sure. So I did pretty well! Computer science is not my forte. So I’ll leave that to Daniel.

Tonight, we’re having a slight get together. Bridget, Tyler, Daniel, and me. In celebration and because we just like chilling. It’s Nathan’s weekend, so I must chill hard.

I’ve been trying to read a ton. I wanna finish a couple of books before Isla returns Sunday evening. We have a birthday party to attend tomorrow. My childhood best friend is having a party for her boy. I’m a bit nervous, because antisocial, but I’m happy to see her and have Isla play with other kids.

So glad to be free.

Should probably find a summer job though.

Diary Entry: Last Week of University

It’s not technically my last week. I mean it is, but just temporarily. After this week, I’ll be preparing to head back to community college to get a few more credits and complete my associates.

I’m very excited to go back to the community college! It feels much better over there. I always say I’m excited, though. Then I fall into a “I can’t handle it” anxiety attack. But maybe now that I’m properly medicating I can feel better about everything.

Isla got into preK at my old elementary school!! This will also make things much easier! Considering half my classes are online, it’ll give me time and less stress. Hopefully.

My final is tomorrow. I keep having dreams that I won’t make an A for the semester. I’mma dork. I can’t wait for it to be over with so I can feel free from this place.

Gosh… This past academic year was awful for me. Hopefully things brighten up.

University vs Community College

I’ve been a student at both a university and a community college. Even though I first trod the university grounds at age 18, I decided to quit school and pursue bigger dreams, like moving away and experiencing life after high school without tangling myself in debt as soon as I became legally an adult. Something about starting adulthood with money problems did not sound very appealing to me.

Five years later, at the sweet age of 23, I decided it was time, for reasons I have stated in Single College Mom (go read that if you wish to understand). Because 18 year old me was brilliant and didn’t expect to ever go back to college, I had left university without dropping and came out with a beautiful 0.71 GPA. The university put an academic hold on my account and banded me from the school until my GPA was raised.

In a world wind of anxiety, I googled how to raise a GPA when a school no longer accepted you. I quickly came up with the only way of not moving out of state. Community college.

I was quick to sign myself up for the school and track all the classes I needed, how I could graduate fast, and transfer to university and begin Atmospheric Science. I began quick and hard. And for a year and a half, I was schooled in community college. I transfered to the university and have been there for two semester.

Granted, I only have experience with my towns community college and university, but this is what I have learned about the two.

Family Friendliness-

University: Universities do typically have a daycare center, far off campus, but unless your studies are online, university is not idle for parents. The amount of homework and self studying is tedious and will require a lot of your focus and may take away from family time.

pros: Daycare center.

Cons: A lot of time is spent doing school work.

Community College: Community college seems to be built for parents. The have a daycare in the same building as you. Online and in class studies require minimal focus outside of class times, so having a balance for your schooling and family time is easily doable.

pros: daycare center. Located within five minutes of you. Less time on school work.

cons: Is there one?

Teachers-

University: There are so many people in university classes. It’s easy to be invisible in such large groups. And so it is also possible to never gain a relationship with your teacher unless you actively seek them out. To your teacher, you might just be another number or just a kid.

pros: Shy person’s heaven. Easy to watch Netflix.

cons: Antisocial nightmare.

Community College: With smaller classes, it’s easy to get to know your classmates and teachers. You are almost forced to gain a relationship with your peers and teachers. This makes getting to know your teachers easier. In return, teachers get to know you and will associate you as a real adult.

pros: Easy for people to ask questions.

cons: Shy person’s nightmare. Not Netflix friendly.

Clubs-

University: There are so many clubs to choose from. These clubs provide you with information and experience opportunities for your future career. You get to meet everyone in your major, and have a chance to hang out and get to know everyone you’ll be spending the rest of your four years with. There are also clubs that you can join that are not affiliated with your major where you can make other friends who share similar hobbies.

pros: Friend making. Experience building. Easy way to find information for future career.

Cons: Must dedicate time from studies and family.

Community College: Clubs are limited, though they do exist. It is harder to get information on your future career path in these clubs as everyone is most likely in a different major. It’s mostly to make friends!

pros: Friend making.

cons: No career information.

Work-

University: There is so much to do and experience. There are on campus jobs to keep you in the action. Although, if you do work, it’s not for long, and mostly evening shifts.

pros: On campus opportunities.

cons: Can’t work a lot. Evening shifts. Not likely to be excusable.

Community College: Community colleges are perfect for the working person. There are many night classes for those work in the day, along with plenty of online classes you can take. Often times, teachers will also work with you and your work schedule.

pros: Excusable. Flexible.

Cons: Not as many on campus opportunities.

Homework-

University: There is so much homework! You will definitely need time to do it all. From my experience, I swear you learn most of your lessons from your homework than from your actual teachers. In fact, missing class won’t even affect you as much as not doing your homework.

pros: You can miss class in peace.

cons: A lot of out of class studying time.

Community College: What you learn is class is what you do for homework. You will learn more in the class than on your homework. Homework is like a review of the lesson to make sure you understand what is going on and ask questions about what you don’t understand.

pros: Less out of class studying time.

cons: Don’t miss class.

Cost-

Univesity: pros: Lots of options. Cons: EXPENSIVE!

Community College: pro: Saves money. Cons: Less activities and class options.

I conclude saying this: If you are an adult with a family of your own, a job, or only want to take care of your business, community college is the way to go. If you’re young, don’t have a job or family of your own, or want to have a big social life, university is the way to go.

Productiveness!

Today was quite productive for me. I managed to finish half of my homework. The last two things can be done once Isla goes to bed tonight. I’m glad I get this weekend for myself. It’s Nathan’s weekend.

With this library science class, I think I can officially say that this class is a poor example of true library science. It’s basically a class that makes future teachers practice writing lesson plans for book projects. One of my best friends is about to graduate in Library Science from another school. She says they have never written lesson plans and questioned why a librarian would even need to know that. I will not be taking another library course at this university, especially with lousy professors like this.

In Programming we have been working with Python. This past week we moved on to Java. I kinda like Java a little more than Python, but that may be because I learned so much using Python that I now know what to expect in terms of thinking logically about code.

Daniel says he’s going to be studying some code for his work this weekend. He does coding for a living, and he says he’ll be getting introduced to a new programming language Monday and wants to make sure he doesn’t go into it useless. So, we probably won’t do anything too exciting.

Maybe I can finally do another Deacon video! I like doing those. They’re fun and relaxing for me.

Diary Entry: College Decisions

I know I had this want to be a librarian. And I still kind of do. But I began thinking. I have all this science under my belt. Its ridiculous. I took these Calculus classes…and for what? Because I worked so hard to throw it all away? I want to apply them in my degree plan. Not throw them to the side like I have nothing to prove. It’s a dumb reason to want to change my plan, but I spent time on it, I want to make it count.

I was checking out potential degrees at my local university, and while the only science you can get is medical or atmospheric, there is a general studies science/math degree in 2 natural sciences and 5 applied sciences.

This accounts for a lot of my classes. I’m 50% through this degree. That’s further along than my current degree in atmospheric science!

And I don’t have to take physics.

So, I think I’m just going to do the quickest thing and get my degree in general studies, then move on to get a masters. I may either get a masters in Library Science or in Geosciences.

Diary Entry: Grown-Up

I think the hardest thing about being a single parent in college is having to rely on other people for income. The guilt that plays into that is dreadful.

There are so many part-time jobs out there, but a majority of them require evening shift workers. I’m hardly a fan. I don’t have a degree yet. But I’m older than most fast food and retail workers. Bottom line, anyways. Is it too much for me to want a normal adult job to support my child without leaving her in the hands of someone else? Of all hours of the day even…

She’s at daycare during the day…I don’t want to give her away for a few hours right after we get home.

I’m feeling the pressure of having to either live frugally for the next year until I get my associates, or leave Isla again. Why does school have to take up so much of my adult life? I feel like it has been so long. I don’t even feel half way there yet…

Single College Mom

Before Nathan left me I was a part-time assistant librarian, but mostly a mom. I was content. I only had to leave Isla for about 4 hours a day. I couldn’t imagine what I would do if I had to be away from her any longer.

Right after Isla turned one, I would have to figure that out. When Nathan left me I had no idea what was about to happen with our lives. I did know a few things: Nathan had no intent of making sure I was provided for, I had nowhere to go, and my income would not provide enough for Isla and me.

I wished to pursue a full time position at the library, only to learn I needed a degree…something I was lacking. I decided it was time to go back to college. I knew I needed to re-define myself, even though I wasn’t ready for it, and college is always a good place to start….right?

I’m a little too ambitious for my own good sometimes, so I decided that I needed a career that would pay better and give me a lot more flexibility than the little libraries of Louisiana. I love weather, so I decided on Atmospheric Science, with the idea of getting my masters at OU and working for NOAA. Big dreams with no room for ‘momming’. I didn’t feel like I had choice anymore. I gave myself a strict 4 year timeline, and a few months later, I was beginning my college career at the age of 23 with a one year old while working part-time as an assistant librarian.

The first two semesters I was living on a strange high. I stayed pumped full of energy; I was running 3 days a week, hanging out with friends, doing homework at the library, working any shift offered, and even dedicating some time to a school club. I was too lost and impatient to slow down. Meanwhile, Isla wasn’t really being raised by me anymore. I knew this, and it hurt, but if I slowed down, I cried. If I found myself in a parenting struggle, I cried. I wanted things between Nathan and me to work out again just so I wouldn’t be alone in figuring it all out.

My third semester in college I realized I couldn’t do this anymore. Isla was losing respect for me, plus this semester was going to be the busiest yet. I missed my little girl. I saw her everyday, but I wasn’t her mom anymore. I was more like a sister now, both of us being raised by my grandmother. I needed to be with her again. I wanted her to know my values and respect me again. It was time to make a big decision- drop school or quit work to add more room for being Momma.

After some pros and cons I decided to quit my job. It was the scariest thing I ever gambled, but I managed to figure it all out.

This was when Daniel and I first met. I had gained such a liking to him… but I knew he would never be interested. I had heard that a man doesn’t want to provide for a woman so many times that I assumed I wasn’t an option for anyone anymore. A single mom without a job? Who wants that?

But for some reason, Daniel didn’t care. He was interested and he wanted to help. I thought he was dumb or something, but he’s also the smartest guy I know, so I know somewhere he saw past all the dumb stuff to me.

Ok, enough with the mushy stuff. If you’re a single working college mommy, I’ll give you some advice:

If you must live in debt for awhile, it’s worth not missing out on being Mommy–

STRESS SUCKS — that’s obvious, and money is usually behind it. If you’re like me, the idea of being in debt (or more debt) is an absolute nightmare. Personally, I hate owing money. But I had to learn that sometimes, debt is necessary. And even though I vowed to never have student loan debt, I gave up on that pipe dream to be with Isla and move us into our own place.

I can’t wildly spend, that’s a given, but I still do enough to provide us with everything we need and good living conditions. I can say that I’m way happier paying rent and bills than having none of it without Isla.

Do not over estimate yourself–

I told you how I was trying to be an atmospheric scientist, right? Well, I decided that it was too much for having a family. I was spending hours on homework (I’m bad at math… and this major is mostly math), and after some long talks with Daniel, I reconsidered being a librarian. I did love the job after all. It’s also all online! Which means I get to stay home with Isla!

Being a mommy and having to attend on-campus classes already isn’t easy, but having to spend extra hours on homework because you have to work harder to be good at something (in my case math) is stressful and takes away from raising your kid. Do what you love and what is easiest for you as a mom.

Daycare is your friend–

Daycare isn’t a place I ever wanted to take Isla, but I had to consider it after a while. My family couldn’t be available all the time and I needed to get school work done. A few hours in daycare is perfect for getting school work done and cleaning house…or even catching up on some zZzZz… And your kid gets to learn and be around other kids.

Even stay at home moms need some time to themselves.

Love yourself!–

We all have reasons for thinking we don’t deserve things. We all have moments in our past where we failed ourselves morally. But you have to forgive yourself. It’s easier said than done. And I super suggest reading the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. He’s funny and he’s honest. And for a nice Catholic/religious read try A Life of Prayer: Faith and Passion for God Alone by St. Theresa of Avila. I’m not good at giving mindful advice, but I can recommend books!

Hopefully my advice isn’t all trash! ♥