Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

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.