Life has changed for me a lot over the last couple of years. Shortly after losing the baby I lost my job…exactly 30 days after actually. Now the job opportunities in southern Ontario are not exactly lucrative. One of the only guaranteed jobs available is in a call center and yeah, not exactly appealing but always there as a last resort if need be.
Unemployment is no joy and being on unemployment insurance is no picnic either but at least the bills are getting paid, right? Six months goes by with me applying for anything and everything locally for my skill set and they are either not paying a lot or it’s too far away to make the travel worth what they are offering. At this point, desperation is starting to set in because I’ve been unemployed for far too long and if I wish to stay living with the man I love, I need to be working so I don’t drive him nuts.
When you are on unemployment insurance for x amount of weeks, they send you to a mandatory information session regarding resumes, successful interviews etc. They also discuss retraining. I had been thinking about that but wasn’t sure it was something I could do given I’m (at the time) 43 years old and been out of the school system for a long time (I don’t want to crunch those kind of numbers personally lol). Well one of the options was a program called Second Career. There were quite a few requirements needed in order to qualify for applying to this, and I mentally checked them all off and decided I might as well find out more. Long story short (this was in July) I applied, got accepted and then, with the government being what it is, I wasn’t inform of my acceptance or denial until after the school year had already begun in September. Luckily I was instructed to go ahead and get my books etc and attend. Three days in I had to go and fill out all the paperwork to make it official.
Now going back to school amidst 18-23 year old students was a little intimidating to say the least. I will admit that I didn’t have the best study habits when I was younger, but then I was blissfully unaware that all of my grades in high school really would have a major impact on my life. And yes I was told that, but really, what do parents truly know of life? Oh to do certain things different if one could. *sigh*
But my biggest fear was brain fog. Would it keep me from absorbing the information that I needed to retain not only for that class but for the tests? I was terrified that brain fog would add to the disadvantages I already faced as a mature student. My first semester was interesting and quite the adjustment to say the least. It took a while to get used to school life once again, but I was thoroughly enjoying myself and had met a good group of people. Although, when one of the professors told us there is a 65% drop out rate, I was freaking out just a little on the inside wondering what the hell I’ve just got myself into.
My first term came and went and ended with a 86% GPA. Not too shabby having been out of school for so long. I knew that it was only going to get harder from here as we’d been warned over and over that it is one of the toughest programs the school has. As a side note: seriously? Who says that to students, especially mature ones? The ones that still aren’t sure they’ve made the right decision but are trying their damnedest to succeed anyway. Grrrr.
Anyway, second semester was much harder as I got sick on three separate occasions which ultimately meant I missed far too many classes. Due to that, although I had a great classmate and friend that gave me a copy of her notes, I still struggled to catch up and continued to struggle right up until the end of the first year. *phew!* I made it, but my GPA dropped drastically. My struggling to catch up for some reason hindered my learning current information as I was worried about what I didn’t know so much. I really was an evil circle. But I passed all the classes but at what price? The stress of not being able to catch up caused me to feel like I was constantly treading water which added more stress. The insomnia didn’t help either. I was exhausted. Trying to keep the brain fog at bay, study, work and life….all trying to take priority of my time. Some days I didn’t know which way to turn.
This first year has been a lot of fun, a lot of stress and a lot of trial and error. I now know I need to organise my life more. I need to allot studying into designated time slots and stick with it. I’ve made myself a goal for this year. I want to end my second year with a 90% GPA. I know I can do it. I just need to get my shit in order. Organisation means less stress which should mean more sleep, which in turn should help with keeping the brain fog at bay.
Oh and by the way, I’ve tried most electronic organisers and was left disappointed which I found to be the same even most paper organisers. However, I found Passion Planner right before school and they have free downloads and a YouTube channel to demonstrate the many different ways you can use it. And I’ve found it to be better than anything out there. It is still a young company but their customer service is outstanding, they have new cover designs regularly and they have a great kickstart program as well.
I don’t normally endorse anyone, but I honestly love this system and I’m just starting my second year using the Passion Planner and won’t switch to using anything else as they just don’t compare. 🙂
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