Posted by Alyssa Owens
As I’m sitting here writing this blog, it is a beautiful, yet windy Friday afternoon. I would normally be at work right now, but I took the day off. Today was a great day to take off for a 3-day weekend because finals week begins next week. I have a paper, a presentation, and a blog due for my two classes – one is online, the other is on ground.
I find that taking a complete day off gives me a bonus day – a day to achieve those things that I normally wouldn’t have time for. This includes more time to study! However, because I have two children, my kids are excited that I’m home an extra day. We have to play trucks, watch a movie, lie down for rest time, and make several trips to the kitchen for popcorn, cheese, crackers, or whatever else strikes their fancy at the moment.
So while I’m trying to study and spend time with my children, I have to remember that all of these constant interruptions are normal for being an adult student. All the hours of sleep I miss are because I try to spend time with my children. So I study after they go to sleep. Their bedtime is between 8 and 8:30. Most nights one of them goes to sleep at bedtime, but the other one is wide awake and full of energy. Therefore, I don’t study or can’t concentrate completely on studying until nearly 10:00, which just happens to be my preferred time for bed.
I was speaking with a few of my fellow criminal justice students who also work full time and have a family. We were talking about how this job of being a student would be much easier if we had more time to study and fewer responsibilities. Yet, most of my fellow students and I enjoy the challenge.
SPS gives us a sense of belonging and a feeling of being someone other than mom or dad, wife or husband, and whatever titles we hold at our workplaces. We are excited at the prospect of becoming what we have finally decided is what we want to be “when we grow up” (if we have figured that out yet).
The challenges we face will definitely be worth all the hard work, missed hours of sleep, and studying during lunch hours. It’s worth it for so many reasons, including getting the education that we so desperately want to possess, getting a better-paying job to accommodate the ever-growing needs of our families, and most importantly to me, setting a good example for my children, gaining self-respect and confidence, and having that sense of doing what I was meant to do.
Even though I would love to take a break after this term is over to catch up on sleep, play with my children more, and possibly even read a book for fun, I have decided to take two classes during the summer. Am I crazy?! Some would think so. However, I have gotten used to my hectic schedule, and I quite enjoy it. I guess there will come a time when I will not have to study anymore, and I guess that means that I will have to find a hobby! Then again, my children will be old enough to be playing soccer and tee-ball, so I will be the mom organizing snacks for the teams or being the taxi for friends’ birthday parties.
So, as I sit here writing this blog and thinking about what I need to accomplish a couple of days before finals week actually begins, I take a moment here and there to roll the truck around with my son, tickle my daughter, retrieve yet more snacks, and push both of them on the tire swing, all the while catching a short chat with my husband. Then, I’m back to the world of Deviance and Social Control or Criminal Investigations. Quite possibly, a pair of ear plugs might be helpful!
Photo Credit: http://silenthills.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/tire20swing.jpg