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First semester as a grown up in college

First semester back in school was a huge culture shock. I was no longer the youngest in the class rather the oldest by over ten years. I am no longer living at home with my focus 100% on my studies. I am a grown up with grown up responsibilities. "I had a life, I had a good life". My life now is driving 40 miles, 12hrs a day in class, studying, work, training at the gym and playing Russian roulette with my bills. Never knowing if the internet will stay connected long enough to finish the next project. I was asked yesterday why I "Just didn't wait until I was more stable to go back to school". Really not sure what that means, I can only assume it means when I have a man to support me. Staying in defiantly in a job that is killing me, for that perfect time. Time when the stats align just right. In life I have learned, you cant wait for the perfect time or it never comes. There will always be obsticles. Comments like that assure me I am doing the right thing. taking the path less traveled, leaving my comfort zone. I worked two jobs for 12 years and saved up, but guess what? that money is gone after the first semester. 40K in tuition, books, gas and time missed from work. And yet, I still believe I made the best decision for me and my future. This first semester I learned so much about myself and truly had fun while doing it. No hard feelings towards losing those nights out with friends partying, that life has long been over for me. The time is truly right. First day of school, I was overwhelmed and stuck out from the crowd. A few students even asking me if I was the Professor. Met two girls whom seemed to be in more than one of my classes, liked their energy and befriended them. within the first week we had a study group,and un intentionally making life long friends. Typical of my stubborn attitude, I tried to do everything myself. When it became obvious I needed a little help maintaining, mom volunteered to meal prep for me. Dropping off healthy meals every Sunday for the week. The idea worked out great, I was able to focus more time and energy on studying. Convinced that was the only help I needed I kept trekking along. I was barley scraping by fighting for every point, on every test with just not enough time to study. For weeks four hours of sleep was the norm to get projects done, yet still not catching up. Two weeks before finals my body gave up and I got the flu for the first time. I was incapacitated for over a week, taking about two weeks to fully recover. With no time to make up missed class or tests with finals approaching. I made the decision to throw in the towel and take the grade I deserve and retake whatever I need to next semester. Time missed from work was jeopardizing my job and my only source on income. I truly gave my 100% and as an adult I know that sometimes that's just not enough, but that did not define me. My tombstone will not say failed college as a grown up. One last study sesh with my classmate and now friend to finish up a homework assignment. She tells me " I am NOT going to let you fail". with one week to go before a much needed winter break, I give it one last shot. She helped me study for the classes we had together as well as classes she wasn't even in. At this point I had to take out a no interest loan from work to pay the rent. I decided instead of groceries I would get tutors with the money left after paying the rent. Keeping the cash in bank envelopes labeled in black marker. It was the best money ever spent, cant believe I never though of getting a tutor before. The week of finals approached and I needed high 80's on every test either pass or maintain my grade. It tool almost a week for all the grades to come in and final grades to be reported. I PASSED!! I PASSED EVRTY CLASS INCLUDING ALGEBRA!! I DID IT!! After 10 years and 5 attempts I finally passed college algebra. Paving the way to any higher education of my choosing, a Christmas miracle. But I did NOT do it on my own. Just like on the Camino it took the help of once strangers, now life long friends to get through. My whole life I have always had a hard time asking for help. From now on I plan to give and receive help more freely, especially from family and friends. Before it gets to late. I hope to never again get so far behind that I have to fight for every point until the last second. It Took away from the joy of learning and new friendship. I am so grateful for ALL the help I received, I am truly blessed. I PASSED!!

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