Typically, I do not consider myself an older student. Call it denial or self-preservation, but when I am in class with other students, I don’t consider myself “older.” When engaging with my cohort age rarely comes up, I guess we are more interested in sharing information. The only time it hits me, and I must raise my hand and own being an “older” student is when I am at home. I have a daughter who has just completed her second year of college. So, between studying I assist her (from afar she’s in New Orleans) in moving out of her dorm and finding car transport. My phone is constantly dinging with spending alerts as she purchases plane tickets, boxes, and food. Once my daughter is squared away, I moved my focus to my son who just graduated high school. Prom was the weekend before the summer trimester began which I was grateful to not have to coordinate that during school. But his graduation was two weeks into the trimester. My daughter had to fly in for that because her semester was still in session. Then she had to be taken to the airport a few days after.
Not to mention I own a massage therapy business which I manage since I am the sole proprietor, so I wear ALL the hats. To make extra money to facilitate our lives I teach online classes. When my head hits my pillow, I feel every bit of 50+! This is when my mind starts to ruminate and the insecurities creep in: this is too much; you will never pass your classes; you have to many distractions; are you being a good mom. I could go on, but I battle with these thoughts until I conquer them for the night, week, or 15 minutes. I am learning that it is okay to not be 100% as long as I don’t give up. I have no idea how I am going to move my son into his dorm because move in is a week before finals. I am taking it one day at a time.
For those of you embarking on this journey while being a mom, caring for elderly parents, or juggling life you are not alone. I know when we leave campus, we can feel isolated because few people outside of NUHS understand the rigors of an AOM program. Hold on to your WHY and let that lead you when you feel overwhelmed.