Friday, January 23, 2009

How Do You Do It?

I'm not afraid to share my nontrad story with anyone. I think it's rather funny to watch most peoples' reaction when I tell them I am in school full time, working full time and Mom full time. Nine times out of ten, their response is, "I don't know how you do it!" To be quite honest, I don't know either. One does what one has to.

I am no different than the working Mom who has to get the children up, breakfasted, dressed and out the door to meet the bus or the carpool, as she herself is running out the door to the bus or the carpool. I am no different than the teacher standing in front of a class of fidgety third graders, trying to get them to focus enough to take a spelling test. I am no different than the cashier at Kohl's who comes in to work at 6pm after working a full day at another job, then goes home to take care of her aging mother. One does what one has to.

Nontrads are nontrads because we have a life outside of school. That life includes children, jobs, pets, mortgages, bills, debts, aging parents, and a host of other obligations. I get emails all the time from the History department and UT Student Government informing me of all sorts of cool lectures, clubs and other on campus activities. Unfortunately, many of those opportunities take place during the day while I am at work. There may be a rare occasion when I can take off work to attend a lecture that is related to my major. I don't get to participate that often in campus life at UT or Pellissippi State. That comes with being a nontrad.

There are some times when I feel like I'm hovering between my three worlds - student, employee and Mom - and not quite sure where I'm supposed to land. Maybe that's a consequence of trying to do everything at once. I just have to learn to do it patiently, efficiently, and calmly. Hmm. We'll see if that works. Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

Studentmum said...

I think as a mature student with outside committments you never feel completely part of the uni - the experience the younger students are having is far far removed from mine. I used to drive like the clappers to get there after the school run, attend 4hours of lectures and seminar then race out again to be home for the school pick up. It is easier now they go to & from achool by themselves but I still like to be home when they get there. There have been many 'functions/extra complimentry lectures' I have missed - evenings are out for me, my kids are too young to leave alone just now. It is one of the compromises a mature student has to make.