By Sherri Jewell, College Transition Student
I grew up in Chesterville, Maine, a very small town with no post office and one small store. My school was at least ten miles away and taking the bus required me to get up very, very early. I liked school as a child and always looked forward to it. I also took various keyboarding and accounting classes and enjoyed them. My goal was to get my diploma, and I finally graduated in 1985. Then I got a job at area manufacturing companies like my parents did. I continued on with other various unfulfilling jobs until I started realizing I had forgotten that long ago childhood dream. Now I’m going for that dream! I’m a middle-aged wife, mother, and grandmother and can now dedicate my time, energy and commitment to my goal of becoming my own business owner.
I am attending adult education classes to update my knowledge and improve my skills pertaining to math, English, and computer technology, to prepare myself for enrollment in college. My learning strategies are to consistently show up for classes and participate. I am not timid when it comes to asking for extra help when I do not understand something. The old sayings “when in doubt ask for help” or “no question is a dumb question,” come into play when I am not grasping a new concept. I ask for extra work to get more practice, especially if I am not retaining the new information being taught to me. I apply my time management skills as I juggle my class times and assignments.
There are sacrifices that come with obtaining a higher education. First, I had to swallow my pride and admit to myself I needed more education to provide a better economic security for my family. Second, I lose valuable family time because I am away at classes and spend hours on homework at home. Luckily, my family is a great support system for me. They recognize when I am having periods of difficulty trying to balance my time spent in school and with them. They know that the lack of time spent with them will benefit the family in the long term. It truly has inspired my children to want to further their education, too.
I am having positive outcomes from my learning experiences in school. I am a mature responsible adult in control of my own destiny. I have a better idea of what I want to achieve and can apply this to becoming a successful business owner. I would like to say to other mothers, do not ever doubt your ability to learn and become a better and more productive member of your family.