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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lynn Wood, Student

Last time I posted, I was sad.  In fact, I'd had a lot of sad.  Which probably explains why it's been two months since I posted.  Today, I thought why not go from sad to stressed?  Yeah!  That's a wonderful idea!

Okay, I'm kidding.  Kind of.  Truthfully, I decided to start chronicling my adventure as a non-traditional student.  Yes, I'm officially a full-time college freshman.  Non-traditionally, of course.

Why non-traditional?  Because unlike the many college freshmen who are college freshmen straight out of high school, I waited until I was three billion years old with kids.  When you're three billion years old with children and attending college for the first time in your life, you get labeled non-traditional.

Why don't we start with how I got here in the first place?

I'd always intended to go to college.  I was a decent high school student -- despite changing schools every year, I still managed to graduate ranked 76 in a class of 483 with a 3.231 GPA.  Not stellar, but nothing to sneeze at, either.

Unfortunately, circumstances, choices, and just plain teenage stupidity prevented me from going to college.  Instead, I worked full-time right out of school.

I always regretted it.

Eventually, I got married and had my family, but college was always at the back of my mind.  My husband and I had discussed it, but not really seriously.  Part of me still thought maybe I'd look into it when my kids were old enough.  If we could afford it.

The time came when I was doing research for somebody else.  It was then I fully understood there were education choices alternative to the classic 4-year university.  I started doing more research -- this time for myself.

Fast forward a couple years.  The economy's in the toilet.  My youngest is approaching an age when it might become possible for me to leave him at home alone for short periods of time.  The one missing element:  I had no idea what I wanted to do.

Then my son got sick.

He's always been more susceptible to illness than my daughter.  Two years ago he was down for two weeks with pneumonia.  He often has bouts of bronchitis and other infections.  But the last time was when he ended up hospitalized for ten days.  I remember when that all started, before we knew what was going on, it seemed like we were in the doctor's office every other day.  I actually apologized to the doctor, saying I felt like a neurotic mom who jumped at every sneeze.  I didn't want to be that mom.

It turned out my fears were justified, my son was hospitalized and eventually got better.  But while I sat in that hospital room with him night after night, I knew that I wanted to be better educated.  I wanted to be able to know for certain when I needed to call the doctor and when I could just send my kid back to bed to "sleep it off".  I wanted more confidence when dealing with his health issues.

While in the hospital, I watched the nurses, all the while asking myself is that something I could do?  I watched how seemingly unflappable they were.  I talked to them.  Then later, I talked to my son's school nurse.  It took a while, but I finally decided what field I would study.

When I started researching local schools, my plan changed a couple times.  I'd started thinking medical assistant, from there went to LPN and finally landed where I am now.

Tomorrow, I start my pre-nursing pre-requisites, with the hope of entering a nursing program Fall 2013.  When I graduate that program, I'll be an RN with an Associate's degree.

I know it's going to be quite the journey, and I plan to document, rant, rave, and crow each step of the way right here.


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