Clever Like Me

GED to PHD?

Pushing Success

I finally got my midterm back and (drum roll please)…….. 92% woo!! That’s an A freaking minus!! Turns out that whole thing called studying really does work. I am pretty proud of myself.  Just one more test to go for Sociology and just the final left for Psychology and I am done with summer semester. It really feels bittersweet that I didn’t get to spend more time in these amazing classes but I am excited that I have been able to have such amazing success. I have never been more dedicated or passionate about my education and it really feels amazing to be doing something with my life.

The big question comes what about fall. I already have 3 classes taking up my Monday through Thursday but today I found I could fit one more class into my schedule Fridays. I want to get my associates degree done as fast as possible but will adding another 3 credit hours and an extra day of school be just too much? Cost wise with my Pell Grant covering almost 700 of tuition I could afford it. It wouldn’t be cheap but it could be done. With the Pell Grant though I would have to continue to pass all my classes or I would have to pay the grant back. The 3 classes I have are English, Communications, and History.  All 3 will have reports and tests and I could use Fridays just for homework or I could add criminal justice on Fridays and get another 3 credits done. 12 credits is almost double the amount of credits I normally take and I’m concerned that I can’t do it. Especially considering that Christmas gets crazy for my work and they could add-on mandatory overtime. Then I wonder if I am just hearing my mom in my head saying “Don’t get overwhelmed” telling me I can’t do that much school and still do well.  Maybe I need to push myself to keep the momentum going, to stay motivated, to catch up to my peers.

If there are an other students out there who work and go to school full-time with any advice I would appreciate it!!

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Psychology 1010

Community College never ceases to impress me with the quality teachers they provide us. In this case my teacher, who must be 300 lbs, showed up to class wearing dirty sweats asking if she was in the right spot and my first impression was this poor lady is never going to pass the class. Surprise Surprise she is my teacher for the rest of the semester. So, scolding myself for my rush to judgement based entirely on appearance I decided to give her a shot. Well, she spent the first 30 minuets of the class teaching us how to fill in a bubble properly, as if we got all the way to college without ever taking a single standardized test. Then she told us about her PhD is social work which completely confused me on how she managed to do that and when she couldn’t get a YouTube video to load so she decided to restart her computer. All that aside, however, she is very well read in the most recent psychology studies and she does seem adept at getting you to think like a psychologist.

The material we are covering is truly fascinating and the people I met are inspiring for lack of a better word. It was nice to hear from other people in the class that they too have the desire to get their PhD  and they have real life goals. Such a nice change from everyone in my life raising their eyebrows every time I try to talk about getting a PhD. It really felt like being surrounded by my own peers, finally. I feel like most of the students are capable of having an in-depth discussion and will contribute to the class.

It feels like for the first time I belong, like I’ve found my people in this stupid community college 1010 class. It could be me projecting what I want onto the people around me only time will really tell but being around people who have similar goals has me elated. Here’s hoping tomorrows sociology class is wonderful as well.

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Feeling Free

This is the exciting part, the beginning of a new adventure. Really its the feeling that anything can happen, that maybe just maybe this story will end with an actual PhD. The trouble I’m having is now I’m just old enough to know that plans change, that not all dreams come true and I feel this tiny wave of panic. Am I getting my hopes up for just another life lesson? When I look at the long long road I have to go it feels impossible. In order to stave off the panic I’ve decided to only focus on one step at a time and celebrate every step of the way. Every credit I earn every test I take is one step closer and farther than anyone thought I could go.

My school received my FAFSA data so it looks like all I have to do is fill out some forms and they will let me know what I qualify for. I had to officially declare my major as psychology. It was weird declaring an actual hard major instead of theater or dance. I really never thought I would be taking school this seriously. I feel like an adult with a “real” dream. It feels very free, like who knows where this will take me. I don’t have a husband or kids or responsibilities tying me to one location. I have a pug and fortunately she can go where I go. It really feels like for the first time I’m taking to world by storm so to speak and all I have done is get enrolled in community college. I still have so so far to go but in a way that’s exciting as well as terrifying.

I want to change my life, that’s the whole reason I am doing this but sometimes I feel like this is not enough. I want to come out of this as almost completely new me. Not that there is anything wrong with the current me. I think I’m actually pretty awesome so not really a new me but an upgraded me. This for me means its time to change everything. I’m working on my dreams and one of my new dreams is to lose weight. I’ve never considered myself particularly large but lately the weight feels strange on my body. As if it doesn’t belong and its just been waiting for me to notice. I feel fully awake for the first time and am so excited once again for the future. Still not sure how I am going to become this super woman balancing work, school and this healthy life style but the point is I’m excited to try.

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Brand New Day

I never graduated high school. Most of the time I was off smoking weed with my “friends” or skipping class just to skip class. I never thought that maybe school was important. I had my life planned out at 18 and I was too young to know that dreams don’t always come true or that maybe the dreams you dream as a teenager aren’t really your dreams at all. Now at almost 24 (in July) I have found that I still have big dreams. I also find that I am older and wise enough to know that maybe some dreams are just too big and that the truth of the matter is that not everyone gets their happily ever after. The good news is I’m young enough to still want to try.

My dream is to get a Doctorate of Psychology, right now I want to be a forensic psychologist which I know is nothing like it is on TV. This seems impossible for me. I got my GED because my mom made me and I’ve been enrolled in community college but really haven’t taken school seriously at all. The good news is I currently have a 2.43 GPA and I do actually have some credits that I can use. After meeting with an adviser at my school I have a plan or at least a next step so I guess what I really have is a starting point.

STEP ONE: Graduate from community college with an Associate Degree with a 2.8 or better.

So in beginning this journey I have 2 classes scheduled for summer semester which starts June 10th. Psychology 1010 and Sociology. I also applied through FAFSA to see if I qualify for any grants. I work full-time to afford school and for the health insurance but I hope to still be able to do everything I can to become someone different. I am going to try to complete one step at a time and I invite all of you to come along. See for yourself if a high school drop out can become a doctor. See if you can change your past.

 

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