Mom Goes To College

I decided to attend college back in 2008. I didn’t know what I was doing, I had no idea where to start, but I went and figured it out. I started with my basics and my major was psychology. I didn’t have a plan, so as soon as things got tough I quit. I went back several times until I gave up. I didn’t go to high school, so college was overwhelming for me, plus having three small children and no support at all.

Things got stressful and I started going out, drinking and doing drugs. But that’s another story for another day! Lol. I had my fourth baby in 2009. Time went by and I decided it was about time for me to try this college thing again.

This college thing was hard! It was hard for me to stay focused and motivated, to find the energy to keep going. Coffee was my best friend!! Trying to get good grades, working, and taking care of a household was beyond stressful. I’ve mentioned before that my mother passed when I was 16 years old, my father was an alcoholic his entire life and I am an only child. So it was only my children and me against the world. My husband passed in 2006, so I had no support at all. But I still did it!

I eventually got my GED while taking college courses and graduated in 2016 with my Associate in Arts with a 3.3 GPA. I applied to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley for their online Social Work program and got accepted for the Fall semester. I was determined to get my career and make myself proud. All this came with a price though. My kids started needing the attention I was too busy to give them. The little one was fine, but the newly teenagers were having a rough time. All three of them!

It took me a while to realize that my kids needed me to be present. It was hard to divide my attention on so many things. I mean, I tried, I did. I still managed to start my internship but had to quit work. I had so many issues at home with the kids but school was my safe haven. I had a teleconference class and got to meet some of the best people I’ve known. I got to vent with them and talk about our lives with each other and that got me through the hard days. Mental illness is no joke! During this time I got diagnosed with major depressive disorder and severe anxiety. My stress levels were off the charts. Medication was a big help, but it didn’t have an effect right away. The first weeks were hell! I thought I was going to die, headaches, nightmares, nausea, suicidal thoughts, and lack of appetite were some of the side effects. My kids had to see a lot of my worse episodes, and it broke me to pieces. It also confused them and affected them in many ways.

Even through all the hardship and heartache, I graduated with my Bachelor of Social Work in 2019. It was one of my proudest moments and nobody can take that away from me. Nobody knows exactly what you are going through or how extra hard it is for some of us. So when I see single moms graduating or accomplishing any goals, no matter how small, I feel happy and proud of them.

No matter what your goals are or what you decide to do, never underestimate your hard work! Being a mom is hard work! So be proud of yourself, celebrate any chance you get!!

I am proud of you!

#BSW #SocialWork #College #momlife

Love Pao.

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