I did it. I fooled myself into thinking I was going to adult my way through college. Again and again, I told myself not this time, Kaylene – this time, you do it right! I would not be caught unaware by an upcoming assignment. I would edit papers until they were worthy of Webster’s. I would hand things in early, with an accomplished smile on my face and maybe even an apple in hand for the teacher. Like I said, I fooled myself.
Case and point; last Friday, we finished up a one hundred and twenty-five hour long course on assistive communication (for those who cannot speak for themselves). The cherry on top of those four week ‘s worth of hard work was a five-page essay that I KNEW was going to be due, since day one. How did I handle this, you ask?
Saturday – it’s the weekend, nobody writes papers on the weekend!
Sunday – an outline… yeah, I can manage an outline…
Monday – four days. Still have four days, don’t panic.
Tuesday – teacher is sick, suddenly I have an entire extra day at home to spearhead this thing!
Wednesday – what did I even do with Tuesday?! What did I even dooooo!
Thursday – breathe, breathe, breathe, you have two pages down, breathe.
Friday – it’s not due until 3:00pm. There is always the bus ride to school, the fifteen-minute break we get before lunch, then lunch itself (no food for the tardy), and then, by the grace of all that is scholarly and good, a blessed work block in class to wrap things up. Breathe!!
I handed that bad boy in at 2:59pm. Of this, I am not proud. I’m not seventeen anymore, I won’t get an extension for being lazy, I can’t ask my mom to call my teacher for me and explain that I’ve been “just really sick lately” and hand it in the next morning. Honestly, I’m almost a little bit shocked that my habits haven’t changed in the decade since high school. It also worries me that I could begin a career with this anxiety inducing trait that causes me to speed through things at the last minute. Stenberg gifted us all new agendas at Christmas and that has helped a lot; at least on a Monday, I see the assignments that are due on Friday and can’t claim ignorance.
The brochure says class is a convenient 9:00am-3:00pm, and it sounds like a dream, right? I should have remembered more from my high school days. School was over in the afternoon, but that meant homework started sometime around dinner and didn’t really end. Ever. This feels like that, except on top of homework, I now make the dinner, as well as clean it up, tidy the house and pay for all of the necessities in between. Life takes up quite a bit of time and money doesn’t grow on trees, thirty hours of class plus hours upon hours of homework doesn’t leave time for much else unless I start spacing things out a little each day. It’s not a matter of getting through to graduation and getting off easy afterwards, this job is going to be involved and I have no doubt I will end up bringing work home with me.
Taking small steps is my new motto – just an hour a day, homework or none, spent organizing my academic life. Attending Stenberg was a big change for me, how could I not commit to small changes in order to help myself excel. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have review questions due on Friday and an hour to spend getting a head start on them!