I started college last week for the first time. Even getting to this point — the first week of college — is something a lot of people suspected I might not do. After all, it would be easy for me to keep putting it off. “Next year, when she’s in preschool,” I could have said. Then, “Later, when she’s in kindergarten.” And it could have just gone on like that, forever in the near future but never happening.
That really wasn’t for me. Starting college sooner rather than later felt like the one right path. I kept thinking about the fact that other people my age are often nearly done with school, and I don’t want to be behind them when it comes to getting a start on a career and the non-parent aspects of life in general. But even my daughter herself is a motivation for me to go to school and do well; I’ll be a better parent, able to give her more, if I’ve been to college.
Now comes the hard part — actually doing it. I’m lucky in that my daughter’s father and I are together, and he’s able (at least for now) to watch her while I’m in school. Even still, it feels odd to be away from her so much to be in class and study. It’s going to take a lot of discipline to balance school and motherhood, but then life itself is a balancing act for everyone. I know that I’ve been in a pretty sheltered world the last couple years, just raising my daughter and being with family. Most other parents have to deal with numerous commitments in addition to their own children. It’s time for me to do the same.