First 30 Days Blog

09 aug

College at 40

I am looking at college this semester fall 2009. I haven’t had to study since high school which is aways ago. I quit my job and am currently trying to figure out how I am going to learn good study habits and take care of a four year old with the ADD I am prone to. Distractions abound, I am still going to try. Anyone else starting over at 40 with a learning disability counting against them?

Shared by Amanda2U.

Posted by First 30 Days on August 9th, 2009 in Personal Stories | 2 comments

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  • I don’t have a disability, but I was a poor student back in my late teens and 20s—too many distractions, loved to party, loved to go to the beach instead of studying and writing papers—and almost flunked out of college. When I decided to go back to grad school in my late 40s, I was scared I would blow it again, or my old student records would mark me forever as a crummy student. (I should add that I was a single mom with three kids, all teenagers, at the time I was thinking about this.) I talked to the head of the graduate department of the university I wanted to get into however, and he suggested I take some classes at a community college just to see if I could handle being back in a classroom again. I was incredibly nervous that first night of class: I stammered when the instructor called on me to comment about a story we had read, and I was convinced that the paper I had turned in was going to come back with a big red F on it. To my surprise, it was graded an A. This encouraged me to keep going: at the end of the semester I got not only an A in the class, but my instructor had written a wonderful note on my final paper, telling me I was a terrific student.
    That was all I needed: I went on to take four more classes, then applied to grad school. I was accepted on the first try, and I also received a fellowship. It was incredibly difficult to get through, especially that first year, but I had learned by then that I was capable of tacking big challenges. I finally got my MA three years ago, and it felt like I was at the top of the world.
    So give yourself time to take small steps: don’t try to cram into your schedule the hardest courses just to get them over with. Talk to your instructors and make connections with other students, who can be very supportive. Be kind to yourself—don’t put yourself down because your first attempts aren’t what you expected; but be firm about scheduling your own time for study and finishing assignments. This may mean leaving your child with a sitter or supportive friend or relative for a day while you focus on schoolwork. But the payoff will be immense. Wishing success for you!

    Shared by stpauligirl.

    — Added by admin on August 22nd, 2009
  • You may want to look into the Feingold org to help with the ADD symptoms. This is not a plug – My Daughter and Myself have been members since 2004 – I have extreme anxiety over everything and I was told when DD was 4 she was adhd – turned out she’s not just chemically sensitive as am I. I wish you luck – starting over and going back to college takes GUTS and you should be VERY proud!

    Shared by KyliesMom.

    — Added by admin on August 22nd, 2009

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