Forty-Nine and Back to School
(Continued from 1)
One day, while scanning the employment ads in a local
paper, my eye caught one about going back to school.
The school offered a sixteen month program in graphic
design that would allow me to get my associate's degree
in the field. It involved going to school through the
summer and it was to start in three weeks. I decided
to go talk to the admissions counselor. The curriculum
intrigued me and I started to get excited at the possibility
of pursuing a new career. Yet, I was afraid. I knew
most students would be my son's age, though I did find
some that were older, had lost jobs, and were re-training.
Talking to the counselor helped my ideas to gel. I went
to the financial aid office and discovered I was eligible
for aid. That would help with my book expenses. The
door of opportunity opened and I signed up that day.
I was excited to know I was going after something I
really wanted to do.
All I needed was some perseverance and I was off. I
took a test for a $2,000 scholarship and tied with another
person. We had to take another test to break the tie
and I came out on top. I have made the Dean's list for
each semester thus far (I did well in college the first
time around, but never made the Dean's list.) In order
to go full time to receive my benefits, I needed to
take at least four classes. I arranged them day and
evening for two days a week. This allowed me to schedule
my job at the hospital around school.
Going back to college has helped me tremendously at
this time in my life. It has helped me to grow and believe
in myself more. I credit my twenty-six year old teacher
for helping me in this area. He made a comment once
that I needed to believe in myself more and it stuck
with me. My second marriage had been abusive and lasted
less than two years. On top of losing my first husband
a year prior to remarriage, my personal belief system
had taken a severe tumble. It's been great to get out
of my role as wife and mother and expand my horizons
by meeting new people and opening my mind and eyes to
possibilities. I'm glad that I'm actually doing something
with my life and have some new direction and goals.
I'm not sure how it will all play out, but I know that
with one step at a time, I'll only grow more. With that,
I can't lose.
Fran Hansen is a student at Bryant & Stratton College
in Syracuse, New York. She is also a registered nurse
and freelance writer. Other articles published include
"When Hope Comes Hard." (Summer 1999 issue of Journal
of Christian Nursing), "Rising Above Despair, Finding
Hope Beyond MS" (Journal of Christian Nursing, Winter
2003), "We Just Didn't Quit," (Home Education Magazine,
Nov-Dec 2002), a book review on the book, "Getting
to the Other Side of Grief", in Journal of Christian
Nursing, Winter 2003, and recently accepted for publication
in The Old Homeschool Magazine, an article entitled, "Persevering
Through Pain." Fran is a mother of three grown children
and lives in Auburn, New York.