I am a single mother of a college student. For years, I have been in a profession that as of late has become most difficult with the present harsh economic climate: I am a real estate broker. A few years ago when my daughter started attending college, I made the decision many mothers make and decided to go back to school myself. I had a few college courses that I had previously taken over the years. When I was 19, I took a few courses, but alas it never amounted to anything. Then subsequently while in my 20’s I took another few college courses that were needed to become a Realtor and a real estate broker. But after that I never finished my degree.
Needless to say time got away from me. I think it is the age old story – I became a Realtor and a college degree wasn’t needed. Then I became a mother – and again college wasn’t a priority, so my education went on the back burner. As my aspiring daughter advanced in her teens, she reflected on her life and decided to go on to college. Truly, this decision was no surprise to me, I think all of us mother’s believe the best in our children, and thus I encouraged her to do just that. Her aspirations held true, and she registered for school, not that I would have expected anything less from her. She is a bright young lady who is conscientious about her impact on the world and hungers to make a difference. It was a wonderful moment for me that inspired the awakening of my desires for higher education that had been on sabbatical. As a single mother however, there was much to consider. I have always felt college is a wonderful learning experience that exposes you to a myriad of important historical and modern information, expands your mind, broadens your cultural experiences; and of course gives your career more stature in your areas of expertise. But money and time have always been an issue.
Upon reflection of this new transition in my daughter’s life, it seemed a perfect time for me to return to my own goals for a higher education. Now that she was older I knew it wouldn’t be as difficult a burden. The financial as well as time obligations would have been too great to overcome when she was young. As every parent knows there are issues of finding sitters, paying for the sitters, finding time to study, be a mom, work and still be yourself. Yet with her attending college it was achievable and much less cumbersome. Thus it renewed my drive; and I knew I could finally finish my degree. After deliberation I decided to attend school with my daughter. There were obstacles of course. I had issues to sort out and a bit of a process to go through to find funding. Fortunately, Pell Grants have allowed so many people to attend college and I am one of them. I applied for college and for Pell Grant funding and was accepted. I attended community college and consistently held a 3.5 GPA. The Pell Grant funding covered my tuition, books and some of my personal expenses. It has been a great process for me. It has been a goal well worth my time and effort. I feel more accomplished and well rounded as a person and a parent. I have felt excited working to integrate this degree to advance my career and personal goals into bettering my future.