Stupid Is As…

October wraps up half of my third semester of school and I’m already halfway to my 12 credit goal.  I have to earn 12 credits per semester to be considered full time and to keep my student loan.  Each course I take has been worth 3 or 4 credits each until this semester.  I started taking a Biology class that it turned out I didn’t need, so after only being two weeks in, I was able to drop it while my whole curriculum was being reevaluated.

I picked up an Analytics class instead that took a bit longer to complete but was worth 6 credits. I now only have 2 courses, 3 credits each, left to complete before the end of my semester in mid-January.  I hope to finish the first of the two in the next two weeks.

And I hope to still have time after the second one to pick up another course before the end of the semester just to get ahead some more like I did last semester. If you complete your 12 before the end of the semester, you can work ahead which puts you closer to graduation and it saves money since each 6 month semester costs the same.

It’s tough sometimes to keep motivated, especially at this point in the semester. I have a mentor who calls and checks in once a week, but when you are doing this all on your own from home, it’s still tough. This semester I joined a Facebook Accountability Group for my school, WGU Missouri, thinking that might help. And it has some, especially when I had questions about coursework.

However, the group can be a bit depressing when you see people posting on there about how they are completing courses in 4 days and earning 24 or more credits per semester! I have to constantly remind myself that those people probably don’t have a full time job. I’m sure if I could stay at home all day and devote more time to my coursework, I could accomplish the same thing.

I keep telling myself that, but in the back of my head it still makes me feel stupid. Sure, I’ve managed to complete my 12 credits in the six months each time, and I picked up an extra course last semester. But I still beat myself up and feel very alone in the process. My brain starts questioning my abilities and I start to wonder if school is even worth my time!  Yep, I feel that stupid.

But that all changed yesterday…

I came across a post on the Facebook group where someone only had 10 days left in their semester and they had not earned any credits! Yikes!!  I can’t imagine that.  So, I started to put it into perspective:  Maybe they have had some personal or health issues.  Maybe they have a really intense job.  Maybe they are attempting some really hard classes.  Maybe they are a single parent with hardships.

I would hope that they are paying for the semester out of pocket because there’s no way they can earn the 12 credits in 10 days to keep financial aid.  And that sucks because you’ve wasted $3000!

But then other people started to chime in and post comments who have been in the same situation!  There were over 46 comments when I came across the post and I haven’t looked back at it since yesterday afternoon.  The comments were from people who had hardships and fell behind: divorce, sick kids, deaths in the family, health problems.

But the majority were from people who just weren’t motivated and had lost an entire semester and not earned any credits at all.  I was amazed!  And here I was, worried that just earning my required 12 credits wasn’t enough.  I can’t imagine not earning any in 6 months!

Some of the comments were from cheerleaders who had been in a slump and rebounded and were offering support.  But the majority were people sharing their own frustrations, and that actually made me feel better about my own situation. Overall, I appreciated the honesty and candor. Yeah, I just might be meeting the minimum at times, but I’m at least doing that. And choosing to go back to school in the first place was a daunting task and has required so much of my time, but I’ve stuck with it and it’s happening.  After reading those comments, I suddenly didn’t feel as stupid anymore.

It’s sad that my cheering up had to come at the hands of folks who aren’t in a good situation, but it reminded me that just when you think you are in a bad situation (and you really aren’t), there’s always someone else out there who has it much worse. In other words, I’m not alone in this no matter how much it feels that way.

So, yeah, I don’t feel as stupid anymore.

365 of Me: 295/71

Here are more pics from the pumpkin farm – one of the four we went to last weekend, but this one in particular was a new one we’d never visited before. There were lots of displays and fun things to look at: tractors, piles of pumpkins, a haunted town, animals, a cemetery, old cars, and more. Look close for Bonnie and Clyde sitting in the old car.

365 of Me: 293/73

I had family from Tennessee in town last weekend. It’s an annual trip they make this time of year and it’s become a tradition to take them to the local pumpkin farms and farmers markets. We have a great time! Most of the pics I’ll be posting the next few days were taken while I was with them. I don’t think I could resist a pic of a pumpkin at every market we went to – and we went to four of them!

365 of Me: 292/74

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I took this photo last week via Instagram on my lunch break. It’s the tree I park under at work. I sit in my car often with the windows rolled down on lunch to read. I’ve posted pics from here before. You might remember all the Canadian geese crowded under it a while back. It’s not much of a shade tree anymore now that its leaves have turned and started to fall. Even today, I noticed the sun was shining through even more because almost all the leaves are gone now.

365 of Me: 287/79 and 288/78

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Charleston is definitely a walking town. If you go, you’ll want to walk up and down every street just to take in the ambiance. There are interesting porches, corners, alleys, and gardens everywhere you turn.

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Charleston is also a haunted town. There are lots of ghost tours, something else I didn’t get to do that I know I would have enjoyed.

365 of Me: 285/81 and 286/80

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In downtown Charleston there are a ton of art galleries and antique stores. I didn’t get to go into too many of them though. Maybe next time. However, I did notice there are not a lot of touristy tee shirt shops like you see on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I really appreciated that. Sure, there were some stands selling tee shirts here and there, but not on every corner. Everything felt original.

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This is a pineapple fountain in a park right on the harbor. The pine apple has long been a Southern symbol of hospitality, rumored to have started when wives would put a pineapple on the porch as a sign to their boyfriends that their husbands were away.