A Tale of 23 Credit Hours, Endless Hills, & Being Left in the Cold
by Zach Woolard
April 13th: the day my world was turned upside down; she said “yes.”
August 31st: the day my world turned right side up again; she said “I do.”
October 21st: the day our world spun backwards; she began online courses.
January 13th: the day our world spun on a different axis; she began residential courses.
We have both been so blessed to work for employers that value the sacrifice we are making for our education. With 23 credit hours between the two of us, we needed to reach out to our employers for accommodations to ensure we were successful in our pursuits. I advise students who are balancing both employment and education to share their unique needs with both their bosses and their professors. Remember, those who fail to ask for help rarely receive it.
I enjoy so much about the great outdoors, but I have yet to find an enthusiasm for winter. Cold weather is man’s only natural enemy. Falling temperatures drive me indoors, and I inevitably find myself signing a gym contract. Rather than let my mind wander as I grind out the treadmill’s endless hills, I use the time to get ahead on reading. As I face the seemingly unsurmountable mountain of textbooks, I identify every pocket of time that I can commit to tackling coursework.
Since last summer, my wife and I have been a single-car family. We ride to campus together in the morning, and then debrief about our day on the way home. That is, we did until the snow day, when both students and employees were being dismissed early on account of the snow. Being overly distracted by my work and school concerns, I made it halfway home before I realized I had forgotten to pick up my wife! She is one of the main reasons I returned to school; I want to become the best husband I can possibly be. Yet in the middle of a snowstorm, I lost sight of my goal and she was left in the cold. I implore each of you, despite the mounting burdens of work and school, to remember your personal motivations for why you are working so hard: your loved ones, your spouse, your children, and your passions.
I am learning what it takes to juggle being a full-time husband to a full-time wife, both of us full-time students, with full-time jobs. Amazingly, some students can keep it aloft with children, parents, and pets added to the mix! If you have a winning strategy to keep all your balls in the air, please be an encouragement to fellow students by sharing your success story in the comments below.
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