The Blog for the Returning Student

Follow Tiffany's Journey and discover your own path.

The Blog for the Returning Student - Follow Tiffany's Journey and discover your own path.

First Day of School!

Finally! I have my syllabi and books, I’m ready to go. I have Statistics and Internet Literacy this semester. Because I work a full-time job, two classes a semester seem to work best for me, any more and I feel extremely overwhelmed and my grades suffer.

This will be my last semester at a community college, in the Fall I will be moving on to a 4 year university. I’ve been attending college all year round for about 3 years, I got my associates degree in 2011, but decided to stay at the community college to take some of the classes that will transfer.

Well I better get to studying.

First Day of School

Tomorrow is the first day of school. I’m nervous like it’s the first day of high school. I get like this every semester. I’ve checked to make sure I have the correct books, several times. I’ve dusted off my TI 84 calculator for my Stats class. Speaking of Stats, my instructor has already sent me the syllabus. I’m going to start on some homework today. Yep, I’m a nerd.

Planning My Time

I’m employed full-time. So planning my time is very important to my success in my classes. I must admit this is not how I’ve started out each semester. I’ve struggled with time management in the past. But this semester is going to be different. I got the framework of my weekly planner ready to go. When I get my course syllabi, I’ll make adjustments and fill in the details. I welcome everyone to give this time management thing a try. I’ll post my initial schedule when I get it filled out. The framework is I created is below.

I’m so looking forward to this semester!

Tiffany_RSBlog Weekly Planner

My Opinion on This is…

What does a non-traditional student look like? I must admit when I started this blog, I thought a non-traditional student was someone who looked like me. Middle-aged woman, with kids, with little money. But I read this article on Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-mcguire/low-income-students_b_2421259.html), and I realized, I was stereotyping.

One of the reasons I’m so determined to finish my degree is because no one believes I will. Matter of fact, many don’t believe I’m capable. I could have stopped when I achieved my associate’s degree, found a better paying job, and lived a perfectly ok lifestyle. I would have been content. But there is something about the looks I get when I tell people who I’m going to school that pisses me off! Frankly, they were the same looks I got when I was 18, just with a little more “believe it when I see it” attitude.

The young ladies mentioned in this Huffington Post article have probably endured the same looks and whispers and discouraging words. What people fail to understand is that so-called non-traditional students are more than what you see. Judging someone who is trying to improve their condition is not only short-sighted but it’s de-motivating and discouraging. I wish these three ladies well.

Why did I buy a Kindle again?

Earlier this year, I purchased a shiny new Kindle Fire. I figured I would use it not only for entertainment but also to purchase the electronic versions of all of my textbooks. An attempt to lighten my tote bag. (See Supplies page and you will understand why I attempted to lighten my load.) I have since used it once for school. Why you might ask? Well, it turns out most of my classes thus far require books that don’t offer an electronic version. In one instance, I need access to the publisher’s website to do activities online, which is where you need to put the tablets aside and pick up you laptop. Tablets just don’t have the juice to run the sophisticated publisher sites that accompany textbooks (not yet anyway).

This semester, I have a math class that requires access to the publisher’s website to complete homework and quizes. I could either buy the book with website access or just purchase access to the publisher’s website that has an electronic version of the book at almost half the cost of the hard copy. My other class is an Internet Theory class, beleive it or not, the publisher chose not to offer an electronic version (this is wrong on so many levels).

I have opted to just purchase access to the publisher’s website for my math class (50% off is 50% in my pocket). Of course for the internet class, I must purchase the hard copy. The bottom line, if you have access to the internet, you will probably save money if you purchase the e-book. But do your research. In fact the DealOz.com search on this page is a great starting point.  If you’re thinking of purchasing a e-reader to reduce the number of books you carry you might want to think twice.

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

If you’re reading this blog, it is probably because you are ready to go back to school.

Pursuing a 2 or 4 year degree, whether 18 or 58, is a good thing. It is doable! Don’t let anyone tell you different. But, where do you start?

Start by imagining what you want your college experience to look like. Yes, I mean start day dreaming. Do you have little ones? Did you know you can live on campus with your kids? You can even take your spouse. You don’t have to miss out on the campus living experience just because you have a family. There is something called family housing. Not all college/universities have it, but it’s worth looking into.

Maybe family housing isn’t as important to you as the size of the classes or location. Well find out which colleges fit your dream.

I found this fabulous website called www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org. It’s a great starting point for all things related to higher ed.

It’s a new year! Start it off by making a plan.

Share your plan/dream.

Tax Time is Approaching

I am currently attending a 2 year college. I will be transferring to a 4 year college in the fall of 2013. Like most everyone, I’m going to need financial aid. I need to get my taxes done so I can complete my FAFSA online.

It’s time to start finding all the stuff I will need to file my taxes. Here is my list:

  • W2 from my employer
  • Semester statements showing how much I’ve paid out of pocket for my classes
  • Receipts for books and any other school supplies I’ve purchased this year
  • Receipts for parking

Depending on you situation you may need more or none of these things.

Consult a tax professional to find out what you need.