Tag Archives: Work

Is it for you?

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I was recently walking through the hallways of the University where I work and I overheard a young lady speaking on her cell phone. As I got closer I could clearly hear everything she was saying and then something came out of her mouth that kind of shocked me. “College is not for me…I should have listened to my…”. I will not finish the rest because the rest is irrelevant to what I want to speak about today.

Maybe you can see why this shocked me. I rarely hear this type of conversation but, then again, I am not an Advisor or Counselor so I don’t deal with the young adults who are fearful or still trying to navigate this thing called College. Anyway, this one line made me think about my own children getting to this particular stage in their lives and how I should approach something like this. I mean, college is expensive enough already and so many young people are graduating with tons of student loan and other debt. Not to mention how it’s becoming more and more difficult for those with particular degrees to even find work in their field without first needing to obtain more education or some type of work experience. The last thing I want to do is spend money on a college education, for any of my children, if they feel they may be better off gaining experiences in some other way or they want to do things differently than I have already made up in my mind for them to do.

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This, in turn, made me wonder how important college really is. I mean, seriously, I work alongside people who have obtained their Masters and Doctorate degrees and even a woman who has an engineering degree from Penn State (an Engineering degree!!!) yet she only makes $15/hour working as a Website Editor. If that is what a college degree will get my sons or daughters, in the future, then I would be okay with them choosing not to attend college, since most people can make this, and do this particular job, even without a college degree.

Sometimes, I wonder why we put so much pressure on our children to get a college education. Although I am an advocate for a good education, I have found that, sometimes, it is not the degree or the credentials that make a person successful but the person themselves and their experiences.

There are so many people that never graduated from college, and those that never attended college to begin with, that did quite well for themselves. People like Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Steve Jobs, who revolutionized how we use technology. People like Adele, Trace Adkins and Mariah Carey who sang us a new tune. People like Christy Walton who changed the way we shop. And people like Russell Simmons, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison and many more who inspired us to dream and renewed the way we live.

Obviously, I am not saying that if you don’t go to college you will have a successful life but it is also not statistically proven that success is guaranteed when one does go to and graduate from college. There is no rule that says my child will experience a fulfilled life if they do or don’t obtain a college degree. Maybe it is something to think about, especially in this day and age, with college costs skyrocketing as they will continue to do. There are many other ways for our children to be productive and to gain very valuable life skills and educational experiences.

A few things you could do while you are still unsure, or somewhat sure of, what you want to do with your life would be to:

  • Enroll in classes at a community college (since costs are significantly lower there. You can then transfer to a 4-year University when you are sure you want to continue working towards your Bachelors degree);
  • Attend Job Corps;
  • Work a part- or full-time job;
  • See if you can Job Shadow with someone who is already in the job or field that you think you would want to eventually work in;
  • Take time to volunteer;
  • Travel;
  • Or join the Peace Corps.

And if you really are unsure of what you want to do or don’t have the money for college, you could join the military. It is definitely not for everyone (and it is something that should be thought about very seriously before signing up) but you can enlist and obtain a college degree while you serve. Even if you decide not to work on a college degree, you will gain very valuable life and work experience in the military. You can even join the reserves instead of going in as an active duty member.

Would it really be so bad to allow our children to take a year off between high school and college to work or think about what they really want to do before “investing” everything into a college education?

This is definitely a time-sensitive conversation to have  with your children, parents and family members. Not only will talking about this subject allow everyone involved to appropriately prepare for the future, it will also possibly allow our young people to have the time they need to discover their true passions, hidden gifts and talents. Who knows what can happen if these things are realized and truly embraced before starting on the path toward a career and a future?

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Lessons Learned (on a drive home)

I was recently in the car, driving home from work, when I decided to turn on the radio. As I sat at a red light, flipping from station to station, I overheard a conversation that piqued my interest. A man began to speak and posed this question, “How can parents continue to engage their middle school child?” I ended up listening to this entire segment – it was one of those conversations that I just didn’t want to miss and one of those times when I didn’t want to get out of the car for fear of missing out on an answer that could very well “change my life”.
For those of you that happen to be new to ReNewed Chick, and don’t know much about me, let me give you a little background before I continue. I am a 29-year old mother of 5. Yes, 5, f-i-v-e. You may have already read this somewhere else – or heard it through the grapevine – at any rate, it’s the truth.
I work full-time outside of my home, serve in the community (and teach my children to do the same), blog, recently continued working on my first book and am now looking into starting an e-magazine…all while working on my second degree. My children range in age from 5-months to 10-years old and there is a set of multiples, twins to be exact, in-between. I am divorced (yep, you got it…I’m a single mom), as if that wasn’t enough, right? Tell me about it!

Continue reading Lessons Learned (on a drive home)

Rewards to come…

I recently read a blog post from someone and it was speaking about how hard it is to raise a child alone. Well, I have 5 of them and I will be the first to tell you that yes, it is very hard…especially as you add more little ones to the mix but it can also be very rewarding and fulfilling and we can all get through it. Much like anything else that we may want in life, we have to work at this thing called ‘Parenting’. Though it will probably take all of our time, energy, sanity and money (what little some of us may have, lol) the rewards of a “job well done” are endless. That is the goal…it’s my goal anyway. To know and be told that I have done a exceptional job raising my children.

Along this road there will be (and, in my life, already have been) many mistakes, times when we just don’t get it right and failures. However, we can also expect to have many triumphs, victories and battles won. Not all of this is bad, and it’s definitely not impossible, but some days it may seem that way. Please know that you’re not alone in this feeling.

I absolutely hate it when I cannot be myself so can I be real with y’all? There is no perfect life and no perfect person, on this Earth, so please believe me when I tell you that I am not here to judge but to help lighten your load in any way that you will let me. I am not a perfect mother but I strive for perfection everyday. Much like you, I want my children to grow up and have good memories of their childhood and, most of all, I want them to have good memories of me. And, in my opinion, that means that I have to spend time with them and make an intentional effort to be more involved in their lives on a personal and emotional level than just on a physical and rule-rendering level.

Whether you’re a new mom, an expectant mom or a seasoned mom…you are not alone. Moms, from all stages and areas of life, are here to come alongside of you and help pick you up when you fall but are also here to cheer you on when you get it right. I would love to be able to be a part of your support system and continue on this journey with you. Whether you just need a friend to listen to you, a shoulder to cry on, advice on how to deal with divorce and the court system, work/life balance, fashion and outfit ideas, kid-friendly/budget-friendly recipes, dating advice, info on all things ‘baby’, info on raising multiples, or parenting advice on things to come in your and your child’s life…please know that I am here for you.

I would also love for you to be my support system because, as most moms find out within the first few days after having a child, I do not have it all together and I need help too! So, let’s get through this together and reap the fruits of our labor in the end. Looking forward to new beginnings with you!

Stay Fantastic and Be ReNewed 🙂

Signed,

A Fellow Single Mom

Judgment and the Single Mom

Have you ever felt judged for being a single mother? I know I sure have felt my share of judgment but none like that which has come from some of the married women that I know and work with. Every woman in my department is married and I work with majority women so that is saying a lot. Working in an office environment, there is always the usual “Morning Round-Up” as I like to call it. We are all typically engaged in conversation, bright and early, when everyone is getting in to work and the conversation is usually about what we each did the night before or whatnot. Then the conversation always ends up taking a “turn for the worst” (as I like to call it). This is the moment when something is mentioned about one of my coworkers’ husbands and the question is asked of me, only for them to remember that I am divorced so I no longer have the same experiences that they may have, being married. Shortly afterwards, I can feel the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) judgment and there is always that awkward silence that accompanies it.

Now, I know that people try to respect my feelings but I am not a wounded puppy that needs (or wants) to be pitied by anyone…especially people that I work with but that is many times what I am made to feel like; as if I am fragile and will break. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I do feel this way but then there are also many times when I just feel annoyed by this type of treatment. I am very happy for the people in this world that try to respect single mothers feelings but I also wish the rest of the world would understand that we are human, just like they are, and that some of us have actually healed and are fine with the place that we have found ourselves in, in our lives.

The fact that I am a single mom is something to be celebrated and appreciated, not looked down upon by society…and more importantly, by those who happen to be married. As a single mom, I take care of all of my own bills (and household repairs, while we’re on the subject) so I would like to think that I am doing my thing. I would think that society would embrace the single mother, instead of judging us however, that is not always the case. All I ask is that society not treat us like the black sheep, or the “elephant in the room”, just because we happen to be single mothers. Not all of us got to this place willingly. We are not the first and, unfortunately, we probably won’t be the last.

My desire is to help single mothers in whatever way that I possibly can, which is the reason for this post. I am tired of the bad light that is cast upon single mothers and feel like there needs to be a change in this world and someone has got to speak out and take a stand. Someone who will talk about the things that no one else wants to discuss; who will not waver in their efforts. I am ready, and willing, to be that person, for this time, because enough is enough. So, who will join me in helping to erase the dark shadow that is many times cast upon the single mother? I sure hope you will.

Signing off for now!

Stay Strong,

A Fellow Single Mom