First Day of College | Hopes & Fears

First Day of College | Hopes & Fears

I’m finally doing it – going back to school. I’m more than a little nervous – about all sorts of things. Will I be able to handle it? Can I really be a single mom going to college full-time? Can I write all the papers, take all the tests, give all the presentations? Probably. Actually, my therapists say “YES. YOU CAN. AND YOU WILL.” So I guess I’ll be fine 🙂 I need to do this.

I’m in a different place now than I was 12 years ago. Yeah, I’m single again, and I’m definitely not looking for a relationship, just like last time. But I have three kids depending on me now, looking up to me and how I deal with school. I’m hoping to find a desk we can all use after school, during homework time. Neither kid had homework last year, which didn’t sit well with me. So I’m hoping that their teachers this year assign them some sort of work we can do together. Setting up a good homework routine is high on my list of to-dos in the first month of school. Setting goals will be KEY in my being successful.

On a lighter note, school supplies! I first noticed them at Target the first weekend of July. It took a lot of restraint not to buy everything right then. And the stuff in the Dollar Spot? So cute! I think I’m going to have to rearrange the living room soon to make a “school spot” and decorate it. I ended up buying four black and white notebooks (on sale 4 for $3). That’s the extent of my school supplies, other than my ridiculously overpriced used textbooks. I’ll buy more when I know what I need. *Note to self – you need a flash drive!

I’ll be using my inkWELL Press Academic Planner for this school year. I have been using it since the end of July and it already holds my older kids’ school schedule and Hannah’s preschool schedule. I go back and forth on which pens I use. Sometimes, I use InkJoy Gel pens (despite the bad reviews – I have never had an issue with any of mine), sometimes the Sharpie pens. Most of the time, I just use a pen from the bank, the doctor or a hotel. I don’t think I’ll get all fancy with my study notes like everyone on StudyBlr though. Way too time-consuming.

As I go through my school year, I’m hoping to learn some tips and tricks to share with other single moms who are in school or want to go back but are hesitant. I put off my dreams for twelve years because I was told I was just a mom and that’s who I had to be. I wasn’t “allowed” to do anything else. I could have hobbies, sure. And I did, like  photography, writing and reading. I didn’t think I could ever contribute anything meaningful to society, or accomplish goals other than washing dishes, doing laundry and cleaning up vomit. I have goals (some are pretty lofty!) and I can still be a mom – a good mom – while living out my dreams.

None of the links are affiliate links. I don’t do that at this time. I just genuinely love the products!

First Day of College | Hopes & Fears

Continue Reading

5 Tips For Staying Healthy in College

Tips For Staying Healthy in College | Beth Gets Brave

The semester started for me last Monday. Between the issues going on in my personal life and figuring out how to manage college and homework and kids and life and bills…I consumed an obscene amount of Mountain Dew. I also tend to skip meals when my kids are gone, because I don’t have anyone around asking for snack after snack. (And if we’re really being honest, I don’t eat because of anxiety.)

Drink water

This seems obvious. It’s also something I don’t do as much as I should. I mean, I have a 64oz bottle sitting on my counter, I always forget to grab it and fill it up. I don’t really like flavored waters or anything like that, but if you do, there are so many combinations you can try!

Walk as much as possible

This won’t be an issue on the days I have to go to class. Parking spots are hard to come by in the mornings, so I just park in any spot – and it always happens to be really far away from the main doors. I also try to head out on the trail by the lake when the kids are gone. It makes things easier when I get ready as I get the kids packed up and just head out the door when they do. (I’ll be honest – sometimes I’d rather go back to bed!)

Make healthy lunch and snack choices

This is another area where I fail. I am super picky when it comes to food, and it seems that as I get older and the anxiety gets its hooks in deeper, my stomach just can’t handle much anymore. I am learning (painfully) what I can eat and what I can’t. Sadly, coffee doesn’t make the cut, unless it’s decaf and who wants to drink that?! I mostly live off of cheese and Pretzel Fish (Pepperidge Farm Goldfish pretzels).

As I was sitting in class last week (I had skipped breakfast because of anxiety), I took a few minutes to write down some snack ideas to being with me each week. I’ve really been into almonds lately, and I like those dark chocolate covered pretzels you can get at Costco.

Try not to skip breakfast

English muffins with peanut butter and a glass of orange juice are my go-to breakfast. Sometimes some slices of pineapple or whatever fruit I have in the fridge for the kids. It’s easier for me to eat breakfast when my kids are home – I pop some English muffins in the toaster while making Lauren’s waffles.

Get to bed early

I aim for 10 pm. I usually can’t sleep the whole night so at 4 am, I get up and try to do some homework. I read somewhere that 4-6am is when your brain works the best. I’ll have to try it for a few weeks to see if really works!

Bonus tip: Have a morning routine

I wrote about this last week! You can read about it here. I will eventually have to tweak it when the kids start school in a few weeks and we get a more permanent schedule.

Do you have any tips or tricks on how to stay healthy while you are going to school?

Tips For Staying Healthy in College | Beth Gets Brave

Continue Reading

My Journey to Brave

Beth Gets Brave

I was recently inspired to get my s*** together from one of my favorite memory keepers, Ali Edwards. She wrote a post about her wellness journey and it made me think about my own life and everything I have going on right now. As focused as I am on my kids and getting them through this, I know I need to take care of myself too. Up until now, I’ve done a pretty poor job of that.

I eat too much junk and drink too much hipster coffee (even though I’m not a hipster). I binge-watch way too much Parks & Rec and read Harry Potter too many times. I don’t drink near enough water and don’t really like being outside (deer flies are the devil).

I’m negative and pessimistic. Every situation is the end of the world, and anxiety pretty much runs my life. I don’t have any really close friends and it’s social anxiety’s fault. Depression keeps me from feeling okay about my body and my life.

But that’s not how I want my kids to grow up. That’s not what I want for us – for me. We deserve better.

To me, being brave means stepping up – Rising Strong – and taking care of myself and my kids. Taking back control of all the things in my life and letting go of the ones that don’t matter anymore.

I am working on a solid plan right now to improve all the important areas of my life. I want to be honest and open about my struggles and triumphs, because I was silent for so long. I hope you’ll join me!

Beth Gets Brave

Continue Reading