About two years ago I was taking my first college class in 7 years. It was Biology 101 with lab. You would think easy...but it's not. It's everything you learned in high school expanded on and then some micro biology and more. Without a medical terminology background I boldly took on this part animal, part human, and part plant class. It started with about 70 kids in the lecture, and 30+ in the lab. By the end of the semester the class had whittled down to about 30 and the lab maybe 20, maybe.
The lecture and lab had different teachers. The lab instructor I found enchanting. Her name was Rebekah and she was from Zimbabwe. She explained her family thought she was crazy, she was married in her home country to someone who didn't understand her and they divorced when she decided to pursue her education instead of finding a job and being a mother right away.
She moved to a state I don't find particularly exciting - think somewhere like Idaho. She went to school full time, working through language barriers, cultural barriers, and working a job at a sewing factory. It wasn't the American experience she had imagined. She told us on the first day of lab she often questioned herself when she was in college, and her family and friends questioned her as well. Why are you doing this? It made her doubt herself. On top of that, she was so tired from work she didn't get to study as much as she wanted and she would get discouraged when she didn't get the grades she knew she was capable of.
That first night of lab she said, I know you're taking a night class for a reason. You're parents, you're working students, you're people with other commitments and you're here. She said, even if you feel discouraged, soldier on. Keep going.
After a long weekend I'm up right now soldiering on. I have three more weeks, two tests, a final, and a paper left for this semester and I can do this. I'm soldering on. I've gotten too far to stop now. Stay the course my friends.