Real Good Tips from a Real (Old) College Student

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The University of New Orleans accounting 2100 study group – fall 2015

Another 18-hour semester is on my horizon – as in 9 a.m. tomorrow. It’s actually 19 if I count my statistics labs, but hey, with 18 who’s counting another hour? When I tell people my semester load, they automatically tell me I’m crazy to take that (and a 20-hour work week) kind of a load. But after 15-years working 60-hour weeks in journalism combined with my “life experience,” it’s really not that difficult. And I will have finished in less than three years.

It took a semester (or two), but now I’ve moved slightly beyond living life by the deadline and stay mostly ahead in my school work to ensure I still have adequate playtime. I have a goal to achieve a 4.0 at least one semester before I graduate, and now that I am truly in my rhythm, this semester should be it. I got close in the fall finishing with five A’s and a B, but the overachiever in me is still strong telling me anything less than best isn’t good enough.

I’ve read a million articles, blog posts, etc. on how to be successful in college, but none have really been tailored to fit my unique situation – over 30, no kids, no previous degree, a high school graduate of the 90s, career changing, etc. So learn from my mistakes and no matter how old you are, follow my top five college success tips. Continue reading Real Good Tips from a Real (Old) College Student

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Adult student woes… Or maybe advantages?

I don’t realize how old I am. I don’t have kids to gauge my own age, but when I am surrounded by kids (or young adults rather) in a classroom, I see just how “experienced” I truly am.

Case in point. In my accounting class, we were reconciling bank statements. I answered every question aloud in class. The girl beside me whispered, “You’re really good at accounting.”

I wish. I’m a writer because I can’t add. I’m only good at accounting because my first checking account was opened well before online banking and mobile apps. I had to write it all down and check it off at the end of the month – overdrafting was much more of a risk in 1995. Continue reading Adult student woes… Or maybe advantages?

Jumping from the sinking ship of journalism

Friday was my first night manning the high school sports desk at a major metropolitan newspaper for the opening day of football season.

And it was also my last.

My computer is closed and my last press badge is left behind.
My computer is closed and my last press badge is left behind.

I’ve been trying to break up with the abusive boyfriend of journalism for about two years now, only to keep getting sucked back into the career that has been my life for the past 15 years. It’s really the only thing I know how to do – and I do it very well. It’s a love-hate relationship of the thrill of turning a huge breaking story on an impossible deadline while dodging the layoff bullet in an ever-changing, low-paying, crappy-hours industry.

I’ve always said every time we run an obituary, we lose a subscriber. It really is a dying industry.

When I walked out of the Shreveport Times newsroom in December 2013, I thought it was finally over. I was relieved – I was about to get my life back. No more watching first responders pull a lifeless body from a mangled vehicle. No more watching a home burn to the ground at 2 a.m. No more half-day city council meetings listing to politicians argue about nothing. No more feigning interest in some do-gooder’s fundraising efforts. Continue reading Jumping from the sinking ship of journalism