Today I reply to MsKremiss who asked me a great question on youtube: how did you organize your day to go back to college while being a single mother of two?
I went back to college in third year of law. I was still working full time. I was studying during my lunch break and on evenings, at night from midnight to 3 am and early morning before walking the children to school and going to work.
In fourth year of law (the first year of my law masters), I quit my job to focus on getting my diploma. I would study all day, while taking care of the kids when they were not at school. I slept at night and was going for a 20-minute run every two days.
The lesson? Each second held the potential to be a learning second. I had the choice to prioritize studying every second.
If I had to do it over again? I would sleep more, to avoid collapsing at work and ending up at emergencies. Going back to college is a brilliant endeavor but it should not be at the expense of health.
I went back to studying to get my diploma as a lawyer because I was passionate by law. I am still very interested in law. I could do it because I was passionate about it.
Having children actually made me highly efficient and productive. It was not perfect. It was an amazing adventure.
She was forty and owned as many pairs of designer shoes. However, she was not fulfilled by her life. I was working in a law firm as junior lawyer and she was a senior one. She confided in me that she hated this job, which rendered her aggressive and brutal. Indeed, it was the impression she gave me when I worked with her. However, she meant so much more to me. When I sat for interviews before I was recruited, she was so warm-hearted. She had been touched by my situation, a single mother of two who went back to university to get a lawyer’s degree.
A few days before I quit this law firm, I entered her office, which she shared with a trainee, and admired the beautiful photographs on the wall. I inquired about these and she replied that they were photos she took herself. They were really stunning.
A few days afterwards, we were chatting about the profession and she affirmed: “Being a finance lawyer is the only thing I can do, I’m no good at anything else“.
When she left to another law firm, I wrote her a note saying: “You are far more powerful than you think you are“.
I got my degree as a business lawyer by going back to college, taking care of my two children alone. I received a one-word sms from my mother when I announced I graduated. I share my project of living abroad with my parents and I receive doubts, almost mockeries and lots of fear.
I do not have the time for this anymore. The opinion of others belongs to them. Why do I still feel attached to the judgement, mostly negative, of my parents, while so many people share their admiration for me, as well as love and support? I do not have the right to sabotage my life in such a way when I could instead help others by sharing my experience, whether it was positive (a blessing) or negative (a lesson). I do not have the right to fall in the downward spiral of negativity when I have two amazing children who do their best to understand and apply everything I teach them.
I choose to go in the eye of the storm of pain and grief. My mum also tried to seek for her parents’ approval, for her whole life but to not avail. She has the extraordinary blessing of having my dad’s support, love and integrity. However, she does not seem to make the most of it and savor it, because she is so preoccupied with the past, what she wanted to receive from her parents but never had. This has to be a lesson for me.
If I am still single after all these years, it is because I need to cleanse myself from all this grief, in order to make savor the presence of a worthy man in my life. So, today, I choose differently. I choose to focus on my projects and my work. I do not have time to believe some of my thoughts which are “you need to gain your parents’ approval to feel good about yourself”. I see pictures of me when I was a kid and feel like giving this little girl a big warm hug. This little girl was so generous and kind, and she tried, to no avail, to please her mother.
Passing the TOEIC exam was the first step towards getting my degree as a lawyer, although I did not realize it at the time. Passing such a test boosts our self-confidence and it is a great addition on our CV.
I used a French edition of the TOEIC Practice Exams by Lin Lougheed, who is a serious author in this area. This is the most recent English version of the TOEIC Practice Exams book I used: “Barron’s TOEIC with MP3 CD, 7th Edition“.
Did you pass a language test which changed your life? Do you have a special book to recommend to the sisters reading this? I only recommend what I personally used so can only recommend a book for an English test. Thank you for sharing others!
Thank you dear L. for reaching out to me with your question. I understand you are 25 years old and back to college. You feel overwhelmed and discouraged. I am here to help and share my experience. I went back to college at 33 years old. Like you, I had to let go of my ex, who stayed in my mind for so long. Like you, I felt tired and discouraged. I have three excellent tips for you in this video. Lots of love, Claire
This video highlights my three best tips to go back to college at thirty years old. Of course it is possible my friend, my sister. I did it as a single mother. I went back to university at 33 years old. At almost 37, I got my diploma as a lawyer.
This photo was taken by my dear friend, while I was busy writing letters to submit several applications to law masters degree courses. I was thirty-five years old, having gone back to university to finish what I started more than ten years ago.
Thus, at twenty years old, I suddenly quit university during my second year of law. Convinced that I was unworthy and having no self-confidence whatsoever, I became a personal assistant instead.
My friend, my sister, sometimes it is worth to wait five minutes more before quitting. Perseverance can modify our life path for the better. The price to pay is temporary discomfort.