Education & Autism

If there’s one thing I’ve loved my whole life, without fail, it’s education. In school or on my own, I love to learn new things, especially when those things are my interests. I will hyper-focus on whatever I’m wanting to acquire knowledge in or about, and I will gather information until I’m satisfied with it.

Then, I’m on the to next thing.

I’m a sponge. And I’d rather learn something to do it for myself than have someone else do it for me…that is, as long as I’m interested in what I’m doing, of course.

It won’t surprise you, then, to know all through elementary and middle school my grades were mostly A’s with an occasional B. The B’s were usually the result of something I found relatively boring, but either grade I received was from absolutely zero studying. In 6th grade, I never had to take a spelling test on Friday because I would get them all correct by mid-week. I was even in the talented & gifted program.

Through this, I went to three different elementary schools and one middle school. Beginning in high school, things really went south for me and by the time I entered 11th grade, I missed part of 9th and part of 10th thanks to my attempted suicide (I still did my work…kinda), and had a less than 2.0 GPA. I took a test to enter into an LPN program that would see me become an LPN upon my high school graduation. I passed their test with flying colors and started taking classes, but ended up moving again later that year to my 3rd high school. I moved again in 12th grade to my final school, and by the time I graduated, my last two years of school with A’s and B’s had only brought my GPA to just past a 2.5.

Over the years, I attempted college six times. First time, I left home and went to school in Missouri, where I was stalked by a girl and two guys, eventually caving under the pressure from basically not being ready for that sort of life, and dropped out. I owed the school money, eventually it was paid off, and I re-attempted school when I was in Illinois with my ex-fiance. Did great for a while (4 complete semesters!), then left because our relationship blew up, and once again I quit (but I didn’t withdraw. I just let myself fail the classes instead of owing them money). Attempted again while pregnant with son. Finished a semester, had my son, and went back that Fall. Made it to mid Spring semester before my PPD worsened, and yep, you got it, I left again.

Remember me talking in a previous post about how I did the same things over and over cuz I didn’t know any better and couldn’t learn from my mistakes due to my emotional state? Yeah, this is a good example. To be a fair, I also didn’t know when I was doing too much and couldn’t ask for help or tell anyone anything was wrong because I thought everything I felt was normal.

Either way, I went three more times after all that, and ended up with 92 credits over the years. The sixth time I attempted, no matter how much tutoring I received, I just couldn’t comprehend statistics or calculus (complicated math is my weakness) and it meant my degree was dead in the water because I didn’t have enough funding left to backtrack to change my degree. This time, the school withdrew me when I stopped attending, and once again, I owed a school money (this happens when they give back federal funds).

The point of this is, I was never much of a traditional learner.

School up to age 18 is structured and you pretty much know what they want from you at all times, but once I hit college, everything became a struggle. I did immensely better with online classes than in person, and there were a multitude of factors – I couldn’t garner what information I needed from lectures, the amount of students and noise and distractions and the lights…at the time, I had no idea I spent most of my energy trying to focus through all these things. Online, I worked from home. I could sit in my preferred lighting, in a comfy spot, and block out all the distractions so I could focus.

So recently, I began to wonder, is there something I can do online to perhaps get some skills on paper? I don’t know that I could handle a full-time job (too much pressure and stress on me), but if I could do something part-time, that would be great. I could homeschool my son, write, and earn some steady money…but how? I’ve been looking for work online, even on places like Upwork for proofreading, eBook formatting (something I taught myself but also have a great program now, too), and paperback formatting. I have considered ghostwriting, but in the end decided that’s not my thing (plus, I’d rather earning the money from any stories I write myself). However, so far, haven’t been able to find anything.

All this to say, a few weeks ago I asked myself, how much in student loans do I really have left? I found out, and then I contacted the 5th school I went to – regionally accredited (which is more important than National, they have actual campuses, their credits transfer (I know this for a fact as I sent them to Kent at one point) this is just the online component) – and turns out I needed only six more classes to graduate with my Associates in Accounting…and loan money plus tiny bit of pell grant I have left…will cover it all with just a tiny bit extra left to help me financially for the next few months.

So, two days ago, on July 5th, I started the summer quarter. I am in two classes (one is 6 weeks, the other is 11 weeks), and on 8/10, I begin the other two for this quarter. My second quarter begins in October and I will take my final two classes. By the end of December, I will be done and have attained my Associates!

I don’t know if it will help me, but it will be a big accomplishment and I won’t feel as if I’ve wasted all that money in student loans. Now, of course, I will have nothing left to continue on and get my Bachelors. Maybe one day I will be able to do it, piece by piece, out of my own pocket, but for now, this will have to be enough.

And perhaps it will help me gain a foothold in something new.

Or maybe by then I will have written a book everybody in the world wants to read, and solve all my problems without it. Haha. We’ll see.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

<3 Violet

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