Showing posts sorted by relevance for query college. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query college. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query college. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query college. Sort by date Show all posts

CLEP Exams List for Homeschoolers

Study for CLEP Exams Online


Have you heard of CLEP? CLEP is an acronym for the College Level Examination Program. Students can take CLEP tests to earn college credit and test out of certain subjects. Studying for CLEP Exams is a great way to save money on college expenses. But before you take the tests, you'll want to be sure that you know the material. A great way to prep for CLEP is to find a CLEP Exams list for homeschoolers, high school, or any one wanting to do continued studying in college. Click the following link for more information about their online homeschool program.



This post contains affiliate links.


CLEP Exams List for Homeschoolers


Study.com is an education company dedicated to making education accessible and helping students lower the cost of their higher education. They've just launched a bunch of comprehensive credit-by-exam prep products that can help high school homeschoolers earn college credit.


What Are CLEP Exams?

CLEP exams measure a person's knowledge of college-level material for college level subjects. These exams can benefit continuing education students, military personnel and college students.


CLEP exams are taken through a college or at a local testing center. Exams take between 90 to 120 minutes to complete and each one is around $85. The test is free for men and women serving in the military.

CLEP and DSST exams are prior knowledge assessments that allow students to earn real college credit just by passing a test. Study.com educational resources include comprehensive study guides and practice tests to help students prepare for these exams, earn college credit, and save money on their education. Not only is this a great way to prep for the CLEP and DSST exams, it's also a good educational resource for homeschool education. 

We were given a 90-day free trial of Study.com. I took some time to peruse the resources. The site is very easy to navigate. I like how all of the CLEP study guides are organized with a listing of the most popular exams up front. After you do a study guide, you can take a practice exam. 

There are exams for both CLEP and DSST. In case you don't know, DSST or the DANTES Subject Standardized Test, is  a test to help the U.S. Military earn college credit outside of a traditional college setting. DSST scores are accepted at over 1900 institutions across the United States and are a great way to accelerate progress on a degree, prepare for a post-military career, or transfer real life experience into more affordable university credit.

The CLEP exams list is extensive, offering study guides in many areas that contain comprehensive CLEP curriculum for your exam. The lessons are short and engaging and break down the written material into short, 8-minute videos. My twelve year old homeschooler, started with a psychology study guide session. She won't be taking the CLEP exams any time soon, however, she enjoyed the lesson and wants to continue to do all of the study guides as a part of her daily homeschool routine. I'm on board for that! She thought the videos were easy to comprehend and even mentioned that she didn't get bored! Score for Study.com.

You might also be interested in ECE programs for continued education.

On the Study.com site, you'll also fine quiz assessments that help students find any learning gaps that they may still need to prep for before taking the CLEP exams. Another thing we noticed is the study guides allow users to go back and review the material. Some other programs we try don't allow you to rewatch videos, so this is nice bonus. If you're still not doing well on the assessment, you can take advantage of their Instant Answers feature and get a quick reply from a subject matter expert.

We truly enjoyed everything Study.com had to offer and recommend that you hop over and check them out before you sign up for the CLEP exams.


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What Are CLEP Exams?




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Preparing Teens for Life after High School

How Your Teen Can Prepare for Post-High School



Your teen has spent the majority of their childhood getting an education. Deciding what they're going to do post-high school is often a challenge. However, to ensure that the senior year is less daunting than they expect and that they're ready for whatever the world throws at them, here are some of basic ways to prepare teens for things to come.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

preparing for future life roles after high school teens career choices


Look at College Options
Around 67% of high school graduates enrolled in college in 2017, and so it's extremely likely that your teen is looking at college as a viable future option. While this is an important stepping stone toward their careers, it's vital that they spend time considering the right college options. 


To do this, you should consider looking at Cornell University GPA requirements on CampusReel, among others, as this will help your teen find a college where their application is likely to be accepted. You should also take them to open days and apply for brochures that can help your teen find out what each college can offer them.

Take AP or Honors Classes
If your teen wants to stretch themselves academically and be in a good position for the level and type of learning that college offers, consider enrolling them in AP and Honors classes. Not only will these types of classes assimilate the types of projects that they'll commit to at college, but they can also help boost their qualifications and grades so that they can apply for higher ranking colleges and job positions in the future.

Visit Their School’s Career Team
One of the benefits of establishing your teen’s plan for the future while they're still at high school is they will have access to their school’s career team, who can help them plot their goals and long-term dreams. Not only can the team discuss a number of careers with your teen, but they'll also be able to give high school students advice for their college applications and help them find future work experience within the job sector holds their interest. Our local college career center offers things like: building trades, welding, nursing, childcare, broadcasting, and graphic design.

Study online to get a certificate in Early Childhood Education.

Get a Part-Time Job
Is your teen lacking in real-world experience? If you're concerned about how your teen will cope with their sudden entry into the real world, you should consider encouraging them to take on a part-time job. Not only will this force them to improve their time management skills by having to balance this job with their studies, but it will also allow them to boost many of the necessary skills for adulthood, such as independence and communication. It also allows them to experience working for and learning to follow the rules of other adults. So, it can change their attitude toward following your intstructions too.

Study for Exams

However, the most important thing your teen should do before they leave high school is study for exams, which gets them in a good position for their future, whether they want to go to college or go straight into the world of work. To help teenagers achieve their full potential, there are many resources online that can help teens study and excel at their end of high school tests. CLEP tests are great tests for college.


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Ideas for Care Package List for College Students

College Care Package Ideas

Are you looking for ideas for College Care Packages? We're sharing ideas for your care package list to make your shopping trip easier. Scroll down for a link to our free printable care package list for college. Enjoy!

College care package complete with Schick Supplies
College care package complete with Schick Supplies. 
My nephew has already moved into campus, so I wanted to send him a care package to spoil him. I wondered what to send and started looking at Pinterest for ideas. I wanted to think outside of the box and send items besides just food and treats.

Free Printable College CARE PACKAGE list
Free Printable College CARE PACKAGE list.  Click link for printable doc.

Here is what he is getting for his first care package surprise box:
I decided to include the shaving supplies because a starving college student may forego shaving his beard for food. I want to help him always look his best. Since he is starting out his freshman year at Purdue, he has so many new things to remember! He may not get around to all of the comforts of home. So, when I stocked up for my daughter, I thought it would be a perfect time to grab some for his college care package.

Shopping for care package and Schick Supplies
Shopping for care package and Schick Supplies.

These products are great for the whole family. Our family has some unique skin allergies, and the Schick Hydro Shave Gel is great for us. We have no issues with this shave gel. That is such a relief. Below, are the benefits of Schick Hydro Shave Gel. We love that Schick Hydro Shave Gel is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.



  • Anti-irritation formula soothes even sensitive skin

  • Infused with aloe and made with beard softening emollients

  • Forms a hydrating layer that helps soften, soothe, and protect your skin from the redness and irritation caused by shaving

  • Protects and soothes

  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested


  • I can't wait to ship this care package of to college. I know he will be excited to get a surprise care package from his favorite Aunt. :)




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    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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    Essential Dorm Supplies for College Freshmen Girls: Checklist

    Dorm Supplies are Essential for College

    It's time for college students to go back to school. For College Freshmen, this will be a new experience. The list of dorm supplies to bring is daunting, but it is important to remember the simple things to help boost your confidence, the essentials, and the extra cash. Enjoy!


    The number one essential supply for college dorms is a well packed Shower Caddy. Even if you have to make a last minute run to Walmart before you get on campus, don't forget your caddy, and don't forget the flip flops! Flip-flops are a necessity to get back and forth to the shower. You may even want to wear them in the shower.

    The last time we traveled for a campus visit, we forgot our razor- not good! No one wants to feel self conscious about their stubbly legs or under arms when talking to department heads, or even worse, cute collegian tour guides. We think razors are an essential for Freshmen Girls.


    Off to campus with Schick Dorm Supplies for College Freshmen.
    Off to campus with her 
    Schick Dorm Supplies for College.

    This time, we are prepared with the Schick Hydro Silk for Women. Our legs feel soft and smooth with no nicks or scrapes! This definitely takes care of the stubble, and leaves you feeling confident. 


    Schick Hydro Silk Razor = Awesome Smooth Legs
    Schick Hydro Silk Razor = Smooth Legs and a confidence boost! 

    The Schick Hydro Silk for Women offers the following:
    • Five curve-sensing blades
    • Gives back moisture
    • Dermatologist tested
    • Comfortable grip that you can keep a hold of when using   (note: this is my personal opinion and not advertised by Schick)
    • Another added benefit (in my opinion) is it's a confidence builder, because your legs feel smooth and fresh.

    Schick Hydro Coupon
    Great Coupons for Schick Hydro Silk 
    and Hydro Shaving Gel in flyers and magazines.
    
    When she gets ready to leave for college, she has her stash of Schick supplies and her dorm room supplies already to go. Along with the Schick Hydro Silk for Women we also got the Schick Hydro Gel. Love it too! It's perfect for her sensitive skin.





  • Anti-irritation formula soothes even sensitive skin





  • Infused with aloe and made with beard softening emollients





  • Forms a hydrating layer that helps soften, soothe and protect your     skin from the redness and irritation caused by shaving





  • Protects and soothes





  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested



  • Now, she is all set to pack up, although she is nervous about college, she will be able to take comforts from home to help her feel clean and confident- thanks to her Schick Campus Supplies.

    Good Luck!


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    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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    Educational Scholarships for Homeschoolers

    College Scholarships for Homeschool



    How do homeschoolers get a proper undergraduate education? Wondering how to pay for college? As long as the parent/learningcoach/teacher/caregiver/ keeps track of their student's classes and attendance with a transcript, college applications are no different for a homeschooler than for a public school student. In fact, the word on the street is that many universities seek out homeschooled students because of their enrichment activities, volunteerism, and community service. But, how do homeschoolers pay for college? Of course, a job is a great way to start, but students can supplement their college tuition with an educational scholarship. Are there specific educational scholarships for homeschoolers? Sure, homeschoolers can apply for most college scholarships.


    Educational Scholarships for Homeschoolers
    Educational Scholarships for Homeschoolers.


    Be sure to check the entrance requirements to see if the school requires SAT or ACT scores. Many students score better on the ACT. Perhaps, this is because the ACT allows the use of a calculator for all math questions. The higher the score, the more likely you will win a scholarship. Here's an article that does a great job of explaining the differences between the ACT and the SAT and why one might be better for your homeschooler than the other. The SAT gives diagrams with math formulas, whereas, the ACT expects these formulas to be set to memory. However, this gift of formulas doesn't mean the overall score will be higher on the SAT. Do your research. Despite the cost, it is often a good idea to take the test more than once to improve the score. Sure, it's a hassle, but the second time around, the student knows what to expect, has less nerves, and will likely improve their score. Even a few points can improve chances for an educational scholarship for your homeschooler.

    So, the schooling is done. The tests are taken. How do homeschoolers apply for scholarships for their education? Are homeschoolers eligible for scholarships? Of course, when reviewing college scholarship opportunities be aware of the applicant requirements. Also, think about your homeschooler's background, even consider their quirks and hobbies. While most educational scholarships are athletic, academic, or need based. there are many scholarships with completely random requirements. Write an essay about motivation to keep goals for the Dr. Summit Shah scholarship. Skilled in duck calling? Have a strange name? Yes, there's a scholarship for that. Check out these unusual scholarships for college.

    Scholarships for College


    Federal Financial Aid is available for those in need. Always, fill out your FAFSA first. Federal aid is available for colleges and technical career schools. After that's done, it's time to think outside the box. Start searching for the perfect scholarships for your child's personality.

    Many homeschoolers love to teach themselves music. Got a ukulele player? Yep, there's a scholarship for ukulele.

    Want to run a grocery store? Then, you'll want to apply for an Asparagus Scholarship for Grocer Students.

    Like to sculpt? Apply for an Ice Sculpting Scholarship.

    Chicken keeper? Poultry Scholarship.

    On a bowling team? Bowling Scholarship.


    You get the idea. The educational scholarship options for homeschoolers and public school students are endless. Do the research early and score as many scholarship opportunities as possible for you secondary education goals. If you're lucky, you'll get more than one scholarship, so apply for as many as possible.

    Concerned you aren't preparing your child with the proper homeschool high school education? There are many online homeschool high school options to help you keep track of attendance, transcripts, and the courses necessary for college. Here's a list of our favorites: Time4Learning High School, Acellus, (they also have a less expensive app option for high school) and Connections Academy (free online public school.)


    Healthy Eating Tips for Busy College Student

    You can Eat Healthy in College


    Hectic schedules are inevitable for a college student. But studying hard doesn’t mean you forget to eat. Remember, your brain needs fuel. It is extremely easy and tempting to grab a cup of ramen or a pizza with a sprite and call it a day. However, this is neither feasible nor healthy. Great news!  It isn’t an impossible task to incorporate healthy meals into your busy routine.



    Healthy Eating Tips for Busy College Student



    Basic Nutrition


    The basic food groups are something everyone is aware of. This will help you determine the amount and types of food you should consume to stay healthy. Eating healthy can be challenging, however, the consequences of unhealthy eating may be slow to occur but devastating in the long run. 


    With issues like fatigue, depression, menstrual irregularities, gastrointestinal issues, and low immunity, “you truly become what you eat”. 


    Most people are familiar with the classical food pyramid, however, in 2014 this was replaced with the plate. This showcased not only the recommended nutritive foods you should consume but also gives an idea about portion size.


    However, keep in mind that the portion sizes vary greatly depending on your age, gender, and physical activity. For example, a college athlete will need far more calories compared to a chemistry undergrad spending their days in the lab. 



    Recommended Daily Intake


    Typically, a college student needs about 4-8 servings (3-5 for females) of carbs of which at least half should be whole grains. Protein intake of 45-55g per day is enough whereas curbing your dairy cravings to no more than three cups a day. 


    Vitamin and fiber-rich fruits and veggies, thankfully have no strict restrictions, but the recommended minimum for 2-3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruits daily. Always keep various types of brightly colored fruits and veggies in your routine, because all these are packed with all the correct vitamins.



    How Unhealthy Food choices Affects Us


    College and caffeine are a tale as old as time. Deadlines, gruesome assignments, early morning lectures, or warm nights surrounded by friends, caffeine is a constant companion. However, constant caffeine intake is linked to insomnia, anxiety, poor concentration, and performance. 


    Instead, try to sleep at least 7 hours (get off your social media past midnight!). Limit those caffeine cups to 1-2 per day and try to keep those all-nighters, only occasionally in emergencies and spaced apart.


    Even though this is akin to beating a dead horse, fats are deadly when eaten excessively, it is a major culprit for cardiac diseases and stroke. Nonetheless, cheat days are allowed and moderate intakes are encouraged.


    Whole grains are the better choice when it comes to carbs. Excess sugar is converted to fat leading to weight gain and is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Low-fiber refined sugar doesn’t trigger insulin which stores away the excess sugar, the pancreas is unable to deal with the sugar rush, hence you crave sugars only hours after that delicious pasta.

     

    Salt and preservatives, rich processed meats, canned food, and packed meals are at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and some cancers.



    Dining Hall Tips to 


    Planning is the best way to avoid giving in to your sugary urges. Browse through the dining halls menu online and decide your breakfast before going to bed, so you don’t buy meals with your craving eyes. Some college dining halls provide calorie counts for their meals. 


    Keep an apple or some granola bars to your snack on your midday cravings and avoid the vending machine. Many healthy lifestyle snack options, like nut butter, crunchy seaweed snacks, and protein bars.


    Try to keep a protein source on your plate as well as a fresh item. Salads are a great option and mind you, there is way more to salads than just lettuce. Choose grilled instead of fried chicken. Replenish your plate with veggies and choose brown rice over white rice.


    Desserts can be fruit instead of sweetened yogurt. Replace your sodas with freshly pressed juices and water. Try different items on the menu regularly instead of sticking to a single item. Avoid lingering in the dining hall for long, don’t use the hall for group studying and projects. This will distract you and tempt you to eat more than you need.


    There are many ways to make small changes to your diet which will make a world of difference only if you put your mind to it.



    Dorm Room Cooking


    Many dorms may not have adequate facilities for cooking meals regularly. In such cases, stock up your pantry with items like fruits, dried fruits, bagged salad greens, can tuna, whole grains (oats), yogurt, and popcorn. 


    However, there are many ways to whip up easy meals for college students on the budget and drowning in deadlines. From baked salmon to chicken avocado, many easy weeknight dinners are great and take little time to make.



    Microwave Meal


    Microwave meals can also be healthy and quick to make. Scrambled eggs, lean cuisine, potatoes, can soup, single-serve quinoa, or brown rice cups can make simple, quick, and delicious meals. Top with seasoning and wash down with some freshly blended smoothies to keep you full for the day.



    Eating Well on a Budget


    Money is always tight for college students. The stress of college work can be so overwhelming that budgeting meals while keeping them healthy is the last thing on your mind. To help you here are some tricks to save your money and your health:


    • Make a shopping list for each meal during weekends and only stick to that.

    • Avoid buying expensive snacks like chocolates, chips, and packaged frozen meals too often.

    • Shop for fresh produce and meats on sale. Not expired.

    • Buy one or two expensive items like dressings and spices one at a time during each shopping trip to stock up.

    • Always keep cheese and salads, greens on hand to whip up a quick salad with any leftover meat or fish.

    • Stock your pantry with items that have long shelf lives to keep eating healthy. 



    Establish an Eating Habit 


    Two to three solid meals are a must, daily. Eat while you are slightly hungry and at specified times if possible with small intervals between snacks and meals. 


    You are likely to eat more while starving, but frequent small meals will keep you full and functioning. Even if you can’t sit to eat because of classes or sleep, keep a snack to munch on the go.



    Portion Control


    Easier said than done. We all know that all college students are perpetually hungry. However, try to eat slowly and wait 10-15 minutes before the next round. Drink plenty of water and eat on a small plate. 


    Furthermore, keep in mind that you can always have seconds later, so don’t pile your plate with everything in the dining hall or give in to that discount buffet.


    A balanced meal of carbs, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats with a rainbow of fruits and veggies is ideal. Try to incorporate this as much as you can, at least daily if not every meal.


    Smart Foods for Quick Nutrition

    Adding a healthy item or two to your meal will not only improve the nutritive quality of your meal but also elevate its taste. Here are some smart foods to add to your meals or to snack on throughout the day.


    • Beans

    • Blueberries

    • Dark Chocolate

    • Dark green vegetables

    • Oats

    • Salmon

    • Walnuts 


    These tasty items also happen to be brain foods. So fuel your brain and get your gears working for that organic chemistry assignment.



    Eat breakfast, even if you wake up at lunchtime


    Running late for classes or oversleeping, we have all been there. Nevertheless, skipping breakfast for that isn’t the answer. Numerous studies have reiterated the importance of a healthy breakfast on classroom performance. 


    On-the-go breakfasts like single-serve oatmeals, greek yogurt, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, and fruits are highly packed with nutrients.



    Make sure you take exercise 101


    Yes, we have all heard this advice and we hate it. But this advice is repeatedly drilled into people’s minds for a reason: it works. Incorporate exercise into your routine, like your classes you shouldn’t miss. 


    Set up a workout corner in your room, walk to class, join a gym or join the college sports team or local fitness centers, the options are endless once you put your mind into it. Improved mood, sleep, and good memory will help you gain better results. 

     


    Limit alcohol intake


    The one beverage with absolutely no nutritional benefits and is detrimental to your health is alcohol. The occasional light drink during parties is acceptable but indulgence is a recipe for disaster.



    Loss weight sensibly 


    Starvation is never the answer to losing weight. You run the risk of developing eating disorders with fad diets and diet pills. Studies found no link between certain food combinations with weight loss. Instead balanced meals with exercise are the surest way to maintain a healthy weight. Remember health is not measured by the models and celebrities on social media and magazines.


    Enjoy your pizza with half the cheese, baked potato, a regular size roast beef sandwich, or green salad. Forego the tasty trio: French fries, fried chicken, and fish sandwiches which are loaded with fat. This way you can enjoy fried food guilt-free.



    Conclusion


    The best advice for healthy eating is to take things easy. Keep your bones healthy with calcium-rich foods, stay hydrated and please try to sleep. All of these steps work in tandem to keep your mind and body healthy. Enjoy weekends thoroughly.


    Gauge how your body reacts to different foods and adjust accordingly. Armed with the correct knowledge, tackle your next semester with a healthy body, sharp mind, and less stress. Remember, you can consistently score high as long as you are healthy.



    Recommended:


    CLEP Exam List for Homeschoolers


    Preparing Teens for College 


    College Care Package Ideas




    Open Letter to Future Homeschoolers: Free Homeschool Lesson Plans Curriculum

    Free Homeschool Lesson Plans and Curriculum Resources We've Tried

    Disclaimer: This is my homeschooling journey story. To avoid my open letter to future homeschoolers and the homeschool haters, just scroll down to the bottom for the free homeschool lesson plans and curriculum resources. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Enjoy!


    Anime Art Lessons and Curriculum for Homeschool Elementary Cartoon Animation Keroro

    Homeschool Elementary Art: How to draw Cartoon Animation

    Allow your kids to watch cartoons on tv with sketch book. Here is our favorite anime character Keroro. The kids study the drawing style and copy it. Try different cartoons for different techniques.

    Keroro Anime Cartoon Characters How to draw lesson
    Homeschool Art Lesson with Anime Cartoon Drawing and Keroro.

    If your kids are like mine they love to watch cartoons. My kids love the obscure cartoons found on Netflix. One of their favorites (which is questionable if you pay close attention) is the Japanese Anime cartoon, Sergeant Frog or Keroro. For Wikipedia Description Click Here


    He says lots of wacky stuff. Luckily, most of it is difficult to understand, and it rarely makes sense. I'm not advocating watching the program, but I am advocating allowing them to watch cartoons while working on an ART LESSON.


    Keroro or Sgt. Frog
    Sgt. Frog a.k.a Keroro

    When I was a kid, I wanted to become a SPECIAL EFFECTS ARTIST.  My younger cousin wanted to become a VIDEO GAME DESIGNER both of us were shot down by parents, teachers, and principals. Who said things like, "Do you know how many people want to be that and how many people actually are?" or my favorite from my high school principal, "Well.. they told Johnny Cougar he'd never make it and he did, but still I don't think you should drop Band for more Art classes." Say what?

    Healthy Family Advice

    Can't We All Just Get Along?

    The last few articles have been on the subject of mental health and the breakup of the family unit. As the family situation changes, so do the matters of family concern. Of course, how you deal with these changes affect the future mental health of your children, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. As mentioned in a previous article, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” My advice is this, self-care is a key element to a happy, healthy family, but be careful, don't over do it.

                                                      This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links.

    healthy relationships how to get along self care  quote


    If you’ve come off a long-term, unhealthy relationship, chances are you’ve been neglecting self-care. Self-care is key to your happiness. Newly separated or divorced individuals might choose to jump out into the dating scene. At first, it's exciting and new. If you've been in a bad situation, going out on dates and having fun can feel like self-care, but you need to be careful that all that good time fun having doesn’t lead to an even more unhealthy rebound relationship. Just like our children, we need to make healthy choices.

    Practice being alone. I can’t emphasize this enough. Spend time alone. As much time as it takes for you to get over the pain. And as much time as you need to grow as a person. Learn from your mistakes and take care of yourself.  As I age, I see intelligent women jumping into relationships. Perhaps, they’ve been a stay-at-home mom. Maybe they’ve never held a full-time job. Some never had the chance to go to college. They’ve never managed their own finances. Often, they feel like they just can’t handle the responsibilities of taking care of themselves and their children. So, they go out on a man hunt. The goal is to find a better man than the last one. Some are looking for a man to meet their financial expectations, others are looking for companionship, and some are looking for a father figure for their children. Whatever the reason, they jump into a relationship too soon. Been there done that. 


    Healthy Family


    I got married while still in college. It was okay. Just okay. I wanted to be happy, but we were young and a lot was missing in the relationship. At that point in my life, the idea of a wedding was more important than the idea of a marriage. We were friends and companions struggling to find common ground, but something was always missing. Both of us had placed our focus on gaining knowledge and prepping for a career and little attention was given to intimacy. As starving college students, there was no money for fun things and then we jumped into buying a house, and then another house, and then it all just got way too overwhelming. There was simply no fun to be had.

    Eventually, we talked to friends, family, and clergy. We attended counseling. It all pointed to the same thing, we just didn’t have the same goals or the same outlook on life. We ended the relationship in an amicable fashion. And that’s when my real troubles started. I briefly dated, but playing the field has never been my thing. Dating in your late 20’s is an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Ugh. It’s a brave new world. With my thirtieth birthday looming over my head, I really wanted to settle down and start a family before it was too late. I had some great men to choose from, two were truly amazing with interesting careers. One was neither amazing, nor did he have a great career. He was lucky to hold down a job. But he had what I wanted. A little girl. My family doctor and the counselor both advised against any serious relationship or even dating after the first year of a breakup, but my biological clock was ticking. Tick tock. Having been told I likely could never have children, I jumped at the chance. 

    However, that wasn’t the only thing. He was fun. Oh so fun! He loved to dance, hike, bike, play sports, cook, and clean. One day, he called me one of the “cools.” I had been feeling lost. I was never cool. I wanted to do all those things I felt I’d missed out on in high school and college. Except I didn’t. I was still that goody two shoes inside. His risky lifestyle stressed me out. We fought. Among other things, he drank. He was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. It was like a dark movie from one of those cable tv channels for women. That was my first rebound.

    After that, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pick myself up again. I had a lot of counseling. I saw a psychiatrist. I took various medications. Was I suicidal? Not really, but it seemed like life had gotten the best of me. I felt like a failure in every way imaginable. No kids, no career to speak of, and no real chance to recover from all the despair because, in my head, I was old. Oh, so old. I turned to online dating. It was uplifting to have so many men interested in dating me. It was also terrifying. That was the start of rebound number two. Not only did I not wait a year to date, in only a few short months I had moved in with a man and was pregnant. At the time, it seemed like he had everything I wanted. A good job, two kids, pets, a nice home. He was a widower and that (like the alcoholism before him) fulfilled my need for codependency. I had something to do, people to take care of, and dreams to fulfill. Except, we were less compatible than the previous rebound relationship. Shortly after my son was born, I became pregnant again.

    Things weren’t ideal, but I always questioned myself. Why not? Maybe I was the problem. I should’ve been content. I was determined to make it work. I mean, after all, he wasn’t abusing me. He yelled a lot. It triggered old feelings from the previous relationship. I cried a lot. It made him mad. I cried more. It was an endless cycle. We barely knew each other. We met online. We were both lonely. As it came to be that he was my only friend for many years, we were really never friends. We both tried. The harder I tried, the more difficult it got. And now, there were kids involved. I didn’t want to break up the family unit. I didn’t want my kids to come from a broken home. Ugh, the damage I did to all of us by trying to stick this one out. We were the absolute opposite of compatible. I will spare you the gory details.

    I had so many health issues. I spent months in bed, with nothing more to do than reflect on my past. I knew it had to end. But I was scared. Could I do it alone? Was I strong enough? I started stepping up my game, working harder from home, seeing various specialists and improving my health, and building credit. Once I knew what had to be done, I still wasn’t ready to do it. Things finally worked out in a way that made ending the relationship the most logical decision. It was difficult, but I didn’t need to seek counseling. I threw myself into my work, my writing, and the remodeling of my new house.

    After years of thinking about it, deep down, I knew if I were ever to have another relationship again, I’d have to be strong. I’d have to take care of myself first, I’d need a break. I wrote down the pros and cons of dating. Months passed. I thought about what I wanted. What I needed, who I wanted and why. I realized I didn’t need a man to be happy. But I wanted that companionship that had eluded me for most of my life.


    Why it's okay to Need a Man


    It was always the same set of traits that had always led me to the same conclusion. But, I didn’t want to make the wrong choice with the right choice. So, naively, I  attempted to play the field again, but I didn’t date. I just talked. I talked to several old friends and acquaintances. This time no online dating, no strangers. I weaned them all out. I settled on one for an attempt at dating. We talked for weeks before meeting in person. I knew him from high school. He seemed to fit the criteria. But low and behold, it was a mistake. A big mistake, but one I wanted to cling to because I was sad and lonely. I had basically given up. I was about to turn fifty. There was no more time for mistakes. If I thought dating in my late twenties was hard - whoa. In your fifties, it’s a whole new frontier. Casual dating wasn’t an option for me. 

    I took a few weeks to get myself together. I pulled out my list again, and this time, I realized what I always needed had always been there. Sometimes, you just need a friend.


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