A Day in the Life of an Online Student
By Guest Blogger
Billie Jo Lister
BA Psychology Student at Argosy University
The alarm clock on my cell rings, and I reluctantly rouse from my slumber. I have much to do today. I sit up and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror over the dresser. Holy cow! My curls are sticking out in every direction, giving their own personal salute to Pippi Longstocking. I groan and roll myself out of bed.
As I am preparing for the shower that will make me feel alive, the phone rings. I trip over the blanket trying to reach the phone and I bang my knee badly. My friend is calling to find out if I have time to run an errand for her. “Sure,” I say, “I have no life (eyes rolling).” She misses the sarcasm completely. I jump in the shower and mentally add her errand to my ever increasing to-do list. I jump out and grab the laundry. I start a load and grab an apple. I hit the door at a run so I won’t be late for my doctor’s appointment.
I pay bills online as I wait in his office. After the very frustrating wait, I leave with a new headache and another bill. I stop by the post office and then Staples to get more copy paper and ink. I run the errand for my friend and go shopping. I accidentally leave the store discount card in the car, so I broadcast my plight and borrow the lady’s card two aisles down from me. Thankfully, I am not easily embarrassed because as I am drawing all this attention to myself, and I realize I have left the house in bedroom slippers, over-sized, fuzzy-headed, lion slippers.
I come home and throw the clothes in the dryer. I replace the burnt out light bulb in the hall, the ink cartridges in the printer, and stick the beef stew I just bought in the crock pot. I sit down and boot up the old computer. I laugh as the pictures of my grandchild picking his nose dance across the screen. I log into my class and check out the new posts and the weekly assignments. I copy and paste them, as well as the lectures onto a desk top Word document for easier access as I work on them. I close out the program for now because I have lots to do. I fix a sandwich and vacuum the floor. I turn on the radio for some motivation. I know that I have to finish quickly. Somehow, dancing like a crazed lunatic makes the work go faster. I should conduct a correlation study to prove this.
Anyway, today I must finish the last chapter of my book so I can submit it by my deadline. I clean the bathroom, consider making the bed (I never really do this, but it is always a good thought), and fold the laundry. I answer the door and here is the grandbaby. Can I babysit? Sure, why not, I have nothing to do, right? Now I am engaged in a hearty game of car crashing fun my grandson calls destruction. We build Lego buildings and crash our cars into them. I take him for a walk and we collect leaves. We glue them on paper as we wait for his mother to return.
When he leaves, I grab my keys and run to the car. I have to meet the kid I tutor, then the one I mentor. I have these back to back. As I get to the school, I realize I still have on those ridiculous lion head slippers. Oh well, it is only elementary students, surely they will appreciate the humor of the absent-minded adult. Next, I run home and prepare supper. The kids come over and I feed them, wash the dishes, and then kick them out. Tough love can be so gratifying. I hurry down the road to give my 1 hour talk to the residents of the housing project. It is yet another volunteer thing I do, but it is a worthwhile project.
I come home and write the last chapter of my book. I hit submit and sigh. I click on the desktop document and figure out what topic to research for class. I open up EBSCOHOST and start my search for academic journals. I fall asleep in the middle of the third article, I can’t lie. I wake up after the crick in my neck starts (probably within 30 to 45 minutes). I stand and stretch. I give my computer some rude gestures and stick my tongue out. I get a cup of coffee and do a few jumping jacks to make my sleeping limbs wake up. I log back in and read the weekly reading in my textbook. I have a pretty good grasp of the information. Tomorrow I will write the discussion assignment. I will have a less busy day, so I can finish the assignment as well as the reading.
I am feeling pretty successful and accomplished. The phone rings and it is my sister-in-law. She wants to know if I would come over and help her do some deep cleaning. Her comments make me laugh; she says “You’re the only one who doesn’t have real work to do. Since you have so much free time now that you go to school online, I knew you’d be willing to help.” “Sure,” I chuckle “I have nothing better to do.” I wonder if anyone besides another online student understands the workload and responsibilities. I just shake my head and decide to give her two or three hours of my day tomorrow. I lie down and take some deep breaths to relax. I use techniques I learned in last semester’s class to help me relieve stress and sleep better. I visualize my life after school and smile as a feeling of true success and pride wash over me. I am really doing it; I am making my dreams come true.
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