Tells us a story of sacrifice.

Lets hope it has a happy ending, because it does not have to.

I’ll start. This school year is my second year in college. Because of my major I first had to sacrificed my sleep. Apparently the only American history class I need for my major is in the morning. I was waking up at 11 am last semester, now I wake up at 7:05 am.

To stay awake I had resorted to drinking coffee. Coffee sucks, and there are not much people who can make a good cup, so I stopped and went back to Pepsi. I first tried water and then Snapple, and then even diet Snapple, but none kept me awake for class. Pepsi does, so that ended my summer long struggle to stop drinking Pepsi.

The time change did not affect the time I go to sleep. Oddly enough I still go to sleep at 2am, which confirms to me once and for all that I am a child of the night. So after 6 hours of sleep I wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and go head first into the New York City’s mass transit system, in the worst time period possible: Rush Hour. People are never socially allowed to be more pissed of and depressed than they are in the morning waiting for that train. Where they KNOW they will not get the empty seat in and will have to stand up for the next hour.

I however, have adapted to rush hour. I memorized the exact spot where the train door will stop right in front of me. I get in the train first! I get a seat! An hour of much needed sleep is my reward.

Sleep is not my only sacrifice. I have carelessly agreed to extra days of work. This leaves me with only Sunday free of work and school. Two days a week I have both. So I can study only 4 half days and one full day a week. That is of course, if I give up entertainment completely.

I started by immediately cutting down on VH1 and prime time TV. The realization that VH1 was only making me dumber was refreshing and enlightening. All I watch now is Scrubs, Everybody Loves Raymond, Real Time with Bill Maher, Daily Show, and “the practice” (late night on Sunday).

Since I never had a social life, I did not have to sacrifice one. Though I still hang out with a few friends on Sunday, and study the rest of the day. I stopped working out and focused on my 5 classes and work. It’s a labor job so I won’t get fat from lack of exercise. The extra stress I get from work and school, which no longer goes into my work out, I take out on my brother. I try to study every free chance I get. I fell behind my work at first, but now I know what I must do.

No ending to this story, so I have no idea if the sacrifice is worth it.

Now you share a story.

I gave up reasonable, normal sleeping hours when I went to college. In the dorms I managed to sleep by about 11, but now I’m in this apartment, and damn… it’s 12:42 and everyone’s still up.

Try this on for size.
Get up Mon. thru Sat. at 5:00 AM
Work from 7 AM to 5 PM every day.
Attend night school classes from 7 to 9 PM on Tues. and Thurs. Home by 10:30
Home by 6:30 PM all other nights.
Study every night till 1 or 2 AM
Sunday sleep late, church, and start studying at 1 PM.
One tough row to hoe to get a B.S. degree.

Does anyone else find it odd that all these sacrifices are college related?

Well, I’ll continue the trend.

My mother took 6 years to get her Associates Degree because she was raising 3 kids by herself. She worked full time, went to school part time and still took care of us. She never dated or hung out with friends because if she wasn’t working or studying, she was spending time with us.
When she graduated, she was offered a full scholarship to Wellesley College. She turned it down because she couldn’t afford to live in or commute to Wellesley every day because of us kids. She never complained or held it against us.

I tried college once while I was preggers with my last kid and had to stop because I was having pre-term labor issues and then went on bed rest for 3 months - not fun when you are a single mom with two other kids to take are of.

I am 27, married but my hubby has been away for about 2 years. We have five kids total - my three are 18 months (son, Taharqa), 4 years old (daughter, Sydnee) and 10 years old (son, Andrew with mental disabilities). Mr. hard at work has a 5 year old son (Aaron) from a previous relationship that we get to see occasionally.

And then there is Andrea - my 16 year old foster daughter. I have know her family since she was about 11. Her mom hasn’t held a job in about 5 years - she is, IMHO, a welfare mooch. She has two other kids, around 11 or 12 and a 2 year old. She has no ambition or desire to be anything other than what she is now - unemployed and taken care of. Andrea and I have become close - more of a mother/daughter relationship then just friends. And when I moved to a bigger house to have room for what I call my savages - I invited her to come along. She is a straight A student - currently ranked 12 in her high school, and she has held down a job for the last year.

I work 5 days a week, all 5 of the kids attend different schools and have all the regular things - football, speech/debate and various other after school activities.

I am also in physical therapy 2 times a week for an hour and half at a time to help me recover from a seriously broken arm ( 6 inch plate and 9 bone screws to but me back together). Those days are not the good ones - painkillers here I come!

I am hoping to show Andrea that though things maybe hard - you can succeed in life, and that there is more than just government checks and foodstamps. Her goal now is to attend Harvard and become a lawyer.