Growing up I asked questions all the time! I was always so curious about every little thing my parents were doing. I grew up around one of the state patrol offices here in Nebraska so my mind was always wondering about things my dad was doing. Looking back I believe my first lesson was that asking questions is how you learn. From then on I have never really been afraid to ask questions no matter how crazy they sound. I also know that imagination and creativity is always important no matter how old you are.
My next great experience in my learning was in 6th grade when we had to write our very own story. There had to be an antagonist/protagonist, plot, setting, etc. I soon came to realize I had quite the imagination. My mind took over and I soon had a story that I was so proud of (my mom still has it laminated). I think the fact that I worked so hard on it and pretty much poured my heart and soul into it really helped me realize how important it was for me to think creatively and explore outside the box.
I credit a lot of my skills back to music. I grew up in a musical family and was constantly around it outside of my home as well. I took piano lessons as well as saxophone, harmonica, and a brief encounter with an accordion. I learned quickly that music was helping me excel in math and keep my mind quick. I kept music in my life all the way through my freshman year of college and then it became a full time job I wasn’t prepared to take on. With that being said, I am happy I had that learning experience in my life because now I can easily incorporate that into my general ed classroom one day!
The hardest lesson and probably most important one I have had to learn is that it is not a bad thing that you do not know right at 18 years old you know what you want to do. I took a year off of college after my freshman year and traveled around the U.S. and thought after that year I had decided what I wanted to do (nursing), quickly learned after getting excepted into nursing school, that it just wasn’t the right fit for me. Low and behold I ended back in education and now that I am 25 and more mature than my 18 year old self I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
I think the last lesson or words of encouragement would be to pace yourself. It’s not a race, you need to work at your own speed to ensure that you succeed to the best of your ability. I still struggle with that, and I am slowly realizing planning a wedding a going to school while working is probably not the best for me. I will do it and finish and succeed at it all but I might sleep for 2 weeks after it is done!