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Tara Palmer

BA Psychology, Class of 2018

"Without my current advisor, I might not be writing this today. She has been a wonderful cheerleader and supporter."

My studying/organizational tips: I have a master schedule, day planner and desk calendar. I write my school, personal and professional obligations on each of these, so I always know what is expected of me and what today/tomorrow looks like. I always set aside one hour each day (depending on that day’s responsibilities; it may be 8 a.m. or 8 p.m.) for reading, studying or homework — no exceptions. During that time, I am only connected to the Internet for school purposes (no email/social media), and my phone is on silent and in another room. I try to eliminate all distractions & temptation. My master schedule goes into my school bag, which I carry with me at all times (also in that bag are my texts, two notebooks, pens, pencil, highlighter, Tylenol and class folder), so that I have no excuse. I carry my day planner in my purse for easy scheduling and reference.

I decided to go back to school at 30 because I felt I had learned enough life lessons and had plenty of life experiences, and it was time for a proper education. I have learned plenty of very tough and painful lessons thanks to the professor called life and felt I needed something more. I needed more to be proud of, to know more, use my brain more, to show my nephews that anything is possible at any age, to prove to myself and to all the people who doubted that I could do this, and to exhibit the determination I have to get where I want to be in life. I fought hard to get back into school, breaking down my own protective walls and jumping through financial hoops, and I will not give up without a fight. I am responsible for my life and my own happiness — no one else is. I feel the best example is revealing that spirit within me that says, "I won’t give up." I know I would have excelled in high school if I had the option of online learning, as it is something that makes learning easier without any social distractions or anxiety. Learning this way has shown me that I have much more discipline than I ever imagined I had.

I couldn’t have made it to where I am today without my amazing family who loved me and supported me when I couldn’t do it for myself, and who still love and support me in every choice I make. I know how proud they are of me for going back to school and that’s a feeling I cherish. Without my current advisor, I might not be writing this today. She has been a wonderful cheerleader and supporter. The weekly check-ins that are optional are a necessity in my school life and are something wonderful I look forward to each week.

Success to me is going to bed proud of the person I was today and knowing I will try to be better tomorrow. Success is accepting I don’t know it all, and that I can learn something new each and every day. Success is doing what you love for the rest of your life. Success is knowing that you found your life's path after having to tear down trees, wade through mud and wait patiently for the sun to rise again.