Melissa Burke

"After raising my children, I knew it was time to take care of me."

After raising my children, I knew it was time to take care of me. As a single woman, I have only myself to rely on. Signing up for classes with SNHU was the easy part, and I thought the classes would be easy. After all, I had always been an A student and learning came easy for me. Well, at 52 I learned it is not that simple to work full-time (40+ hours a week) and do classwork. My first semester, I decided to take two classes. I struggled every week to get my work done and most of the time I did not get it in on time. Somehow, I got it done and received a D in both classes. I thought I was okay with that, after all the degree is what counts not the grade, right?

Second semester, I again took two classes. This was worse than the prior semester. So bad, my advisor called me numerous times to check in, and feeling like I was a failure, I ignored her. Finally, I realized I could not manage two classes and had to withdraw from one, even though it was almost the end of the term. This time when my advisor, Liz, called, I answered. As difficult a decision as it was, I knew it was the right thing to do. So even though I barely finished the remaining class, I did finish on time. This semester — one class — and I am acing it! I am actually a week ahead of the schedule, and I just wait to turn in my work on the correct week. I know that future classes will not always be this seamless, but I have found my rhythm. At first, I felt that only taking one class was failing myself, but now I know I have to do what is necessary to set myself up for success.