Life Stress and Student Development ( follow the guided please)

 

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 Guided Response: Review at least two of your classmates’ posts and relate one of the other theories you have read thus far from Evans et al. (2010) that connects to the significance offered in your peers’ discussions. Offer your thoughts as supported by the theory you have selected. 

 Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://www.vitalsource.com/:

  1. Part Two: Foundational Theories
  2. Chapter 5: Perry’s Theory of Intellectual and Ethical Development
  3. Chapter 6: Moral Development Theory
  4. Chapter 7: Later Cognitive Structural Theories
  5. Chapter 8: Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning

  

One of the significant life events that I identify with is major personal injury or illness. An illness can not only disrupt a person’s equilibrium and day to day activities, but it can cause instability emotionally and financially.  After working in insurance for 7 years at USAA, I decided to transition into mortgage processing within the same company. The direct supervisor I worked under was very strict, rough and critical of my work. The stress of accomplishing everything my supervisor requested plus the hurdles of learning a new job, techniques and procedures was significant. During this time, I was also enrolled in one of my classes at Ashford.

These stressors created such an impact in my emotional wellness that I woke up one day with half of my face paralyzed. I was mortified thinking I had suffered a stroke overnight.  After visiting the doctor, I was relieved to find I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. Although the effects of Bell’s Palsy were minor, the constant watering eyes and the stress of not being able to smile affected my ability to work on my laptop, on the computer at work and speak with members over the phone. I could no longer give 100% to my job and school at the same time. Consequently, I asked to withdraw from my class to restart at a later date. 

One day when my sister came and noticed one of my eyes was smaller than the other I broke down. The stress and uncertainty if I would return to normal caused me anguish.  Thankfully, a few weeks later, my muscles again relaxed, and I was able to smile again. I was never so happy to see my forehead wrinkles in my life! This situation was with something as minor as Bell’s Palsy.

Those who have to suffer with more significant illnesses such as cancers, Alzheimer’s, and alcoholism have a much harder time not only at work but in their student development. This is where a social system can provide additional moral support and encouragement.

Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://www.vitalsource.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Smith, M.K. (2001). Lifespan development and lifelong learning. Infed. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/biblio/lifecourse_development.htm

 

 For adults, life events are often marked by “periods of stability” and stages of “instability or transition” (Smith, 2001). Some significant life events occurred for me in just the last year-and-a half while I’ve been enrolled at Ashford: I become homeless, and during that time, I also became diabetic, and I underwent a  total right hip replacement.

Obviously, being barely able to walk and living in a homeless shelter was a difficult readjustment process. Shelter life is similar to living in a jail cell; the rooms there were depressing and VERY cold, and the staff members (and the police) treated all of the clients like prisoners. For the next eight months, I lived alongside familes (small children included), military veterans, elderly, senile patients, hardcore drug addicts, thieves, and schizophrenics; my shelter was also a dangerous place located in one of the worst parts of town, and I watched two homeless men–one of whom was a close friend–die right there on the street.

It was difficult to accept my sudden curcumstances, and it felt even worse since I was also taking online classes. At work, my behavior changed somewhat for a while (shelter life does change an individual’s personality). I became more isolated from my peers, and I dreaded returning to the shelter each night. I also felt extremely ashamed and angry at myself for a while.

However, I finally discussed my situation with others, and I received the helpful support of my students, my supervisors at the college, the counselors at Ashford (they referred me to campus  support services), and the VA (since I was a veteran). I also volunteered as a tutor at the shelter for a while, and I bonded with other clients who were also college students (Yes, you’d be amazed at the types of people you find living in a shelter). During the day, I’d sneak off and drink a lot; at night, i’d sleep with the covers over my head as I typed my answers to my discussion questions for my next class.

What can my experience teach others? I don’t know. The only thing that comes to mind is that old Winston Churchill saying: “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” I guess that this worked for me.

References

Smith, M. K. (2001). Lifespan development and lifelong learning. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org

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