Interpersonal relationships and Advanced Nutrition and Wellness Carol VohBehren – Eastern Illinois University (“age is just a number people often get judged by.”)

Q: What piece of advice would you give someone entering their 20’s based off of what has happened to you in your life?
A: ”It’s from my observations versus something that has happened to me is that I think one of the most important things is that we all learn to treat everyone with respect. Whether it’s a 4 year old or a 94 year old everyone deserves to be treated with respect.And sometimes if we don’t treat people with respect then they don’t give the respect, and it doesn’t matter what somebody’s age is everyone deserves respect.So my suggestion is we all no matter what the circumstances are need to treat other people again whether its a 4 year old or a 94 year old everyone needs respect. And that affects their attitude.”

Q: How and why did you choose to pursue a career in education and decide that college was the best option for you?
A: ”I don’t think that I ever considered not going to college because my mother had gone to college and it was just a natural thing that I was going. The reason that I selected education was there was a scholarship available and it paid ⅔ of my tuition. And I could not afford to go unless I had some of my tuition paid because I paid all of my expenses myself. No student loans, no debts when I graduated, and this teacher ed scholarship paid ⅔ of the tuition which meant that then I could work and pay all of the other expenses that I needed.

Q: What challenges involving love, career, and day to day life do you feel like are the hardest to overcome and why?
A: ”I think that one of the hardest things to overcome is the time management that we all have to juggle so many things in our life to have them all done. During part of the time that I was teaching I also had to be the primary caregiver to my mother who had broken a leg. And she lived 5 hours away from here.So that meant every weekend driving 5 hours there and driving 5 hours back, but if I chose to drive there every weekend she could live by herself. So I thought that was an important thing to do, but that takes 10 hours every weekend that you normally are getting other things done. And so you still were doing paper grading, paper planning, everything that has to be accomplished. And so time management is a tricky thing we all have to learn to deal with.”

Q: What is something you wish you would’ve known before entering your 20’s?
A: ”Maybe more time management skills. Teaching is a job and a half. Think about all the lesson planning, the grading in family consumer science. That’s also the shopping for lab supplies and there’s just no time left. And so the time management skills are one of those things that everyone has to deal with. Your family, your career all of that has to fit together. And if you waste time then you don’t have time for your career to advance, for you to take care of your personal life, and your family life.”

Q: If you could do it all over again would you do anything differently and if so what would it be?
A: ”No, I really don’t think I would do anything differently.”

Q: Are you happy with where you are currently at and do you plan to always stay in this career?
A: ”Yes, although I feel like the career picked me instead of me picking the career. I don’t think I would do anything differently because I like working with teenagers. I can never see myself working in elementary schools because teenagers just react differently. My mother was an elementary teacher so I’ve observed elementary classrooms. Teenagers just react differently, but I don’t see myself doing anything else. Because I like the extracurricular activities, I like coming to work everyday, no two days are alike. You cannot get bored in this job because it changes constantly and I think it’s important because; I think some people go into careers and they become bored with it because the days are all the same. And in teaching they definitely are not period to period; it’s different, and you never know how students are going to react. You can guess but you never know for sure. “

Q: For the high school graduates that are choosing to go to college what advice would you give them?
A: ”Plan, they need to do more planning. And be aware of your financial obligations because I think some students think that they need to have all of the bells and whistles when they go to college and end up with student debt that it’s going to take them so long to get that student debt paid for. And you can also choose to go on what I call the economy plan and have no student debt or a lower amount of student debt by the time you graduate. Because all that has to be paid back and interest and it’s a struggle the first few years in your job; because you think that salary is going to cover everything that you need because it sounds like it. You’re not looking at starting to pay back student loans and you need sometimes a professional world grow for your job, and then there’s the apartment rent, and probably a car payment, and that money just quickly evaporates. So you have to be financially responsible or you’re going to be in a lot of debt and be paying a lot of interest.

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