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OCL Student Diary: Tackling Early Adulthood

Sex and love and midlife crisis, oh my! The work in my online psychology class isn't getting any easier, even this far in. But maybe I'm learning how to best get through these online classes with my own study abilities. Then again, maybe not.

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By Laura Allan

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Love Me Tender…Sort of

Restarting Unit 3 didn't seem like such a bad idea after all. The first two lessons were things that I still remembered before my mind fizzled out, but once I got to the third part the only thing I remembered was the picture at the top. It was surprising to see how much I had missed while just skimming through. Now I had a fresh and clear mind and was ready to tackle this lesson head-on.

The lesson was called Early Adulthood, so I was all set for physical changes and the different sorts of mental phases we go through. After all, this was the section that was all about my current phase in life, so I would be able to apply many things to myself. I didn't expect a few of the topics, though. One section in particular was about substance abuse and its impact on the development of the mind and personal interactions. Most of it I already knew, but it was still fascinating how specific this lesson was getting.

I became even more interested by the next section, which was all about love and relationships. I had always considered love a more philosophical issue, something that couldn't be quantified and studied. It seems I was wrong. Here, love was put into categories, relationship types were defined and terminology I'd never heard before came to light. They even talked about where sex fits into a relationship. It was eye-opening, and something I added to my mental inventory of information I could use later. Now, if my future kid asked me what love was I'd be able to give him or her a straight and very detailed answer.

Unit 3 Test

This test was like the others before it: it was long, hard and did not let me look at my notes. At this point, it felt like I'd achieved a sort of rhythm with the test. Each question was still multiple-choice, so I reminded myself not to second-guess my initial answer and went from one to the other fairly steadily. There were only a few that really made me pause and read over them a few times to pick out an answer. I also didn't hesitate on any of the questions about love and relationships. That lesson had really stuck in my head.

Despite my feelings of relaxation and confidence, my score was basically identical to last time. It was almost a little frustrating, but I just had to remind myself that these were still passing grades. I had gotten a B- in college on a class similar to this, so maybe I could push myself just a little bit harder on the next lesson and get that grade to go up to a solid B.

What I Have to Look Forward To?

The beginning of the next unit had to do with middle adulthood. Great, now I got to find out what the next phase of life held for me! I began reading with great interest, but it faded pretty quickly. There were few pictures in this section, and no videos to break up the reading. I had to take another break part-way through to walk around and let my head clear. These breaks seemed to becoming more and more frequent. Maybe I wasn't hitting my stride with these lessons, after all. Maybe I was still just getting overloaded. I gave it another shot, trying to make every concept personal to me.

That way of doing things was probably a mistake. I started to feel nervous about growing older the more I read, much the way I felt about growing up when I was around 12. Mid-life crisis in particular sounded like a really nasty business. And menopause? That didn't seem like much of a picnic either. I took comfort knowing that I wouldn't have to face that for another 20 years or so, but it still irked me a bit. Obviously I was going to have to find better ways to stay focused and involved in the lessons than trying to make everything apply to me.

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