Working adults who decide to go back to school, also known as post-traditional students, do not have time for burnout. This is exactly the group of folks that today's guest, Sarah Saxton-Frump, serves at PelotonU, in Austin, Texas. As PelotonU’s Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Sarah and the organization are committed to ensuring working adults can earn a college degree on time without a mountain of debt. We explore the challenges, or straight-up barriers, that exist for these adults who want to continue or go back to school. As Sarah says, “Picture going back to school right now with nothing else changing in your life.”
Yes, you will learn about PelotonU and its innovative, competency-based learning initiative. You’re also going to learn about Sarah, the perfectly imperfect human being. Sarah opened up about how she grew to hate the work she was great at and how that contributed to a mental breakdown.
Healing has been a part of her path, and Sarah’s incredibly candid about what it took to overcome her obstacles. She also opened up about her suicidal ideations and celebrating her "5-year burnout-iversary.” We talk about workaholism as a coping mechanism, hitting pause on the “shame tapes” we play on repeat, and Sarah’s tenacity in putting the pieces back together.
I can't thank Sarah enough for truly showing up to this conversation and sharing her story so poignantly and with such grace. It's so important for all of us to connect, learn, and grow from each other's experiences and stories. And now, here is my conversation with Sarah Saxton-Frump.
Selected link love + resources from the episode:
Are You My Mommy? by P.D. Eastman (children’s book)
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All of this wisdom is from Sarah Saxton-Frump herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:43:45] We say the biggest barriers - the ones that are most challenging to navigate and address - are those gremlins, shame tapes, and nasty little voices in all of our heads.
[00:01:08] Picture going back to school right now with nothing else changing in your life. I can't imagine how challenging that is for some folks.
[01:30:17] [on knowing the pieces of your identity] I know my core.
[00:56:22] Burn out - who does that? Lots of successful women. That’s who.
[01:05:41] The work would have killed me, and I don't mean metaphorically. The path that I was walking down was one that ultimately was going to lead to my either active or passive death.
[01:08:53] I feel like my true self. The self that I was before, that was me certainly, but there were a lot of things obfuscating my view of myself that I really needed to deal with, in fact, that I was ignoring.
[01:23:36] I have some beliefs about myself that may or may not have evidence.
[01:26:10] [on determining what makes up her true personality] How much of my personality has evolved as a coping mechanism, and how much of this is who I really am?
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