Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why I Chose College (In the end)

This post is in response to a prompt at FTLOB.

I chose to go to college right out of high school.  I kind of went about it in a half-assed way though.  Although I had applied at an away-from-home school, and been accepted, and even offered a scholarship, I turned it down.  I decided I didn't want to leave my boyfriend at the time, much to the chagrin of my family and friends.  I decided that I would instead continue working almost full-time and attend a local community college.

Community college was great.  I saw some of my friends there, though most of them had gone away to school.  I still got to work and see my boyfriend all the time.  This worked for about a year.  I was in the beginning of my 2nd year when I got a new job that would require I work shift work.  This was not going to work if I was still going to school.  I decided that school would always be there, but that this job would not.  I opted for the job, and withdrew from my classes.

Fast forward another year and I was buying a house with the boyfriend.  This meant that I HAD to be working.  There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Fast forward yet another year and I was married and expecting my first child.  Life happened.  I tried to go back after the birth of my first child, but working full time, taking care of a baby, and not having the support from my then-husband was a recipe for failure.  I ended up passing all but one of my classes, but certainly not excelling in the ones I did manage to pass.

Seven years later, I found myself in another situation altogether.  I was no longer married to the same man.  I was moving out of state to go live with my current husband (we'd already been married about 9 months).  I had been applying and applying and applying for jobs in the area I was going to be living in.  I didn't get a single call back.  I realized that I would have to step up my game and finish school.  Getting a job without a degree is darn near impossible, especially if you want to make a decent salary.  I enrolled in an online school, that also has an actual campus near where I would be living.  I made up my mind before I ever moved that I had to finish.  This time, school was a priority.  2 years and 9 months later, I did it.  I graduated.  That is probably one of the most monumental experiences of my life.  Sitting in that auditorium, waiting for my name to be called, I became so emotional.  My parents and my husband, along with my youngest son were there to see me walk across that stage.  I was overjoyed, relieved, proud, happy, and sad all at the same time.  I was sad that school was over.  (Yes, I really enjoyed the experience).  I was proud of myself for not only finishing, but for graduation Summa Cum Laude.  What an accomplishment. All this while I was working full time, pregnant (for 9 months of it), and taking care of a new baby.

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