Tuesday, May 4, 2010

College Graduate - FINALLY!!!

Tonight is my final class before I graduate from Northern Arizona University on Saturday. I am so excited and I really need the break that not going to school will give me...

My college story...

Off and on, since I graduated from high school back in 1996, I have been going to college. First I went to a local community college back in Vancouver, WA right after high school. My parents had just divorced before I graduated and I couldn’t afford to go away to college like all of my friends did. So, I stayed home and went to the local college. I went straight through for 2 years and got my associates degree. But something happened along the way...I began dating my husband. We had went to the same high school, but he was waayyy cooler and a year older than me so we had never talked in school. Then we started working in the same grocery store and had a couple of classes together and we just clicked.

After graduating with my associates, I went to Washington State University with my hubby (he was my boyfriend at that time). We moved in together and well, life took over. We were married in 2000 and I slowly transitioned from part-time to full-time at my job, while tranisitioning from full-time student to part-time. We bought a house and eventually college just slowly became an afterthought. Life got in the way. We had bills to pay and college just didn’t seem to matter anymore. So what did I do? Well, I did the stupid thing...I dropped out of college with just 24 credits left to complete. 24 credits...that’s just 8 classes.

Flash forward to 2008...I now have a 1 year old son, I work full-time, my husband works full-time and I realize that I really want to go back and finish my college career. I REALLY, REALLY want to finish what I started. I love learning and looking back, I can’t believe that I ever quit. So, I talk to an advisor at a local college (Northern Arizona University) and I started back in the fall of 2008. It was hard...very hard. There are some days that I don’t even know how I was able to find the hours in the day to make it all work. Many of my credits didn’t transfer from Washington to Arizona, so I needed more than the 24 credits that I had left when I dropped out.

Over the last two years I have taken at least 9 credits each semester, even the summer semesters, but I DID IT! I am now even graduating with a 4.0 and I am so proud of myself. It has been a long road, but worth each and every weekend and late night spent doing homework and every missed night from home. I will have a diploma that no one can take away from me...something that proves that hard work does pay off. It is also a way that I can show others that they can do it too...it takes sacrifices, but those sacrifices are just temporary. They are just short term and the payoff is so huge. If you are on the fence, just go for it! I guarantee you it’s worth it!

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