Sunday, April 29, 2012

T-5 and counting....

It is a bit weird and maybe even a bit surreal.  In 5 days I will be graduating from college - with a Bachelor's Degree.  I realize that this may seem like no big deal to most people, but then, I'm not most people.

Some of you may know my (pitiful) story, others may not.  Let me enlighten you.  I went to MSU the fall after I graduated from high school.  I had BIG dreams and BIGGER goals.  My intent was to double major/double minor.  I was going to major in accounting and music and minor in dance and computers.  Stupid?  Maybe, but it covered everything for me.  My dream was to own my own dance studio.  With the accounting degree, I figured I could work until I made enough money to open the studio and then I would be able to handle the business end by myself.  The music part was (is) just because I love music and am pretty sure I cannot function without it.  Computers?  Well, computers and technology are forever changing and I felt that it was important that I was educated. 

I failed.  Miserably.  Embarrassingly.  No, I'm not kidding.  I flunked out.  I didn't have the discipline or the know how.  I won't make excuses.  I screwed up.  I decided after that that I would take a year off.  I should have.  I didn't.  I ended up staying in the area and registering at the community college. Ha.  Guess what?!  I failed again.  Again, no excuses, I (continued to) screwed up.

I gave up after that .  Obviously, I was never going to get through college so I would just be a working stiff.  I worked. I played.  I had a baby.  I got married.  I had another baby.  I decided to try the community college again.  Seriously?!?  WTF is wrong with me?!?!  I tried this time.  I really did.  I got a little study group.  I worked.  I hated the "teacher."  He was like 5 years younger than me a dumb ass to boot.  Care to guess how that ended up?  Yep, another failure.

In 2008 my happy little world changed - drastically.  I had spent close to 7 years working 12-14 hour days between my "real" job and coaching.  In March of 2008 that changed.  I was no longer coaching.  Apparently, I was almost intolerable.  First, I had to adjust to not seeing my gym girls every day.  Then I had to adjust to not having anything to do.  Do you know me?  I am a constant movement kind of person.  I am ALWAYS doing something.  I do not think it is possible for me to just sit for the most part.  

I spent 3 1/2 months aggravating my family, getting fat, being semi-depressed and then I made a decision.  I decided I was going to go back to school again.  There were multiple reasons behind that decision - the most obvious being that I needed something to occupy myself.  The other reasons will remain my secret for now.  I searched the internet and did endless research trying to figure out how I could do this.  I finally settled on the University of Phoenix.  

Many people (even now) will doubt my decision.  Many people believe my degree is worth less than a degree from a "real" college.  I'm to the point now where I'm ok with that.  I make a lot of decisions that people don't agree with - always have.  The bottom line is that they are my decisions to make as it is my life. 

I have spent the last 4 years with only 10 weeks of "vacation" from school.  I have written more papers than all four years of high school and my 3 previous attempts at college combined.  I have cried more and spent more late nights working on homework than ever before.  Finally, I can see the end.  

I have 6 weeks of school left.  I graduate in 5 days and have 1 class left after graduation.  I will have an obscene amount of debt when I am done, but I will finally be able to say that I graduated from college.  I will be a college graduate.  For me, this is monumental, in some ways a dream come true.  I finally overcame an obstacle that for years I believed I would never be able to get past.  

I have survived.  I have accomplished.  I am a Phoenix.


  1. Someday I will see your smiling face on a TV ad or a billboard saying. "I am a Phoenix." I am so terribly proud of you.

  2. It's a great accomplishment. Plus, I regularly talk to managers and directors at work that I know and they'll tell you flat out they don't really care what the degree is or where it is from -- they just want 'a' degree (I've been given various reasons but they seem to boil down to they just want someone who's proven to be able to put in the work). I mean there are exceptions of course - you're not going to be an engineer without an engineering degree, but an accounting degree regardless of where it is from is still a great asset.