May
2015

Getting the Degree I Always Wanted

It took me a long time to realize it, but college is the best possible way to build a career. I have been excited about my return to school, and I know that my wife is as well. This has been a long journey, but I finally realized what I am suppose to be doing. I also realize how I am supposed to be doing it.

I have started school several times and stopped. I started going to college right after high school, but I wasn’t really feeling it. I was going more so to please my parents. By the end of my freshman year I realized that I had to do something that would please me. I stopped and got a job. I married a year later and tried to go after my wife ushered me back into it. Again, I felt like someone was guiding me into something that I was interested in or mentally prepared for. I stayed a couple of years longer, but I still stopped a semester short of my degree. It was when my wife got pregnant that I considered all the times that I had tried to go because someone was pushing me into college. I was starting to consider this for myself now that my family unit was going to increase in size. I still wasn’t totally sure though so I kept working.

It was when my wife had to go on maternity leave that I started calculating how much it would cost to raise a child. We were barely making enough between us to support ourselves. It seemed insane to think that we would somehow have to cut back and include a baby into our monthly budget. I considered what I was making right now, and started a job search. My efforts were limited in many areas because I did not have a degree. It was then that I knew that I didn’t have to go back to college for my parents or my wife. I had to go back for myself. I wanted to make more money, and the only way that I could do that was by returning to finish my degree.

I found a local college that would accept my credits from my old school. I enrolled after my son was born and got motivated. I know that this will help me get the income boost I deserve.

Apr
2015

Scholarships Are Not Just Invisible Money

7

Have you ever sat in bed wondering where life will take you after you graduate from high school? Have you ever wondered what college was truly all about? Or how your life could change based on whether or not you get a scholarship, grant, or a million loans? I surely hadn’t until after the fact.

I remember applying for scholarships and asking myself what they really meant. I wasn’t excited to know whether or not my horrible essays were actually worth the five hundred dollars I was applying for. I just knew that I didn’t want to write those essays. I didn’t even understand what that five hundred dollars actually meant. All I could think about was summer and soaking in the sunshine on the beach with my friends for the very last time before I had to study for real exams.

I guess you’d be surprised then to know I have grown up a little since then. It’s been just a year, but I now know what five hundred dollars means. Five hundred dollars means one credit in the twelve I am required to take per semester. Five hundred dollars means buying half of my required books for said semester. Five hundred dollars means I get to eat for that one semester. Five hundred dollars is what I could have lost had I failed that one credit band course I took my first semester.

I remember my mom being so excited when I got a four thousand dollar scholarship from the local community foundation. I wish I had known just what it meant then because I would have celebrated with her. Instead, I was worried about what swim suit I should buy at the mall to impress my boyfriend at the time. I can’t believe that I was worried about a fifty dollar swim suit and not about the education that would determine what I did with my life.

Well, I am happy to report that I am now a little more understanding and willing to apply for scholarships. I’ve seen friends with no money pay for college educations that were elaborate and fancy. I’ve seen myself grow into a more responsible adult who consciously thinks about money and a career now. I thought scholarships would be all about the money. About money I was never going to see and never going to hold. Now with a job, loans, grants, and scholarships I understand that every little piece is a key to the future. Each scholarship is a puzzle piece that is needed to complete the picture. Scholarships aren’t money because scholarships are priceless. Scholarships are education and a promise to provide. Take them seriously!

Mar
2015

The Brochure to My Dreams

8

It has been really hard for me to further my education because of transportation issues and the fact that I am a stay at home mom with three children. I honestly almost gave up on my dreams of becoming a veterinarian until I got a brochure in the mail with an online course for a veterinarian assist! I thought it was to good to be true at first until I called the school myself. The lady I talked to was absolutely wonderful and understanding to my situation at home. She explained to me about making by own studying hours and how there were only certain days a week (very few) that I needed to attend online seminars. When she told me that I automatically knew I needed to take on this class immediately. It was the perfect fit for someone like me.

This past Friday I finally saved enough money to pay for the class and I had my first seminar last night. So far everything seems very doable and my kids have been so great for me since I started. Every time I hop on the computer they know that mom is studying so they need to go play for a little while until I finish up my work. My mother offered to help watch them if I ever needed to finish work or attend a seminar so I am very appreciative of her support as well. Although I do not think I will need a babysitter for the kids, it is great to know that I have the backup if it is needed. My mother is great with the kids to so it is definitely a plus!

From what I read I have exactly 12 months to finish the course so I really need to try setting goals on how much I need to be studying each night. There is so much stuff that goes along with this! I think learning the anatomy of an animal will be the hardest part for me but it is definitely not something I cant figure out with some research. Tonight after I lay the kids down to bed I am going to sit out and actually plan out a schedule instead of just talking about it. I honestly think it will boost my motivation more towards my education and help me from not stressing out because of my poor timing habits.

Mar
2015

Tired Of Being Overlooked For Promotions

9

I was tired of being overlooked when it came to promotions in my department at work. I worked hard, but others, who didn’t seem to put as much effort into their jobs, were being promoted ahead of me. Finally, in desperation, I asked my supervisor what I was doing wrong. She looked at me carefully and asked me what I had majored in in college. Then, she went a step further and asked me if I had completed my degree.

I shamefully admitted that I was a few credits shy of receiving my degree but, at the time I was desperate to get into the work force. She suggested that I consider going back for the few credits I was missing and getting my degree. She told me that the only difference between my co workers and myself, was that degree.

To my delight, I found out that my company actually had an education program that would help me to earn my degree. I would be reimbursed for my courses as long as I completed them and passed. I began to search for a college that had the courses I required to get my degree.

I took night classes and worked during the day. I was exhausted, but it was well worth my efforts. After six months of this I was at long last able to get my degree. When I thought about it, six months really wasn’t that long. I wish I had stayed with it in my younger years, I had a lot more energy then. However, it was something that I did accomplish so that made me feel good about myself.

The next time promotions came around I put in my request for a position two tiers above where I was currently at. I thought it was a long shot but I held my ground at the first interview. By the second interview I knew that I would be a shoe in, the other employees hadn’t been with the company as long as I had and in spite of the fact that they all had degrees, so did I now. That meant they had to hire the employee that had been with the company the longest.

That employee was me. I got the promotion and my former supervisor took me to lunch to celebrate. I thanked her for her inspirational insights and told her how much I appreciated her.