Sunday, May 13, 2012

Education Story

And on this day, May 12, 2012, I am a College of Western Idaho graduate. A graduate! Me! I graduated!! I have a Professional Technical Certificate in Medical Administrative Support. And I graduated.

I began my higher education at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah in 2000. For the first time in over four years, I went to classes in classrooms. I had been home-taught during grades 10-12. Before that, I attended private schools, and before that, I was homeschooled following kindergarten and 1st Grade, when I attended Bennion Elementary School in Bennion, UT.

Snow College was, at first, a terrifying and greatly exciting time for me. The terror quickly faded and I loved my time in the classroom. I loved everything about school. I loved the freedom, the homework, the learning, the tests, the finals, even. I loved the professors and the students. I loved my roommates. I loved that I made the Dean's List every semester I was there. I loved the smell of campus and the taste of A's. I loved Ephraim. I loved the Spirit of Snow College.

I naturally chose English as my major. I love words, and since Kindergarten, I've dreamed of being a writer. So, English major it was. I intended to get my associates at Snow and then continue onto a Master's degree from USU. In addition to wanting to be a writer, I also wanted to be a professor.

But, things don't usually happen as planned, and due to circumstances I need not discuss here, I dropped out after a year of school. It was a very difficult and sorrowful decision, but I still know it was the best one. I moved back home to Nampa with my parents and started working at Blockbuster Video. The following Fall, I started school again at Boise State. I did poorly that semester, because I met and fell in love with my ex husband, Randy. All I could think about was him. He asked me to marry him in November, and I said yes of course, so I didn't return to school the next semester, but got married in March of 2003.

Then happened the whole marriage fiasco.... Oh, and two fantastic kids. :)  When the divorce began in 2007, I knew I'd need something better for my kids. I moved to Rexburg in 2008 and started school in January 2009 at BYU-Idaho. I knew that I needed to change my major because I didn't want to be in school for the next 6 years trying to get a master's degree in English, and I knew that a bachelor's in English was about as good as a GED. I changed my major to Communications with Public Relations focus, because that way I'd still get to write.

It was so great to be back in the classroom again, but it was so different as a mom. I had to work out daycare and work and homework and housework and I had to fit feeding my kids somewhere in my schedule. They were 5 and 4, still so young. I was driving back to Nampa every other weekend for my ex's visitation. Every month was a huge financial struggle because I wasn't using student loans. And I was going through an insane custody battle with my ex. I was in Rexburg 2 years, 2 very dark and trying years, the most trying of my life. And so in the middle of my 3rd semester, April of 2010, I'd had enough. I was burned out, deflated, depressed. I couldn't take another day of school. I interviewed for a job in Meridian and I got it, and I moved home about one second after my two weeks' notice with my employers was complete. I never wanted to see another text book again.

That didn't last long. The very next year, I applied at CWI, and was accepted. I didn't attend that year because I focused, instead, on buying my house. The following Fall, last year, I began again my education. But I knew I wasn't going to finish a degree. The very idea was too daunting to undertake. I singed up for the Medical Administrative Support program, wanting to get a better job than the one I had, and return to school several years later when the kids are older.

And now.... I'm a graduate! This education train ride has paused for a time. I'm done with school for a while with both thrills and saddens me. To me, this graduation of a professional program means so much more than one year of school. To me, it represent the blood, sweat, and tears of education that began 12 years ago. To me, it's a testimony that I can do anything I want to do. To me, it's an example to my children, and of what I want for them. It's a representation of my love and dedication to them, my sweet, sweet angels. To me, it's a reminder that God is always with me. Look where He's taken me now!

Today is a very, very special day for me. Yes, I'm proud of myself. I'm so grateful to God for this beautiful opportunity, and for helping me through school. Today, I FINISHED something that I started. Today is the best day of my life, and today is the first day of the rest of my life! (I totally just now made up that phrase. Never been used before, nope.)

Tomorrow I will write about the graduation itself, because, my goodness, do I ever have some stories. :)

1 comment:

Angela said...

Congratulations Stephanie!