7 Years? It’s Not a Long Time, It’s Called Endurance

I have been in my post-secondary journey to a bachelor’s degree for seven years. It’s sickening to think of, actually. My biggest argument is: It’s hard for an 18 year old to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their life without life experiences to help guide that decision.

My education journey starts in high school. I was blessed with the most amazing English teacher. She taught me proper grammar, usage, essay writing skills, and comprehension. I don’t always execute these aspects perfectly but I strive to sound educated. I thoroughly enjoy writing and the whole writing process. My junior high & high school English teacher was Mrs. Hilyard. I firmly believe that she set my educational foundation. I don’t know if she will ever really know the impact she had on my life. She gave me the skills to be successful through English skills. I left high school knowing how to properly MLA format a paper, to write in complete sentences and paragraphs, and how to construct my writing properly.

I feel stressed writing this because I don’t want to make any mistakes! Geez, I just set such a high bar, I have to make sure this is perfect now! This is the perfect segway into my second aspect…

(Photo CC- By Enokson) 6124465878_d6c691d321_n 6124465564_9e29d355a9_b

My second experience is coming face-to-face with the fact that I am a perfectionist and possibly OCD when it comes to education. I never wanted a grade below an A in school & that followed me into college. I believe this has been an asset to my learning experience. I strive to be the best I can be (sound like the Army slogan there) and I want to show that I comprehend the material and can perform at an optimal level. I’m not a cocky person, I just try really hard. I like to put in the time and effort to see positive results. This has spread to other areas of my life as I have grown and matured. My husband asked me the other day, “Is it possible for the house to be too clean? If so, you’re bordering on it right now.” I asked with an excited voice, “Is that a compliment?” Point proven.

(Photo CC- By RSPCA WOAW )6679845661_ef1cf64004_b

This is what I look like when I get a B on an assignment. Like I said…possibly OCD.

My major education disappointment was choosing to quit the dental hygiene & nursing programs that I was accepted into. First of all, if you take a gander at the picture below, this is the single reason why I walked out of nursing school on the first day. Needles make me nauseous. But I didn’t know this because I never had life experiences in the nursing field.
4473158825_5509cdeb68_m(Photo CC- By Lower Columbia College)

I left the dental hygiene program because I’m okay with clean mouths but I know I couldn’t handle a dirty, germy mouth of someone else. Nope, not happening. Plus, I would have needed to stay for another year and my heart just wasn’t in it.

I had never given up on anything before but this was the realization I needed. I found this all out after my second year of college so it was time that I change directions. But where do I go now? At this time I finished my Associates degree and moved back home. I felt defeated. After two years of school & I still didn’t have a clear direction of what I wanted to do.

But to my rescue came my Prince Charming! My boyfriend and I got engaged & I moved up to northeast Wyoming with him. I still didn’t know my educational direction but needed a job in the meantime. I took a job as a special education paraprofessional. I loved this! This job is what gave me the inspiration I was looking for. It came when I wasn’t even looking for it. When I saw the progress the students were making it just gave me such gratification for what I was doing. I was seeing the difference I was making & right then I knew I belonged in education. I knew this is where my heart belonged & I want to make an impact in students’ lives. I believe strongly in education & that valuable teachers are priceless.

10771814294_8413c9ab4e_b(Photo CC- By Celestine Chua)

Lastly, my biggest support system that has made my education journey possible is my family. First is was my immediate family and now it is my husband and baby girl. I have so much support from the entire family. My husband is okay with the debt I’m racking up and knows it will all be worth it in the end. My baby girl is so good and helps me study and cooperates when I need to finish my assignments and tests in the evenings. I am so thankful for the support system that I have. They are making my endurance race in completing my education possible.


(Photo CC- Sherry Haiar)

I love my little family! They are the reason why I am still pursuing my degree. (Well, that and after 7 years if I’m not going to be a doctor by now I better be getting some sort of degree!)


11 thoughts on “7 Years? It’s Not a Long Time, It’s Called Endurance

  1. Hi Brittany,

    We are like two peas in a pod when it comes to education and drive to do well. I think I have 7 B’s on my transcript…however, I’ve stopped being surprised! haha Some classes are hard enough that I’m ok with a B. 🙂

    I, too, have a support net in my family, and my husband, the ever patient saint.

    I wish I’d stayed in the teaching program when I returned to college at UNK…ah, well, as my mom would say, “If wishes and buts were candy and nuts, we’d have Christmas every day!” Instead I went full tilt in Theatre, got my BA, MFA and then went professional. Now I’m back in school getting my Language Arts endorsement. I have my Theatre endorsement completed already, but there aren’t too many schools with a Theatre program.

    I know I love teaching, love being around the students, and feel like I belong in the school whenever I step into the building…so I’m really looking forward to teaching.

    I’m keeping copies of the writing process and writing types charts. I’ll add it to my Pinterest! I capture everything like this on Pinterest for future reference. 🙂 What would I do if Pinterest went down? Then I’d look like your bunny! haha

    Thanks for sharing!

    Vicky D
    Peanut Butter Theater

    • I love your mom’s quote! She is a wise woman. It sounds like you’ve had numerous experiences in life that have brought you to this place. I’m glad that you have a love of teaching, too! I can’t wait to educate students. I also think that keeping copies to your Pinterest account is a great idea! I’m going to have to do that, too. Lastly, I’m glad you thought my bunny was funny!

  2. I have spent many years pursuing my education degree as well. Also starting a family between school years, and working as a special education paraprofessional have been a part of my journey too. I think the time it has taken and the experiences I have had caused me to grow in ways college never could. I think college has taught me lessons it would have taken 20 years of life experience to learn.

    Now that you have experienced life, you will know that the degree that you worked so hard for is exactly what you want to do! Good luck!

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for commenting! We have much of the same experiences in our school ventures. I think that life experiences are so valuable to finding what we really want to be when we grow up. After watching this week’s TED Talk by Logan LaPlante I learned that I must be happy & healthy before I can achieve in life & it’s so nice to be at that point in life. I feel like the future is bright!

  3. I loved hearing about your story and we have very much in common! I was one also that had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up and I jumped into something that I knew I quickly did not want to do. Here I am almost nine years later (oops) about to finish my bachelors! I also am very OCD. It drives my husband absolutely crazy! Its crazy how sometimes all we need is time to figure things out!

  4. I enjoyed reading your story. I also an a non-traditional student. It takes courage to continue to pursue a college degree. I think it is wonderful you have a supportive family, what a blessing!!! I look forward to getting to know you through this course.

    • Thanks, Angie! It’s nice to have more non-traditional students in these classes. We are all relatively in the same “boat” & can sympathize about life issues that keep us from our homework sometimes.

  5. Great post! I love the photo of you and your family–just beautiful! I like to think of myself as a recovering perfectionist, but it’s a constant work in progress. Teaching definitely challenged me in this area: as a control freak, it was hard to accept that I actually couldn’t control everything in my classroom. But it’s been as a parent that I have had my best learning in this area. Again, though, it’s a constant work in progress. I want to always do and say the right thing with my son, but I don’t even always know what that is!

    • I agree, it’s a constant learning process & I’m enjoying every moment! Parenting is best learning tool– everything is about the little one, whether they are messy, on their own schedule, or go along with our plans– they keep it interesting & they are definitely the best part of life!

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