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…
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.
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.
(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.
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!)