Sitting in the University of Nevada‘s
library knowledge center for the last time as a graduate student feels good. Everything I have worked for has come to a head. I wait impatiently (patience has never been a strong point for me) for my last final to begin tonight. Let me take a trip down memory lane as I reminisce about the past few years…
let’s take a trip back in time together to 1985
I am one of those people who went to college right after high school only to find myself unfocused and unprepared to commit to an education. After two years in school, my future seemed nebulous as I got married at age 20 (yeah I know it is young) started a new life as an entrepreneur, then a mom, single parent, newly remarried, etc, etc.
Fast forward 20 years to 2005 (sound effects should be beeping as we travel in time) First, where did all the time go? I don’t feel that much older. While I was skating through life, my husband completed his MBA and passed all the CPA exams. His accomplishments were amazing. He was amazing.
Yet for all of the admiration, I was bitter that I never finished college. Not completing a degree felt like I was missing something big. As one chapter in life closed (Formals Bridal), another was opening (Miriam Gomberg; student) right in front of me. Rather than sulking or hanging out at the gym, Robert sent me back to school to finish the education I left incomplete 20 years earlier.
In 3 years I had a BS in health science. Did I just do that? Now I was amazing too. I cried like a baby during the graduation ceremony. This was a colossal accomplishments. One problem was that I graduated in 2008 right as the economy was falling apart. Better to stay in school and keep going. After all, if I didn’t continue while in the mode, I probably wouldn’t ever go back again.
what did I get myself into?
Enter the MBA program at UNR. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the program after taking the GMAT 3 times (yeah, I felt dumb too). The difference was that not only was I a wife, mom and student, but a full time retail manager as well.
It was expected for students to work in the field, but in retail, there is no office in which to do homework during off-times. Long stretches of time are spent on your feet and the hours can be crazy as well. This was to be a bigger challenge than earlier expected.
Yay! I’m done!!
December 10, 2011 was graduation. It was exhilarating putting on the cap, gown and hood. Funny I didn’t cry at all during this graduation. The past few weeks have been unbearable in that I suffered from an acute case of senioritis.
I always prided myself in the quality of work I presented while in school. College is a privilege, that I did not take for granted. There are not many people who are allowed the chance to return to school after a 20 year hiatus.
lesson learned: I can do anything (with perseverance of course)
A substantial lesson I hope to pass on from this is what it takes to complete something as important as higher education. There were sacrifices I made, along with family and friends in order to make the dream a reality. My children saw how hard I worked for the past several years and that even when I would complain, I never gave up as It was never an option.
So where do I go from here? Which path should I take? At this point, my future is still cloudy. There are no guarantees that people (employers, etc.) will find my education or services valuable. Just because I graduated, does not mean I will discover a dream career right away. It is all part of the journey, and it fulfilled a personal need to grow. What else could I possibly ask for?