Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Returning to School as a "Grown Up"

I know in my last post I told you to expect more pictures, less words. But then I looked back at the last five posts and realized they were nothing but pictures.... I figured you guys missed me. (You did, right?  Or are you just here for pictures of Henry?)  Plus, as it turns out, things are rather calm around here.  I was thinking about what I need to do for school today, and realized that, for the first time in two years, I only have ONE thing to do.  Study for my final.

My FINAL final.

In twelve days I will be posting pictures of me walking across the graduation stage, accepting my Master's in Public Health with (unless MADNESS occurs with this FINAL final) a 4.0 GPA.  When I was accepted into the program two years ago I looked at the course work I needed, looked at a calendar, and realized if I took two classes every semester, plus summer classes, I could complete this thing in two years. 

While working full time.

Having Nick and Henry at home, attempting to be the best wife and mama I could be.

With soccer schedules, then tball schedules.  

Having Missy sick... then losing her.

With my endometriosis getting worse, and then having a hysterectomy.

With Life.  And not a college student's life, which is busy and full and totally a LIFE...but a life built around school.  My life was not built around school.  My life was completely full without classes and homework, papers and exams.  And in a very surprising way, I feel that made me a better student.  I know for a fact it made me a better student than I would have been if I went straight from undergrad to graduate school.  Because working full time, having a family and a life, it made me value this more.  I looked at the time I was giving to this program as time not spent with my family.  And if it was valuable enough to keep me from them, then I was sure as hell going to make it worth it.

Now, as it wraps up, I believe I have made the most of this time.  I have constantly worked hard.  I have made lasting connections with my classmates and my professors, many of whom I have come to consider as friends as well as future colleagues.  I have learned to multitask and work quickly and efficiently in a way I may not have if not juggling classes with a full time grown up life.  And most importantly, I have discovered what I want to do with the rest of my working life.  I have found a field I am passionate about, and after working full time for ten years, I know how absolutely valuable that is. 

Twelve days.  And then the next chapter starts.  


  1. "I looked at the time I was giving to this program as time not spent with my family. And if it was valuable enough to keep me from them, then I was sure as hell going to make it worth it." I am a first time commenter but have been reading for a few years. This part resonanted with me as I will be beginning a Master's program in June and it will take sacrificing a lot of time with my husband and two girls. I had not thought of it this way but it is refreshing to see someone who went through and succeeded with an awesome GPA. I only hope I can do as well as you!

  2. This post was so inspiring to me!! I have two young boys and went back to graduate school last may. I have one more year to go. I also teach 1st graders full time. I did not have the same mind set as you that if it was valuable enough to take my time away from my family then I should make it worth it. I was very bitter about it!!! Thankfully I have this summer off without any classes (and lucky me no work either :) ) I'm going to soak every second in with my family and be ready to start back in august with that mindset! I thought I had so much going on with grad school and felt like a hero just working, being a mom, and taking classes.... But you most definitely made me put things into perspective! I did not have the health issues, family death, and crazy sports schedules all thrown in there as well!!! Hats off to you momma!!!! I always laughed and said I would never go to my masters graduation.... After all this work, I will be walking across that stage PROUD!!! :) congratulations to you!! You deserve it!!!

  3. I am so inspired by you - you're amazing.

    And I can't wait to see what you're going to do next!