In 2004 I began the thing called college. I’d only applied to one school and if WKU didn’t accept me, I really have no idea what I would have done. That was the only place I wanted to go. The only school I looked at, traveled to it was it. All or nothing. I couldn’t wait to be a full-time student. High school wasn’t something I wanted to do. More like a really annoying stepping stone. I hated high school I felt weird and out-of-place (but I really wonder who doesn’t). I was so proud of myself when I received my acceptance letter. I remember that day so crystal clear. I got the mail when I got home from school. (This was also the same time that Phil was in boot camp and I was a semi mail nazi. No one touched the mail before me. I had to get those letters from Phil). So I was sitting in my car flipping through the mail looking for that letter from Phil when there it was. This was also the same day as the senior dinner dance. But there it was, I was accepted to the only school in the state of Kentucky that had an amazing Journalism program, the only school where I wanted to be. Getting accepted so early probably made it all the worse. I was so ready to leave Simon Kenton behind. Then finally I was there.
Fall 2004 I had graduated high school and was starting my dream college. While I would never admit it then. I was so scared. I was so far away from my family. Phil was so far away. I really didn’t know anyone. I was regretting getting all the same classes as Trista because I thought she’d hate me, I had come on so strong because I was so desperate for a friend. I thought she’d avoid me (Thank God she didn’t). School was something I had to work at. It was a struggle. Not to attend classes or understand it, it was the work. The reading the assignments. I wish I could go back and really do better. I was better than that, or at least I think I was. I wasn’t sure that I could do it. I wasn’t sure if I could handle it. But I felt like I was doing good. I really loved being there. Now something I didn’t really see coming and wasn’t planned in my overall layout of life plan was Phillip.
Before I met him, I was determined to have all these job related goals done before I even thought about finding the man I would want to spend my life with. Then Phil and I started dating the beginning of my senior year. The crazy part was that I knew pretty early on in the relationship that he was it. I was done in the guy department. No one else could ever be as good for me as he was. This guy was just amazing. But that really screwed up my plan, well not at first. At first he’d do his time as a Marine, I’d do my time as a student and then when the time was all up we’d be together and go from there. Well then we had to jump the gun and decide we had to be married before he shipped out to Iraq. Which while love and romance played a factor, it really came down to money. Married he would make more money while he was overseas. I was so in love that my plan no longer mattered. He mattered. Being with him mattered. If I was with him, I’d be fine and I knew that all the way to my core. (And that still holds true). As all plans do, mine change. The end of my sophomore year I chose to leave school because mine changed. I was pregnant with my daughter. My family had to come first. I had to move to NC to be with my husband. To raise our family.
If I’m honest, I have to admit, there was a part of me that knew I’d never step foot on campus again as a student. No matter what I said, what Phil said I didn’t believe I would. I wanted to and leaving meant a part of me died. School was something I loved. Not having it meant a part of my heart was gone. But I focused on the good. Have a child was good. Very good. Giving up my education would work out, someway somehow. I didn’t have a clue how but I knew I’d manage.
Life continued and when Phil medically retired from the Corps and we moved back home I was disappointed. It was what was best for the family (only slightly though). We needed that time to figure out our monies and all that and needed the time to plan our next move. But as much as I loved being five minutes away from my mommy, I hated living there. I felt like a failure because that was like the nail in the coffin of my school. I was never going to go back. We were home and I was going to rot there. No matter how well intention people were in things they said to me, I had given up so much for my family I just wanted to be selfish once and go back to school. But everyday we weren’t there but home was another day of “maciena you’re not going back.” It was awful. I felt awful. I hated everything and everyone. Whether or not I’d admit it then, it was the truth. (The back injury didn’t help matters either.)
So to say I was beyond excited when we finally moved to Bowling Green in 2009 would be a huge understatement. I was finally getting my chance at doing what I’ve wanted to do since 5th grade. I was nervous, wasn’t sure how things would work, but thrilled. I couldn’t wait to re-enroll. To be a student again. Joy. Pure joy at that thought.
Balancing school with family isn’t easy, and while I’ve made light of it often, it is really hard. School is a commitment. Much like marriage or being a parent. You have to work it, but time you don’t have into it. Spend hours with it. But when you are married and have a child you have to and need to put them above everything, with school there too I was faced with really hard choices. Do I cuddle with the daughter or sit at the desk and type a paper. If I choose the daughter then I fail the class, if I choose the class what would the effect be on her. Most college students only have to deal with grades and social lives, my choices could have huge impacts on my daughter and her well-being. My marriage. Ect ect.
But finally I was reaching the place where I knew it was coming to an end. Which as much as I’m thankful that my degree is completed, I’m sad that chapter is over.
I knew it was over when I started recognizing that I didn’t belong there. Buildings were changing, the layout of campus (sidewalks, roads) were changing. I didn’t match the other students. They were wearing clothing that I felt was too young. So I know it’s time to move on. But I’m sad it is. Being me is complicated.
I’m glad I went back. I’m glad it’s over. I’m so proud of myself for finishing. I really wasn’t sure I ever would. Or if I did what the point would be. I feel like I’m ready to be an adult now. I know that sounds crazy since my 27th birthday is around the corner, I’ve been married 7 years and I have two children. But I’m ready to be an adult.
Now I’m a college graduate. I had a double major in Journalism and Anthropology. So now I’m trying to find a job in the newspaper business. I’m really excited for the possibilities scared of the uncertainties and ready for this change.
With all that being said.
that is all.