I can’t believe it has already been almost 20 years since I went to college. Wow! Where has the time gone? When I was recently asked by our sponsors, Western Governors University, “How College Changed My Life” I was taken back to a time in my life when things were not easy. Its a time I have never written about and a story I have never told. In hopes to encourage others, I figured this was as good a time as any to share my story about how college can be possible for anyone, even when life gives you lemons.
Making College Possible… When Plans Change
College was never really a “choice” for me growing up. My mom always wanted the best for me and that meant going to college. Starting in 8th grade, she handed me a book from the library that was about 300 pages thick and had EVERY college degree offered. Neither she nor I could have predicted what would happen in the next few years leading up to college.
In 4 short years, my parents got divorced, my Dad was in a horrific car accident, we lost our house, and life as we knew it changed. In fact, I spent my junior year of high school living on my own and finding my own way to make it to college. It was not what we planned. It was not the story we thought I would be telling.
You might be wondering what this has to do with you? What does this mean for you, a mother? A grown adult?
Making College Possible… When Life Gets Busy
You see, I spent my 4 years of college driving 30 minutes every day to the nearest town so I could work a full time job. I took as many classes as they would allow, so I could finish my courses within my grant’s timeline, and I spent countless hours trying to manage both school, work and home life.
I know now, that this is what prepared me for handling struggles later in life as a mom. I have learned that sometimes life won’t look like the billboards or the magazine ads, but if I work hard, I can attain what I want and reach my goals. Because, let’s face it, once motherhood happens, priorities change. Goals are readjusted. Everything shifts.
So what if college could have been an easier option?
Making College Possible… When Motherhood Takes Over
Now, almost 20 years later, I still have goals. I still have dreams. I still have plans. Those things don’t change just because you become a mother, but how you attain those goals does change. The first time I went to college, I had plans of teaching in a public school for a few years and then opening my own school. College was a mandated requirement for my profession.
It prepared me for 12 years in the classroom, a National Board Certification and lots of opportunities. At one point, I attempted to get my masters, because if you know anything about the way a pay schedule works in education, you know higher education is the only way to get a raise. I made it 2 semesters before life got in the way. Once again, divorce changed my path. This time it was my own divorce. Now I was a mom of two little ones, working to keep our house and trying to stay on top of things. Making it to classes on the other side of the city weren’t in the cards at the moment. What if there was another way?
Making College Possible for Everyone
WGU is an online university started by 19 Governors (hence the name). WGU is a nonprofit, accredited university– their goal is to address the obstacles facing those who are looking to advance or enter a new phase of their career – such as budget, schedule restraints, changes in life plans, and even, motherhood.
Going to college doesn’t have to mean leaving your children. It doesn’t have to mean giving your children less of you. You no longer have to sit in a classroom every day to get your college degree.
You can do it on your schedule when you have time.
- For some, that may mean waiting until your youngest child is in school full time OR
- Late at night when your baby is asleep OR
- During your lunch break at work.
Allowing the flexibility in your studies gives you better control of balancing your life with your school, work and family.
Watching this video brings tears to my eyes because I know that feeling of graduating. WGU is making it possible for everyone to follow their dreams. If going to college and getting a degree is something you desire, they can help you make that possible.
I had to abandon my master’s degree because this flexibility wasn’t available to me at the time. Don’t put your dreams on hold like I did.
Making College Possible… With a Little Help
WGU is offering my readers a special code to waive the $65 application fee. Head over to the WGU site and check out the areas of study they offer. WGU excels in four main areas : Business, information technology, education, and nursing. Find out more here.
What Obstacles Have You Overcome to Reach Your Dreams?
We want to know! We want to hear from you and hear your stories! Did you make goals and life got in the way? Do you still have goals and dreams that have been hard now that you are a mother? We want to hear all about it!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Western Governors University. The opinions and text are all mine.