This week marks the end of my graduate program. On Sunday night, I will have submitted and defended my thesis. I am feeling bittersweet about all of this.
I began this program three years ago, although the dream of it started when I was still an undergrad. I wanted to continue my education because I loved my experience in higher education. I loved that I had chosen English and Literature as my major, because reading and writing have always been two of my passions. I began the graduate school application process while a junior in college, but the fates had other plans for me.
My husband's deployment, a full time job, three harrowing years of trying to get pregnant, and several graduate school acceptances later, I was ready to leave the job, forget about having kids, and chose which graduate school would be right for me.
But then, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. All of my well-laid plans took a backseat to preparing for our daughter. I stayed at the job, gave birth to a beautiful girl, and decided that an online graduate school would work best for my situation. I worked all day, took care of her at night, and when she was asleep, I worked on my coursework. It's been three years since I began the program, and I have not regretted it once--not that it took so long for me to finally get here, not that our daughter came unexpectedly, and not that I attended a school, online, that I'd never considered before.
The three years I've been working on this degree haven't been quiet, either. My father got cancer, my husband changed jobs, and we became pregnant again with our second daughter. However, not once did I think of quitting. It was time for this dream to come true, along with all the hardships and joys that came with it.
Next week, this phase in my life will be over, but it will always stay with me as an example of what I can do despite the twists and turns that will always come. It's also something that I can show my daughters that I did, despite sometimes overwhelming odds. I did it. They can do it. You can, too.