I’ve been going to college since like 2008 and guess what? I still have no degree.
It’s not because I can’t do the work, or I’m not smart enough or determined enough, but because circumstances have made it a little harder on me to finish.
The first two years, I was on the Dean’s List and I should have already had my AA at least, but being that I was only going part-time, an AA was going to take me at least three. So I was determined to finally get a Business Management degree.
I have had aspirations of running my own store, business, something. I know it’s a lot harder than it really looks. You think that your managers at the store are just messing around in the back, letting you do all the hard stuff? No way. It is so much more than that and I was intrigued and enthralled to learn more about what it took to manage a retail store. I used to watch closely as my managers and team leaders delegated tasks, create schedules and work on numbers. Looking at planograms for a new display for the sales floor and keeping up with the latest trends and business news. It was interesting to say the least. All I wanted to do was learn how to run the store. From learning how to do business math, to learning the ins and outs of human resources, and even learning about marketing. I love it. I still do. As much as I love logistics, the beauty of what is business management is what really grasps my attention.
So, if you didn’t notice, my college major is Business Management. But I want it to have a special concentration on Logistics. My father practically raised me in a warehouse, and I used to love it. I used to pick lines and scan boxes and listen to him yell at drivers while he was a dispatcher. He was always such a role model to me. Take no shit attitude and knew the business inside and out. I’ve always looked forward to working in that environment. Hustle and Bustle. All rush rush rush. I love the fast pace of the job and all it has to offer. For me, it’s rewarding to see all the work done. Even when I sat at a computer for 8-hours a day at Mack Trucks, just typing in numbers for locations, keeping our inventory updated, I used to love seeing my In-stack empty and the Out-Stack full.
Anyway, back to college stuff.
I want to continue my education. I want to finish my degree. It has taken me too long to try to get this degree and now even more things are hindering my process. I can’t afford it. Yes, I’ve tried loans but I already have loans out to my eyeballs that I have to pay back since I hadn’t finished before. Yes, I’ve tried to go for financial aid, but I can’t get any because I need to complete another 15% before they will give it to me due to not finishing.
Let’s see, first problem: I was doing classes online. No go for me. I did well for the first two years because I was not distracted by life. I moved into my own place and it became an issue to have time on the computer at all.
Second problem: Then the computers broke. I didn’t break them, but he did. So, there went my way to finish my tests and classwork. I thought about the library: one hour time limit. Hours weren’t going to suit my seminar times. I failed out. I cried. I tried again. I apparently do not have the attention span to sit at the computer without wandering onto something else.
Third problem: I did it during the summer when the girls were restless and didn’t want to stay stuck in the house for 8 hours. Right now, my girls are in school and I should have waited last term to do it this term and I probably would have done so much better. With the girls home during the summer, I didn’t last long. I tried though… But trying isn’t enough if you don’t finish.
Last, but not least: Time Management. They go over this with you from the first day. “Learn how to manage your time.” I’m not structured enough to really manage time. I just go with it. I have no focus or patience. I can’t sit still all the time… unless it is for useless crap, I’ve noticed. (Even now I take a moment to look at something else as I write this…)
This coming year, I resolve (<– Did I just make a resolution?) to pay off what I owe, and pay for at least two classes out of pocket. I want to start in the fall. Maybe even take just one class in the summer just to get a head start on something. Anything. I just want to get back to it. My bigger goal though is to do it in the college. I don’t even want to meet too many people, I just want to be able to sit at a desk or in an auditorium and see a teacher, and ask a question to a person who is in front of me. Be face to face with a real person so I can feel that I really am doing it. That whole email shit with a teacher you’ve never met bothers me. It feels cold and distant. Well, that’s what distance learning is…
I just want to get my degree. I want to show my daughters, as a woman, it’s never okay to give up on what you want. Just because there are obstacles in the way, we have to overcome them. We have to jump the hurdles. It can take a few tries, but finishing is what is important. I want my girls to know that I never gave up on giving myself that joy of getting a college degree. I also don’t want them to try to throw it in my face that I never finished or went just so they can get out of 8 more years of medical or law school or working towards a Master’s Degree.
But most of all, this is for me. I deserve to have that little piece of paper to remind me that through an abusive relationship, moving, depression, work, parenting, living, and all the other things that can get in the way of success, I made it. I worked to get it. I did it. Graduating high school was a great accomplishment because the path I was beginning to go on, made it look like I wouldn’t do it, and although I messed up enough to put me in summer school and graduate that August instead of May, I still managed to do it.
Now, I want to do it again. I want to exhibit how smart and determined I really am. It just gets hard sometimes when things are standing in the way. I haven’t given up, just decided to let things get aligned just right in order to make it harder to fail. I want to be sure that the next time I go to get it done, I actually succeed. I don’t care that I’ve been out of high school since 2001. Shit, my aunt has been out of high school since the 80s or something and she is even in college making a better life for herself, and sometimes I look at that and know what her circumstances were and be inspired. So, me being the old chick in the classroom is better than being the old chick in the club…
And at least if I’m going to be the old chick in the club, at least let me be the old chick in the club with the college degree doing big things for herself that is just out to get her mind off of dissertations and research papers for just a night.