I am at the threshold of the completion of a life dream. I always knew I wanted to go back to graduate school, but I wasn’t sure which field of study I wanted to pursue. So, instead of going right after college I got married, worked for a while, popped out a few kids. Then about five years ago I secured a job at the University of Minnesota doing research, the gears started going again about this grad school thing, and, well, the rest is history.
Here I am, four semesters from the start, about to graduate, feeling as though I picked exactly the right Master’s program where I got the exact skills I was seeking, and will soon start a job in the field I love where I get to read articles, run statistical analyses, and write papers all day long (a nightmare for some, I know).
I share this not so that I can say, “Hey! Look at me! Look what I did!,” but so that I might convince you to believe that any dream that is worthwhile to you is worth chasing.
I was a pretty unlikely candidate for graduate school. I was in my mid-30’s, a mom of four, and had been out of undergrad for many years.
But a few years ago I realized I had given up too much of myself to live the life I was living. Somewhere along the way I had lost sight of MY goals and MY dreams and much of my identity. Getting married and having children can do that. That was an unsustainable reality.
So, I began my journey to collect the pieces of myself and my dreams that I had dropped along the way. Going back to school was a big one.
My family had to sacrifice to get me where I am today. We moved into a smaller house, my children saw me a little less, my hubby did a lot more housework and worked a second job. It’s been a journey for us all, but I am so thankful to have gone through it together.
I hope that in seeing me pursue my dream my children and the others who might be watching see proof that it’s never too late to go after something; you can always change course. Good enough doesn’t have to be good enough. Settle for less in life only when you want to settle. Dream big and with a little help from your family and friends know that many things are possible.