Dream Big

are you doing your very bestI 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.




7 thoughts on “Dream Big”

  1. I went to grad school in my late 30s and it was perfect for me. I hope you have a great experience.

  2. Hi, I’d love to know what field you studied! I am turning 37, left a PhD program in my 20s b/c I was not very self-directed, but I think now, in my later 30s, I would really like to be working toward a mission that I really care about (environmental conservation/sustainable cities/public health education through lifestyle changes). I love helping others connect to services, products, and information that helps them achieve their goals. I am also an ideas/numbers person (eg I love to learn!). Thanks for the inspiration!

      1. What kind of position did you get at the university that led up to going back for a Masters? And what will you be doing post-masters? I wonder if Public Policy would be a good choice for me? “read articles, run statistical analyses, and write papers all day long” sounds like a wonderful way to earn a living! All the while surrounded by bright minds and passionate people!

  3. I can’t seem to hit reply to your comment, but hopefully you will see this. I was a research assistant before my Masters degree and now I am a research analyst on a study. It’s an awesome job. I feel lucky everyday, for realsies. I think Public Policy is a great field because you come out with skills that are applicable to many fields of research. You are not only specializing in one field. I like that about it.

    1. Thank you! What did you study for undergrad? I’d love to do research assistant work! Mayb I can start taking a few public policy courses related to data analysis?

      Sent from my iPhone


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