12.04.2012

Thoughts On Life | College

Finish college.

That was the simple request my parents had for me my entire life. Not get a job. Not get married. Not move out.

Just finish college.

Specifically a four year college.

Which meant to me, my selfish me, another 4 years stuck with my parents.

In brief, I grew up in a very strict household. And as time went by, I became okay with the thought of college. Because college meant dorms. Because in a way, I was free.

I took unconventional classes. Never really declared a major. Joined a sorority. And long story short, dropped out after a year.

Why?

Because I didn't learn a thing. Literally passed my classes with luck. But didn't want to take the financial burden of continuing something I saw absolutely no value in.

Because living in the dorms didn't meant I was free from my parents.

And I hated it.

Sure, my parents were disappointed. But I made it up to them by finding a good job.

I then gave school another try a year later. My parents constantly nagged me to go back. So, I tried nursing school. (A vocational nursing school.) And finished.

But heart was still not in it. I didn't even walk during the graduation ceremony. Nor did I pursue a career.

My parents were really disappointed this time.

It hurt them so much that they couldn't attend a graduation ceremony. Which led to a heart-to-heart that very day. And that's when I finally had my A-HA moment. I learned...

College was the only thing my parents had. The only thing worth value as an immigrant in this country. 

I learned that my parents only wanted that for me, because that's the only thing they knew.

That day we met half way. And I promised them that I would one day give it a try. For myself. On my time.

When I met my husband, his parents asked me about school. I wasn't embarrassed of my past so I told them exactly how I felt. That it wasn't for me.

My mother-in-law then told me something that I will never forget- "College isn't really to learn anything specific. It's really meant to teach someone discipline."

Another A-HA moment. I never looked at college that way.

And a funny thing happens when another person gives you a neat perspective on your situation- you start to see the good in it.

Two years ago, I randomly started to dabble in some online college courses. With my own money and not my parents or financial aid. And after many years, I finally enrolled myself in a four year college. Declaring a major I know I would succeed in. I didn't take any aptitude or character tests. I didn't research into what field of study pays the best. And I definitely didn't start with my friends because they all had either graduated or never gone.

I based my choice of major simply in what I knew was best for me.

I set a goal for myself. To finally graduate from a four year college before I'm 30. And I'm proud to say that I'm 29 now and a senior.

I'm doing it now because I know I can. Because I know I have the discipline to succeed. Because I realize that I have a great support system. Because I have Michael and want him to finish college too. Because I do want to make my parents proud.

But most importantly, because I want to.

Sure, it is hard. And there are some days that I wish I had done this sooner. Your brain isn't as quick as when you're straight out of high school. Sometimes family time takes precedence over study time.

But I'm doing it. And I couldn't be more proud of myself.


~Kristina

6 comments:

  1. I waited five years after graduating high school to go to University and it was the best thing for me. It was hard at first since all my friends were going off to University, but I knew I wasn't ready. I'm so happy I waited because when I finally went, I went for what I wanted. School is expensive and I have major debt from doing an undergrad and a graduate degree - but I can only imagine how more debt I'd have if I went for a degree right out of high school.

    Also, Kris went to University, but his current job is totally unrelated to his degree. In fact, he's doing the same job now that he he was doing before University. But - he's a better person for going. I'm not sure if school taught him discipline, but it definitely taught him critical thinking which is something he had to go to University to learn.

    Good for you for finding out what you love and going for it and meeting your goal to finish before 30!

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    1. Thanks! :) You're amazing for having a graduate degree.

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  2. I waited a few years after I graduated to go to college as well. My dad was army, so at the time we were stationed in Germany. I took a few years to explore and find myself, and when I was ready for college, I was truly ready.

    At 26 when I'm on campus, I sometimes find myself listening to the conversations of the students around me. And I smile and thank my blessings that I waited until I was mature enough to understand what an amazing opportunity college is. I guess 17 years from now when my daughter is wanting to delay her college career, I can take a step back and realize that it may be for the best.

    Congrats to you on your continued journey! We're proud of you as well. If you don't mind me asking, what are you going to school for?

    Reese

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    1. I worked in an office environment all my life. And surprisingly, I did well in those types of settings. Oftentimes, we overlook majors like Management because they seem "boring". I'm guilty of that. With that said, I'm a Business Management major. And Thanks! :)

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  3. Congratulations you are nearing your goal. And most importantly for not giving up. Goodluck on the journey. :)

    xo,
    K
    lawsoflifeandlove.blogspot.com

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