Saturday, February 05, 2011
I graduated with my Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota in December, 2010. The journey of this degree started almost 15 years ago when I took my first college classes at the University during high school. I was very excited to start college back then and did fairly well. I continued with college after high school, working towards a B.A. in psychology. I struggled with depression from age 19 onwards and eventually flunked out and was put on academic probation.
When I was 24, I went to school to earn an associate's degree in veterinary technology. I was in a good place and earned straight As. I have had a satisfactory career as a certified veterinary technician. But that incomplete Bachelor's degree nagged at me. It taunted, asking why I wouldn't finish. I returned to the University in 2005 to take another stab at it, and earned decent grades for the 2 semesters I attended, but my work was very inflexible and it became impossible to continue.
I started my current job doing poison control for animals in 2007. It's a good job and they were much more education-friendly, so I decided to try, once again, to finish my degree. I found an individualized degree program where I could incorporate my previous psychology coursework with coursework in kinesiology to complete a B.S. I attended full-time while working full-time so I could finish within a couple of years.
Sometimes I wanted to give up, sometimes I wondered if I would make it through, and sometimes I questioned if all of the stress (mental and financial) was worth it. And then, one day, it was over. I had reached my goal and all of that perseverance and hard work had paid off. It was a slow, not-so-steady, and sometimes painful process, but I did it. I have worked hard on my mind, and now I can put forth the same effort to make my body strong and healthy.