Wow! Two years later and I’m finally done with my associate degree! Yes, it was challenging at times, but I made it! It was a bumpy start and trust me, there were times I wanted to throw in the towel. Things can get complicated at times when you’re juggling multiple tasks and trying to fit a hundred different things into your daily routine.
I spent the first semester aligning and assessing all my challenges and trying to figure out a way I could make everything fit. I put time aside for family, managed to keep my head above water while working full-time and maneuvered my school work into where everything eventually intertwined. There were days that I was so tired when I left work that I’d just want to go to bed, but I knew I couldn’t. I started something that I was committed to and promised myself that no matter how hard it got, I’d follow through. The days were long and the nights were longer, but I knew there was a light at the end of this tunnel.
Going into year two, I considered myself a pro. I was meeting deadlines for assignments, giving online presentations and heading up study groups. I imagined myself as a bookworm on wheels running off pure adrenaline—3 cups of coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion boards and giving feedback based off the week’s lesson. When you take online courses versus sitting in a classroom, it can seem sort of isolated at times. It’s the reaching out to the professors by email, calling your classmates and making periodic trips to the campus library that keeps you connected.
If I’ve learned one thing from my experience of making the decision to return to school and complete my degree, it is never look back. When you set your sights on something and devise a plan to reach a goal, you only look for what’s in the front of you not what’s behind you. In my rearview mirror now stands a lady armed with an Associate of Arts degree ready for the final phase of her educational journey. It’s full speed ahead and UNT Dallas will be my new home. I’ll be majoring in Sociology and minoring in Criminal Justice. I hope to earn my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology by Fall 2020. Stay strong, align your goals with your dreams and never forget that it’s never too late to be what you’ve always wanted to be. ~Winifred Bell