High school was easy for me, I just kind of thrived on cheerleading and choir and friends and still managed to get good grades and into college. I am actually one of those people who LOVED high school for the most part! Just call me Uncle Rico.
But trust me, even I was shocked when I graduated college. I think the only reason that really happened is because I wasn't married (aka distracted), and I got free school because my Dad is a professor at the university I attended. It took me 7 years to get my bachelors. Seriously. I changed my major more times then I could count, took random breaks whenever I pleased, and just took my sweet time. Honestly, I probably wasted a lot of time. A LOT of time. But eventually graduation happened. It was a pretty amazing day. If you've read the blog for a while (meaning 3 1/2 years) you'll remember that I graduated college with my Mom and my sister and since my Dad is a professor he got to give us our diplomas. It was pretty amazing and not the kind of experience everyone is lucky enough to have.
I graduated college before Spencer and I were married... .Actually before we even met, even though I was married 5 months after graduation took place and I found out I was pregnant 7 months after I graduated. Geez, what a crazy life! Anyway, I had never intended or planned on returning to school and getting a masters. Especially since I was married, working, and we were building our family. It was important to me that Spencer be able to finish his education, and so we decided to make that happen. I guess I just got bored or something, because the crazy inside of me applied and got accepted to grad school when Aniston was just 9 months old. I really thought long and hard about it because there were so many different things to consider in my life and so many reasons going back to school might not work for me. I even wrote a blog post about it. (Read it here).
I knew that once I dedicated myself to going back to school that I needed to stick with it. I knew that it was unacceptable to use any obstacle thrown in my way as an excuse to quit or give up. I had no idea that during the next 15 months that I would go through some insane emotional, physical and mentally exhausting moments. I didn't know I would give up my dream job, get pregnant, and travel quite a bit for work. But maybe school and having something to do, having a purpose and deadlines, is what held to together and got me through those tough times. Well that and my awesome husband. It was because I quit coaching that I was able to complete my degree in 15 months as opposed to 18 and that worked out perfectly because I was able to complete my program before baby boy comes. I didn't know when I quit coaching that this would be able to happen or that I was even going to be pregnant, but I can now look back at something that was a very difficult decision and a tough time for me and see how it now has blessed my life. I LOVE THAT!
Although I LOVED my program (Sports Management with an Athletic Administration Emphasis) and I LOVED the school I attended (SNHU... I'm one of those weirdo's who love online school) I'm glad it's over. Not that I can do much with my master's in Rexburg, but I'm optimistic that I will find something someday and that I will love it. I never felt as though getting a master's was restricting me from my everyday life, it just meant that my night wasn't over once I put Aniston down for bed. Bedtime turned into homework time, and there were plenty of weekends where I was rushing to get my work done by the deadline. I learned a lot and I did it. I accomplished something that others told me was impossible and something that I told myself at times was impossible. I can be a little pessimistic at times unfortunately.
I just want to take a minute and thank my husband and family for everything that they did to help and support me during this time. Spencer was incredible! I guess it's helpful when you have a wife who is going into a sports management program so that most of the school talk deals with sports so it's actually interesting, but he was great. He never told me to stop or take a break. He watched Ani so I could get papers written or studying done. He got me treats at the end of the semester, which is very important, and I felt as though he was proud of me. My family has been awesome by supporting me through words and watching Aniston and giving me advice and help when I needed it. My Dad set the example for me of even getting a master's and both my parents have set such amazing examples of how to persevere and to keep going even when things seems impossible. I'm pretty lucky to have such great examples in my life. My sister is even getting her master's degree now and is probably about 6 months or so away from graduating. I don't think my parents imagined that their daughters would be the ones with multiple degrees and constantly continuing their education. But how can you not, when you see the blessings and opportunities it has provided for your parents? I'm pretty lucky when it comes to family.
I guess I'm still in a little shock that I'm done with my master's. It just hasn't sunk in quite yet. But despite all the obstacles and temptations to quit, I feel so amazed that I was able to do this. I can be kind of a quitter, you would know this if you've ever seen me attempt to diet. But this serves to me as an example of just what exactly I am capable of. I can do hard things. I can do things people don't expect me to do, and I can accomplish the things in life I want to accomplish. They might be difficult at times, they might stress me out at times, but they are doable and man it feels good to accomplish something like this and accomplish it better and way faster than I expected. My advice to anyone even considering something life changing, like going back to school, changing careers, or so many other things is to just do it. You know yourself better than anyone else and you know what you are capable of. Don't let other people tell you you cant or that you aren't good enough because that is not true. Aniston loves watching Blue's Clue's, and at the end of every episode they sing, "You can do anything, that you wanna do." So true. Just do it. Don't question it too much, and know that you are capable of far more than you even know!