Tomorrow I start my last term of college. Well, actually it is my last term of undergraduate work. In March I will graduate from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In June I will, hopefully, start a Master of Fine Arts program at Pacific University. So while this isn't the end, it still feels like a milestone.
I went back to school at the age of 39 with four kids. When I started I met with an advisor who told me I "only" had 125 credits left! I figured I would be stretching myself to take 12 credits a term and when I did the math that meant that I had. . . . . a long time 'til I would graduate. I remember calling my husband on my cell phone from campus after that meeting and crying, "I can't do this, it is so long! I'll be 41 when I graduate!" He asked me how old I would be in two years if I didn't go back to school and I admitted that I'd still be 41. He said, "Do you want to be 41 with a degree or 41 without?" Pretty smart guy. The really amazing thing is that I did it! I made it through those 125 credits (except for the 12 I'm taking this term), and I'm actually going to graduate from college.
Graduating from college was one of those things I was going to accomplish "someday" and now it is actually here. It has not been easy. My kids were 14, 12, 9 and 3 when I started and it took a lot of juggling to make it work. I couldn't have done it without a terrifically supportive husband and kids who were willing to be independent. The best time was last year when there were five family members in five different schools (preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school and college). I told my husband he needed to go get his Masters and then we'd have six in six. His response was "Honey, one of us needs to be sane and I nominate me."
He's been amazingly sane and often was truly the only one of us who was!!
So, tomorrow is the beginning of the end. What a journey it has been.