I am 26 years old and I go to college online. Going for my Bachelor’s degree has been a long, emotional, often treacherous journey and I am excited that it is coming to an end soon. Right now, I have only five more courses to take until I graduate. Until I’m done. Until I can stand up, immensely proud, and tell myself that I have a college degree.
I started college the traditional route, when I was eighteen years old. I attended a small liberal arts university for two years. My goal was to major in English. But then, I took a few language courses…. in German. I fell in love with the German language. I fell in love with the ridiculous sentence structure and harsh sounding words.
But, as with all things, life happened. Seven years ago, my mother passed away.
The death of a parent is so unspeakable. It was a pain that I never before experienced. It was shocking, gut wrenching, painstakingly hard to think, to know, that the person who is the reason for my being alive no longer exists.
But time really does help to heal all wounds, however cliché that saying may be. I moved on. It no longer hurts as much to think about that small, but emotionally impacting, moment in time. Don’t get me wrong, the anniversary of her death, holidays, and her birthday are hard. Sometimes I still think of the what ifs: what if she was still alive? What would we be doing? What if things had turned out differently? What if?
But there’s no point, no good, in torturing myself with the what ifs. Nothing can change the past. The only thing that I can do is live in the moment and be the best person I can be. By doing that, I will make the future just a little bit better.
My future involves me getting a college degree. It took me seven years. But I don’t think of those years as a waste. Instead, it will mean that the end result will be that much sweeter. And that is something I can wait even a lifetime for.
I will receive a B.A. in Communications. But to me that is really a B.A. in life. College changes people. In my case, it’s changed me to become more driven, humble, kind, and appreciative of life.
So, those of you in college, or those taking a little break, take a moment and appreciate the little things. Enjoy the college experience. Enjoy life. Enjoy the people you love. And just know that the end result is something to work hard for.