Despite The Odds, Graduating The Heck Out Of College at 30!

8:30 AM

            18 months ago I took a chance on myself (and my family) and enrolled into college. With two kids, a husband and not much spare time as it was I had more than major doubts but I also knew I would regret not trying. I also knew if I was going to go anywhere with my graphic design business I had to get competitive and gain skills that would put me at the top for any clients. Also, I had always worried that if anything happened to my husband, and I needed to go back to work, I had very few marketable skills, and that was unsettling.
              My first day was so overwhelming for me, when I got home I just cried because I didn't think that I was smart enough to do it and I felt silly and old, that I didn't belong. But I owed it to myself and my family to at least give it my best. Plus I couldn't let my six and seven year old see me quit. They thought it was so exciting that Mom was going back to school. My goal was to just take it one day at a time, one homework assignment at a time and try not to think of how daunting it all was. And soon enough I starting feeling a lot more comfortable, finding a groove and balancing between school and home. Next thing I knew I was finished with my first set of classes with all A's! Now don't get me wrong... I knew early on there were things that would have to be compromised in order for this school thing to work out. This blog for one was put on the back burner, my husband had to help out a lot more with cooking(going out to eat) and helping the kids with their homework so mom can do hers and I wasn't able to volunteer in my boys class rooms this past year.  I was feeling bad about this one day and my dentist told me it was good for the whole family to sacrifice a little for something as important as this and that we would all be better in the long run. And she was so right. And strangely enough it made us closer and we actually had more family time if you can believe it. Because I had this outside interest of school and my entire focus wasn't just on my family I didn't take them for granted as much and all of my spare time was focused on my family because I couldn't get enough of them.

         Then by the time I was at my halfway mark at school I had gotten a real taste for A's and knew there was no excuse for me to not achieve an A in all my classes. This is strange because I almost failed out of high school. I was a terrible student growing up and I even failed out of collage the first time I went right out of high school. But going back to college was unexpectantly empowering. I really came to know just how capable I am after accomplishing one task after another and somehow excelling at each one because I had the mind set to do my own personal best.

          Well I just graduated from College on Saturday Three months before my 30th birthday with a 4.0 and also picked up another degree along the way, so I graduated not only in Graphic and Web Design but also Web and Animation. I was also fortunate enough to be a Graduation Speaker which was a challenge all in itself, but by taking one step at a time (and a mental break down) I conquered that as well. I have been through a lot during my lifetime and never thought I would go to collage and I was encouraged by my teachers to share my journey to graduation. When I was writing my speech I was worried that it was a little to raw and a little to heavy for a graduation speech. I kept telling myself "I can't tell a room full of strangers that stuff, its too vulnerable, its too humiliating!" But this was my journey. I knew I had to be brave for myself. If nothing else I had to tell my story for me. This was my conquering moment. I hadn't got where I was by not giving it my all and I wasn't going to start now. So here is my crazy, scary, brave speech... that ended up being one of the most amazing moments of my life ending in a standing ovation that I never saw coming.

I am just full of so much gratitude for this amazing experience and the wonderful people who pulled me through it. I wouldn't have been able to do any of if without their support and encouragement. It took a village.


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  1. Congratulations, Julia! I so admire you and your determination. And, you did a fabulous job on your speech.

  2. What a wonderful example you are! There are people with far fewer trials that moan and complain and never get anything done. And people that continue the cycle of abuse. But you have not only made a difference in your life but in the life of your boys who not only are loved but now know they can do anything. Good job!!

  3. Oh Julia, I'm so happy and so proud of you, taking on this huge challenge of balancing college and family! Congratulations, you deserve all the honor on your graduation. So excited for you and your future endeavors. Hugs, Ava

  4. I'm so glad you decided to share, that you were able to complete your degree and show yourself and the world how amazing you are! It is such an important reminder that you just don't know what anyone else's trials and tribulations are. I am so glad your story turned into a Cinderella story and that you're sharing your success with your husband and family! That is a wonderful gift! Bless all of you and best of luck wherever your story takes you!

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  6. Congrats! That is really wonderful and amazing. I think once my kiddos are in school I may go back. Ladies like you are such an inspiration.

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  10. Congratulations!! You deserve a standing ovation just for going back to school and persevering! You are an amazing example to your children.

  11. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to you! I can truly identify with your feelings about your educational journey, as I was a "later in life" returning college student as well, and got my Bachelor's at 36. I'm now 42, and making plans to get my Master's; it's NEVER too late. Knowing that our children are watching is the greatest motivator, isn't it? Well done!

  12. Dear Julia,
    Thanks for the msg you left on my blog,which I haven't opened in ages! I've been flip-flopping about closing it up and moving to a new blog altogether or just go back to reviving it. Guess I just didn't realize others actually enjoyed the stories I shared,lol! Maybe for you, I'll start blogging again.:) But enough about me. I've only gotten around to watching your graduation video and I'm even more in awe of how far you have come! I'm truly sorry for the hardships you endured, and you survived all that to become the strong, wonderful, talented, beautiful woman that you are today. So happy for you and inspired by you. A million hugs and kisses sent your way, Ava

  13. Congratulations! I have so much respect for you and all you've done despite your circumstances. Your story is inspiring; thank you for sharing.

  14. Wow, congratulations, I am really impressed. I am 28 and have yet to graduate from college. I have recently come to the realization that I really would like to study graphic design also. But I (like you) have two kids at home and there is just no way I can do it right now. Are your kiddos in school? Mine are 1 and 3 so that's a difficult age, but I think we'll probably have more relatively soon so I just don't know if it'll ever happen if I wait. How did you finally buckle down and do it. You're an inspiration. I hope I can graduate from college some day! :)


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