So, I did a thing I said I would NEVER do, and it turned out to be pretty freaking awesome!
Before I jump into my big news let me take you back to a moment where I thought I knew it all lol.
So let me set the scene, I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college in River Falls, Wisconsin. During that time in my life, I was a student assistant for one of the most “difficult” women I had ever worked for in my life.
(Sidenote: this “difficult” woman wasn’t difficult at all; she was powerful & persistent and pushed me to rise to the occasion every single time!)
Anyways, I was working for her at a graduate program that focused on getting students into graduate school & eventually into PhD programs. As her assistant I would make travel arrangements, produced expense reports, and helped organize trips or presentations. While this job for a 19-year-old was stressful, it was definitely an eye opener when it came to the world of academia. I was able to attend conferences for future graduate students and sit in rooms with students that were creating brilliant research.
But at the time I didn’t understand the importance of that, I felt that I was just there to get a check. The reason I was so unaware of the opportunity was because I never thought that anything like this was possible for me. And because of that I blocked out the idea of pursing education past my bachelor’s.
See I am a first-generation college graduate, so getting my bachelor’s and getting a good corporate job was all I thought about. So, when my manager asked me why I didn’t want to be a part of the program myself I simply stated that I had no desire to keep going to school once I was done there. I thought I had the world figured out, so I shut myself off to any other possibilities and because of that I never applied to become one of those scholars.
I went on to graduate and landed a couple of jobs that paid extremely well. I was able to take care of myself and help my family just like I planned on doing since I first started college. However, I was slowly learning that I wasn’t happy with the jobs I had because I wasn’t passionate about them. I had recently moved to another state thinking I just needed a change of scenery, so I transferred my job, but I was still crying in my car on my breaks. So, imagine my frustration when I go another job with a different company, and I was still bawling my eyes out every other week. Not to mention I had gotten a manager that was two-faced and looking for every backhanded way to get me out.
In the back of my mind, I had this desire to go back to school, but I kept doubting myself. I saw first-hand what graduate school was about, all the work and energy that needed to be put into it in order to be successful. And to be honest I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to get the job done. I allowed the position I was in at work and insecurities to make me believe that I wasn’t even smart enough to get accepted into a program. So, I kept working with my head down until one day I had enough and decided that I was going to bet on myself. I gave my job a 2-week notice because I had found another one that worked with the schedule of the classes of the program, I was interested in. So, I applied for the graduate communication program at UAB. I was so nervous waiting to hear back from admissions. When I got the acceptance email, I shouted and cried in my bed for almost an hour! The amount of doubt and uncertainty that I had in myself during that period of my life was suffocating me. But once I got that email it was like it was fading noise in the background, that I worked extra hard not to pay attention too. From that moment on I made a promise to myself that I would graduate the program with a 3.5 or higher GPA.
Being back in class after five years was definitely something I had to get use too lol. But I put in the work and gave it my all.
Oh yeah back to my big news….. as of May 1st of 2021, I am officially a Master of Communication from the University of Alabama at Birmingham! Not only that I finished the entire program with a 3.8 GPA!!!!!!
This by far has been my greatest accomplishment because it was not easy for me to get here. There was so much self-doubt and imposter syndrome that I had to overcome to get this moment. For so long I was achieving accomplishments out of spite to shut down the naysayers or I felt that I needed to be perfect. But this one was for ME! I put all my fears and anxiety to the side and did what I said I was going to do, and it feels so-fucking- AMAZING!
There is a quote by the great Michele Obama that sums up everything I feel about this journey.
“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered”
No matter how much you feel you aren’t good enough or that you will fail DO IT! Bet on yourself and take that chance, it could turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made.
❤ a brown girl