I did it!
Last assignment towards my Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Management with a minor in Project Management and specialization in Human Resources JUST TURNED IN A FEW DAYS AGO!!!!
That’s it. I.AM.DONE 120 credits completed! Over the moon! Time to recalibrate my coordinates and see where to next from here:
Immediate priority: Refine and relaunch my VA business. Watch out for that!
As I sit here and look at an empty blog page in front of me, I’m overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude I just don’t know how to express.
So let me try…
They say it’s not about the destination, but about the journey. I convinced myself of that throughout my educational road, but now that I’m done, I can say the destination is just as wonderful as the journey. Oh, what a life chapter EARNING this degree was! I say earning because – by God – I DID earn it. Some people take the easy or unethical road with online school, but I can proudly say I wrote every flippin’ paper myself — and you bet your sweet bippy I’m proud of that. That’s a total of 80 papers, roughly 130 tests, 400 discussion posts, and 800 replies! Holy heck!
Done are the days of sequestering myself in my room for days to churn out those dreaded final papers. I’m sure my dear husband will not miss the sight of me emerging Einstein-haired with puppy eyes pleading for sympathy. Well, unless I decide to go for the Masters…
I started in 2008. For a long time, I beat myself up over how long it was taking me to finish. But, when I meet women who took about that time or more, the pain lessens. I realize now it does not matter how long it took, just that I DID IT.
Looking back, the road was never easy. Through blood, sweat, and tears I toiled and pushed. There were times I just wanted to quit because I was just tired and burnt out. There were also times I put my needs in front of my son, and there were times I put him first. I once had to take a whole year off – which was agonizing – just to be there for him during his Senior year of high school. I was working a job that demanded many hours, his father had left to work abroad, and my son just simply needed me.
I may be one of the few, but – yes – I read most of the textbook materials, completed assignments with the utmost integrity and best possible work put forward. Why? Because my desire is not to just have a fancy diploma to wave in the face of my potential employers. I really, really wanted to come out of this knowing something about my field of study, and conclusively be a better writer, researcher, critical thinker, and entrepreneur.
As an adult returning back to school mid-life, it’s always an arduous process. You ponder about the expense and time put out and if it’s even worth it. Then you realize thousands of others’ just like you are doing it, have done it, and survived.
It also did not come cheap. At $430 a credit, online school is not exactly affordable. So I sacrificed a lot cute shoes, perhaps. And of course Uncle Sam helped a bit as well as my former employer — which I’m eternally grateful for. Towards the end – like many – I just had to take loans. I was not going to let money stop me from finishing. Hopefully, now I’ll be able to find a job that can afford me those cute shoes, or better yet, become so successful at my business that I can just walk in to the Louboutin shop and say give me one of those, those and those. 🙂
I remember the person who lit the bulb in my head and told me I should start school now, and not after my son finished high school. To her I am forever grateful. But more than anyone else, I need to thank both my son and my husband. I started school before we were actually married and even from then he was one of the people who pushed me to start. My son has been a stalwart supporter too from the very beginning. He is very proud of my accomplishment and that means everything to me.
I am forever grateful for the opportunity to learn and earn this very important credential AND personal accomplishment. There are women right now fighting for their right to have access to education, as I type. I read somewhere that there are over 400 million women across the world that cannot read and write. How is this even possible, I ask? Barriers. Early or forced marriages, pressure to help with domestic responsibilities, lack of money, political agendas, sinister ideologies and downright discrimination in job markets.
Education is a primary human right, which is fundamental to our ability to exercise all our other human rights!
Recently, I purchased something from a small retail shop near me. I gave the female cashier a 100 Dirham bill. The item was 75 Dirhams. My jaw fell to the ground when I saw her use her calculator to subtract the difference to give me my change. I walked away scratching my head and pondering how is it possible she cannot know that? I did not want to make any assumptions, but there is really no way around it. That’s basic math, but I also know that there are a lot of low-skill workers here in Dubai and it may very well be that she is lacking in basic math skills. It made me very sad for her, and thought “My God, I’m so lucky to have the education I have… even with just my high school diploma”. There are some people in this world that would consider achieving that a dream come true.
So, with that all said, I am eternally grateful to all those who supported me. And for those who spewed negative comments (because you know you always get that too when you’re trying to do something positive in your life), you can kindly go suck a tailpipe now.
Now what the heck will I do with all these papers?