Friday, December 12, 2008


Whew! My semester from hell is over! I hope the next one is better, or at least not as bad! With schedule changes in various syllabi I wound up having 4 major research papers plus final exams all fall within 6 days of each other, what a nightmare. Everything got submitted in the end though, and not too much was late.

I went in the week before finals to discuss GRADUATION with my advisor, and assuming I don't bomb any finals or otherwise mysteriously fail to pass my classes, I'm on track to graduate in May! I can't even believe that I'm 12 credit hours away from graduation, 4 more classes and I'm done! This has been such a long time in coming that it's almost too surreal to believe.

College has been a much harder road than I anticipated, not because the classes themselves have been difficult, but just because so much life has gotten in the way. When I started college in the fall of 2000 (I know, this has taken forever) I was a vocal music education major at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. I did that for almost two years, until I was in a major car accident in March of 2002. That accident caused me to move back home so that I could recover. So during all of this I took a few classes at Metro State to keep going, but not a full schedule. When I was finally ready to return to UNC in Greeley, about a year later, my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. So, I stayed in Lakewood and took care of her doing home hospice care until she died, nearly a year later. While she was sick, I kept taking a few classes, again, just to keep making progress, but nothing full-time. After her death, I did finally take a little time off to just regroup and try to get myself together. Unfortunately, by the time all of this had taken place, my full scholarship had exceeded it's time limit and now I would have to pay for school. This was unfortunate, but I'm glad that I made the choice to be with my Mom. I've had time since for school, while the time we had together was limited. So, I was finally ready to go back to school full-time, but now I also had to work full-time, so I've essentially maintained the very minimum course load to qualify as a full-time student, which also didn't save me any time.

Along the way, with all of this, I decided that music wasn't really where my heart was any longer, I decided that I wanted to get a bachelor's degree in Psychology, and start fulfilling the extra courses required to prepare for medical school. Well, now, after many extra classes, I've also decided that medical school is not for me. While I would love to have all of that knowledge, and the ability to practice obstetrics in the fullest possible way, I've realized that I don't agree in many ways with the biomedical model of care. But, from my work experience- and life-long obsession with babies and pregnant women- I do know that I definitely want to work in the women's healthcare field. I've decided that after getting my first Bachelor's degree, which will be a BA in Psychology, I am going to apply to nursing school for a second Bachelor's degree of science in nursing. I'm hoping to get into an accelerated one-year program. The accelerated programs are very intense (a whole 2nd Bachelor's degree in one year!), and expensive, but the trade-off for having zero life for one year is being done quickly. I think I can live with that-or at least survive it!

I think that nursing will be a good fit for me, personality-wise. I feel like I'm really good at working with patients and I easily form bonds with patients-maybe it's just that I currently get work with amazing women as patients. I also would like to work with fewer time constraints than physicians have, so that I can spend more time directly with patients. I think that nursing will provide a schedule much more conducive to having a family, which is definitely a priority for me. I really feel like nursing will provide me with an avenue to truly help others. When considering medicine, I was always interested in volunteering abroad, like with Doctors Without Borders, and nursing will allow me to do these things too. Eventually, maybe right away, or maybe a few years down the road, I would like to pursue a master's degree in Midwifery, so that I can finally do what I've wanted to do since I was 10 years old- deliver babies.

So, almost nine years in the making, I'm on the cusp of getting my Bachelor's degree. I'm proud of myself for sticking to this, despite everything that life has thrown my way during that time, and a little surprised that I didn't just give up- that would have certainly been easier at times. I will be the first one in my immediate family (and most of my extended family) to earn a college degree, which I'm also very proud of! It's hard to believe that my first college journey will be over in five months- just 32 days of classes left to attend (yes, I counted).

I'm so excited to be done! To finally feel like I've accomplished something!

Then on to more school, *sigh*, I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment...

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