I graduated in 1982 and began courses at a local community college. I wanted to become a Travel Agent and take advantage of seeing parts of the world I always wanted to and also help others fulfill their travel dreams. But after 1 1/2 years, I got married and put my ex-husband through medical school. At that time I figured my education could take a backseat and also thought since I would become the wife of a doctor, my education didn't matter. However, I did attend a fully accredited Travel School and graduated Valedictorian and was the only one to obtain a job. I quickly learned that working in a "family-owned" agency wasn't a wise choice because only the immediate family was able to take advantage of the trips and it damped my career choice.
So after that marriage ended, I planned on going back to school and study business courses, but of course I had been working all of those previous years and as many have also learned; jumping back into school after your "life" has begun - it is just plain hard. Many of the courses available at that time were only during the day and that was the time I was working. And if you have any children during this time, it's even more difficult.
In 2000, for our first anniversary, I send my husband to school for Computer Technology. As it would work out, so many others were doing the same thing so the pay scales fell drastically across the board and it was hard for him to find a job in that field after he spend a solid year of intense night school. He also had a full time job during the day, as did I. We hardly saw each other that year but figured it would be worth it. To this day, this field is still his line of work and he has become a master at removing viruses and recovering databases when others can't.
Fast forward to 2008 and my husband had the opportunity to attend Bible College and finally become a Youth Pastor, which is something he has wanted to do since a teenager. He too had put his education on a back burner around the same time I had. So when this opportunity came along and he also received a scholarship to attend, he began taking correspondence courses. Then we moved to where we are now and I too began going with him to the classes. I had no intention of going back to school, so this was a surprise to me by now. Over 20 years later, I was going to school again! Incredible.
Well, I also got a scholarship as well and now we are both working towards our Bachelor in Theology degree. We just graduated with our Associates in Biblical Studies degree in January and I can't begin to tell you how proud I was of myself. I was able to transfer most of my previous credits so my time years ago wasn't totally a waste. This was a goal I had started 22 years ago! Only my career path had changed.
We know that this line of work is more of a spiritual fulfillment than a monetary one, but there are so many hurting kids out there. Many of them don't have communication between themselves and their parents. It's during situations like this that we become an intercessor of sorts and help to mend those relationships as best we can.
In the end - don't give up on your education. And if anything I have said can help inspire anyone else out there, take a chance and go back to school or stay in and finish it.
To the young girls out there - If I can say anything in the lines of encouragement: Go to school and try your best to attend college. When I was growing up, many of us girls years ago were encouraged to grow up and become housewives. Education wasn't pushed on us and I am telling you that it is very important. Go out and become an educated woman and then go for the marriage and family - if that's the direction you choose.
For the young men out there - Many of you are already working to help pay for your car, insurance and living expenses. But don't give up on your education either. If you have the opportunity to attend college - do it. Get your education taken care of and then begin working on your future family plans - if that's the direction you choose.
One main point I'd like to make to those young adults is - Please don't put too much emphasis on a relationship and allow that relationship to keep you away from your education. An education is something that stays with you for the rest of your life. It allows you to fulfill your dreams and become even more incredible.
High School Seniors and even Juniors, check with your school office. So many kids assume the scholarship forms are all taken or there is no money. I can't tell you how many times I hear from Principals that kids aren't filling these out and that one kid normally walks away with all of the scholarship money. Take advantage of websites like www.fastweb.com too.
Note: Yes, that's me and my husband with our College Professor/Founder of the Bible College. We couldn't pry those smiles off our faces for days. The other photo is from a graduation in India last year, where our college is located under The King's Temple.