I was a young, bright-eyed adventurous teen when I chose not to go to college after high school graduation almost 18 years ago. And when I found out I was expecting a son a few months later, the dream of being a college graduate was bleak to say the least. I knew of the daunting statistics that plagued teen mothers and to top it all off I was comforted by my family telling me that I had made a good choice, as I wasn’t college material anyway. And I believed them. But not for long.
A few years later as my high-energy toddler was running around the kitchen table, I was complaining to my husband about my less than satisfying job. I was frustrated, wanting better and feeling like I deserved more. It was then that my husband looked across the table and said “You are so smart. You should go to school, get your degree and do whatever you want to do.” So I did. I won’t lie to you, it hasn’t been easy but I am confident it will be worth it and I have worked with a vengeance. I made rules I promised to follow and from day one was committed to not only doing it, but doing it well. There have been rivers of tears shed and many doubts along the way but in the end, victories. There have been countless times I have felt as though I am clinging to the side of this mountain I am attempting to climb, bruised, bloody and exhausted. But I held on, taking one step, one class at a time.
Today I have my CDA, my Director’s Credential and am in my final college semesters, only 6 classes away from completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology. Six months from now I will reach the top of this summit, hold my beloved degree in hand and declare to the world that I can do it, I will do it, and I did do it.
How many times do we allow certain limitations such as age or finances or fears of failure stop us from achieving our goals and reaching our full potential? We teach our children to dream big but do we practice what we preach or do just enough to get by? I believe we all understand the value of education but do we realize our own worth and take the time to invest in ourselves? Do we recognize that our own increased knowledge will also benefit those we love and care for?
Going back to school for a degree or working towards an additional certificate or credential may seem impossible but I promise you, it’s not. There are resources and assistance, coupled with incredible support, available for you along your journey. Many of these remarkable programs right here at 4C, including our Child Development Associate (CDA) preparation program and Developing Early Childhood Leaders (DECL) seminar. I challenge you to dream big and dare to defy the odds and obstacles before you. You are worth it and you can do it. Start investing in yourself today!