As a first-semester freshman, one of my professors asked me if I had ever thought of graduate school. I had vaguely heard of it and had a concept that it was like more dedicated college, but I had never thought about it. Just the fact that I was in college was a shock for me at the time. I could not imagine being a sophomore, let alone walking across the grassy knoll by the lakes.
Yet somehow, after four years of hard work, of passionate involvement, of mistakes and failures, of challenges, I managed to earn that diploma.
The majority of my experience in graduate school has been about reflecting on those four years. In a number of my classes have had numerous discussions on the value and importance of an education. The more I think about it, the more we talk about it, the more I realize how incredible it is that I have the ability to be in school.
Discussions about access make me consider how I never expected to be in college, how I struggled to fill out applications, how my adjustment to the experience was. Those conversations make me grateful that I am able to say that I have earned a Bachelor’s degree. According to the United States Census in 2010, only 27.9% of United States residents above the age of 25 have a bachelors degree. I will be able to say I am part of whatever that statistic is in 2014, and I am so proud.
The process of earning a masters degree has been challenging. Being away from home has taught me about myself – who I am and what is important to me. Working a graduate assistantship has taught me a lot about the importance of professionalism and how to be an adult. My classes have taught me content that influences both my personal and professional lives. While many days I second-guess myself and over-think the struggles that face me, the days I am not doing either of those things I find myself so proud and grateful for the opportunity to be in graduate school in Oklahoma.