11 years ago, I was finishing my senior year of high school. I was off to Greensboro College in the fall, to be a theater performance major. I always smile when I think back about that place. I have so many wonderful memories there, even though it was home for less than two years. I wish I had appreciated it more at the time.
But I became distracted and discontent and decided to take a semester off to get my head straight and so left in the Spring Semester of 2000. That ended up being a long "semester."
A wedding, two kids, a failed attempt to get a job with a MCSE, and then working over 80 hours a week later, I wouldn't finally return to school until Fall of '04. I took 3 or 4 classes online through FTCC, deciding my major should reflect my day job, Accounting. I finished up that semester ok, not great, but not bad.
Then I missed the deadline to sign up for classes in the Spring of '05. Once again, I took a break.
I wouldn't return to school until the Summer of '06. This time, my life turned upside down in between by the end of my marriage.
I think, other than one Summer Session, I was continuously enrolled until Spring '09.
I was so close in Fall '07, I would have been done in Spring '08, but my schedule got dropped, due to a mix up in Financial Aid, and I lost some of the classes I needed when I got it corrected.
Then in Spring '08, I was ready to finish again. Only to find out, that I couldn't keep up with 16 credit hours, two jobs and the kids living with me. I dropped down to 13 and put my last semester off until the Fall.
I took the last of my classes in the Fall of '08. Only I messed up the deadline for the application for graduation and whatnot, so here I am, Spring of '09, finally ready to walk. 11 years removed from high school, 7 years from my original "intended" graduation date, 5 years from my first taking a class at FTCC, I am finally graduating with my Associates, my "2 year" degree. No honors, but I think I'll take walking with a 3.0, IIRC, that's better than I did in high school.
Today is a day to look back, next week I will look forward.
I know I couldn't have done this without ducttapeavenger and vivvianne1. I still remember the night at the end of the semester, ducttapeavenger wouldn't let me give up on a class and he stayed up with me all night, pushing me to get it done and doing a lot of the typing for me, as I finished one assignment after another. Or me, constantly taking over the living room TV so I could work on my assignments there, after my computer died.
And, of course, vivvianne1 when we were first dating, putting up with me coming to her place from the second job, with my laptop, working on homework late or first thing in the morning, before I went back to work again. Or, later, when she would take the kids on solo in the evenings, while I would lock myself in the bedroom and focus on getting school work done.
My classmates, were very varied, community college doesn't generally get the "best and the brightest." I saw some excellent students out there, but then a lot who would make my head explode, from the sheer, "how could you be that wrong factor?!?!?" But with my time at FTCC almost exclusively online, I really didn't get to know them that well either. It's kind of odd to think tonight, I will graduate with mostly strangers.
When I think of my college friends, I think of all the wonderful folks back at Greensboro College. Even to this day, when I go by there, I step on the campus with a smile, part of me feels like I'm home, even though I know I won't run into any of the folks I went to school with.
11 years to complete my first "two years" of college. Hopefully, I can cut that in half for the next "two years."
But "Here's to today!" and yet another Waypoint on this grand adventure we call life.