I did it guys! I finally did it! After 9 months of having it, and two months of it sitting in a frame on the floor waiting to be hung, my diploma is finally up.
Can I just point out how gaudy the size of my Master’s diploma is? I’m not really sure that is a thing. Are all Masters diplomas this large, or is mine some sort of mammoth anomaly? This diploma is all “in yo face!” to our undergrad diplomas and I kinda don’t like to attitude it’s putting off. It’s a little showy if you ask me. Totally unnecessary really.
Anyway, my point is to not start to give inanimate objects a sense of entitlement, but rather to talk about the significance of this diploma. This piece of paper means so much to me. It represents a lot of personal accomplishment in my life. I personally think that every degree is an accomplishment. It represents hard work, lots of money, and intention. I think education is a beautiful privilege. It’s a privilege I don’t take for granted for a single second. If you have been able to go though higher education, consider yourselves blessed as many people have not been in a position to further their learning process.
It also represents a very “I can do this” season of my life. I wasn’t a good student in undergrad. I never applied myself. My motto was “Cs get degrees” and as long as I could pass the class, I wouldn’t study at all. When I decided to quit my job to pursue my Masters back in April of 2013 it felt WEIRD. It was one of those things I said I would absolutely never do. Suddenly, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was supposed to do it. Going back to school was pivotal for me in so many ways. I learned so much about myself within the process. I learned that I am a learner, I’m a reader, I’m a writer, I’m a lover of Jesus, I have a purpose. Getting my Masters grounded me in a time where I didn’t know how to keep my feet planted. The whole process from start to finish was a time for me to rediscover who I am, find rest, be rejuvenated, and realize that I truly can accomplish anything that God asks me to do as long as I keep Him in it.
This piece of paper also represents provision. We have 3 pieces of paper on that wall that represents thousands of dollars and we don’t owe a penny in student debt! I don’t say this to boast, but to talk about how incredibly thankful I am for that fact! My mom got a job at ORU the day before I graduated from High School. This coupled with living at home rather than in the dorms allowed me to borrow a minimal amount for students loans compared to many people I know. Because of our intentional spending habits, Brandon and I were able to pay off those student loans 3 years into marriage. We also paid for Brandon’s undergrad and my Masters out of pocket. God has blessed us tremendously in providing us with the right jobs at the right time. I worked as a Coordinator of Student Services just long enough to save to get my Masters. Brandon worked hard to keep his 4.0 GPA in order to maintain scholarships, even while working full time and being involved in church AND being a stellar husband. We knew that not having student debt hold us back from what we wanted to do long term was more important to us than spending on frivolous things in the short term. So we didn’t eat out, didn’t go to movies in the theatre, only went shopping out of “need” not out of want… the basic things. I don’t regret it or feel like we missed out on something for a second!
I know that we are blessed, but I don’t think we are special. We are learning the art of not putting off the things that you know you are supposed to do. If you are supposed to go back to school, do it! If you’re supposed to make a big move across the country, do it! Take the steps today. Life is too short to procrastinate. Life is too precious, fun, and waiting for you to live it to procrastinate. Do the things that help you find who you are and don’t waste your time on the other things. You’re worth the investment. Take the leap and do it!