Ever since I started to attend college, I knew that I wanted to go all the way with it. I wanted to be that ass that made people I didn’t like refer to me as Dr. LaRochelle, just because. That would be a half joke, I probably would pull that card out but probably only in jest. I wanted to do it because it would be awesome to be so accomplished that you could add a Ph.D to my name. I don’t mind hard work, and surprisingly I loved college. Someday, I keep saying. Someday.
First, I would have to manage my masters. Every now and then I think about it, then I start paying bills and realize I still (after about 6 or so years) owe around $30,000 in student loans from my B.A. Maybe now, as a homeowner in a single income family, I can get financial aid! I started to get excited at the possibility of finally getting there. I had the school in mind, Southern New Hampshire University (online of course). They are one of the only schools that I cam across that offers a master’s degree in Creative Writing. I did a FASFA calculator to see how much aid I qualify for. To my surprise, things like mortgages and single income families do not matter in assistance. Either way, my husband makes too much to qualify for anything like any other assistance. I sighed, and put the idea on the shelf. Maybe when my loans get paid off in another 40 years I can go. It makes sense though, what will a degree in creative writing even do? I might be able to get a job at a college to teach a bunch of kids about writing. I could waste my degree being a freelancer, as I do now, while trying to sell novels.
When I was younger, I was pushed into college by a loving man who I eventually ended up marrying. He reinforced what a huge influence on my in high school said to me. He said “you’re way to smart not to do it”. He was right. It became more than that. I looked at my then infant son and decided I didn’t need to do it for me. I knew I was intelligent. I needed to do this for him. I needed to show him just because I gave up college out of the circumstance of having him while in high school, does not mean I had to be another statistic. I wanted to show my son that you should just go and follow your dreams and get an education. Just because I was a mom did not mean I had to just give up and settle. Being a mom meant I shouldn’t settle because that was a lesson my child or future children would learn. Settling means accepting defeat or sitting on the couch on welfare just because you can. Settling means flipping burgers at a fast food place because it’s easy that way. I don’t settle.
The look of pride in everyone’s face that showed up when I walked was everything I needed to know that all the emotional struggle was worth it. And if I ever get the chance to get my masters? I will be incredibly proud because it would be such an accomplishment. I don’t need it though, because I have accomplished so much. I’m young and own my first house. I’m successful at being a mom. I do have a quasi-successful freelancing career. Hell, I have even sold a few of my eBooks. I have already done more than I would have if I never stepped foot into college to begin with. I can die and be OK with that. I’m not jealous of people with their master’s, because if they are willing to rub it in people’s faces then they don’t have the sort of happiness I do with my life. If I ever get it, I will be happy that I managed to do it while managing my life as a mom, wife, and writer. If not, I will just enjoy what I have because there’s no point in being sad because I have so much.