Are We There Yet?

Sometimes, I really have to remind myself of why I’m in college…

Reason #1: Because it’s free for me

I am SO fortunate to live in a country with a volunteer military who is willing and able to pay for my college tuition.  I do not take this benefit for granted.  The Minnesota Army National Guard pays for 100% of my tuition bills, and I only need to pay for books and fees. I feel very privileged to have the health and opportunity to be in the military, and while I’m serving, I’d like to reap in every benefit I can – one of those being a “free” degree.

Reason #2: Because it benefits my military career

The military has this list that is published every year, and they place you in a pecking order to get promoted.  It’s creatively called a “promotion list”.  This year, I was ranked 4 out of 4.  Boo, right?  So I did some research on the other three candidates who out-ranked me on this list.  It turns out that  they have one tangible thing that I don’t…you guessed it = a Bachelor’s degree.  I can be a very competitive person.  So, with that, to you three:

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Reason #3: Because it will benefit my post-military career

In 3,608 days, I will retire with 20 years active duty from the National Guard.  While I would LOVE to be completely done with working just one short week before my 40th birthday, I’ll still need to put some effort in.  With that in mind, I’d like to do something completely outside of military operations and government, and work for a non-profit.  My degree will help me get my foot in the door once I’m retired, and hopefully will provide me the stimulation and joys one talks about when they’re doing with their “first career.”

Reason #4: Because I always said I would

When I was a teenager, I had an awesome mentor and she was all about lists.  She encouraged my friends and me to create a list of “101 Things to Do Before I Die”.   (That list now is about 158 things long…but that’s another blog.)  One of the top 10 things I put on this list was “Get a Bachelor’s Degree”.  How can I look back at my 13-year-old self and say, “Hey man, sorry but…nope.  Even though it’s pretty much free, and you will benefit from it for your current career, and your future career, I’m just not going to put the effort in. #netflixandchill”.  I can’t do that! 8ad622a4ae9fd1d118ec052f6c346516

Reason #5: I’m almost there! This is a marathon, not a sprint

After this semester is over (this Saturday!), I will have ONE FLIPPING SEMESTER left!  How could I possible quit at this point?  That’s like getting to mile 24 during a marathon and NOT finishing – you just…can’t!

So, to my fellow students in MDST 485:

For those of you who are “there yet”…you’re so lucky!  Congratulations and enjoy your new found respect in life for completing this awesome challenge!

For the rest of us who aren’t “there yet”…let’s keep our eye on the prize.  Find your reasons to keep chugging along and let’s finish this thing.  Marathons suck, but that feeling at the end is AH-MAZING!  Or, as my niece tried to write, AWESOME.

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(From left to right): My mom, sister Jacquie, me, sister Rocquie and niece Josie after my first (and last) Twin Cities Marathon on October 7th, 2012.

 

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