|My second year of college|
I won't technically be *done*, I still have that summer class. But THAT is IT.
I started going to college when I was 15. It was my mom's idea. My high school had a new dean who had changed a lot of policies... policies that were why I was there in the first place. Suddenly, I wasn't learning. And I wasn't challenged (very related). And I stopped going.
For the first time in my life, I brought home a report card filled with negative comments, bad grades, and truancy. And when I told my mother why, she said, "Just drop out. We'll tell the state we're home schooling you, and you can go to community college instead."
And that is just what I did. I enrolled for two classes my first semester. I loved them. The next semester I enrolled full time. I didn't know that I wasn't allowed to do that- apparently, you can't enroll full time in college unless you've graduated from high school. But... nobody noticed that I was young, nobody noticed that I was actually a high school student hanging around the community college... and so I did. And I loved it.
Each semester I got more ambitious. Not about what I was going to do after college. I don't think I ever spared a moment's thought to that. I got ambitious about what I could learn right then. I took every class that appealed to me. I switched majors. Twice. I became a regular fixture in the advising center to get permission to take more than the normally allowed 18 credits. I took summer classes. For the heck of it.
|Me as Magenta in the Rocky Horror Picture Show|
I only slept for two hours a night, most nights. During "Mash," from 5-7am. I finished the semesters with seven 'A's and a 'C.'
Then I transferred, with a scholarship, to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. And starting on the day of orientation, I began to think about the future. About what the hell I was going to do once I was done being in college. I was an eighteen year old junior. I took a few master's level writing classes. I got in fights with my professors about the "correct" size for a collage.
I left art school and joined AmeriCorps as a VISTA, and I spent most of a year working in the Chicago slums.
After AmeriCorps I went to fashion design school, on a scholarship.
I left fashion design school and went back to community college, only this time in Chicago- majoring in philosophy.
|Prepping a mural on Chicago's south side|
While I was in City Year, I learned about a brand new undergrad program- starting the next fall- in Urban Policy and Public Administration.
And I got into that.
I was a twenty three year old junior.
My fiance was diagnosed with brain cancer. I got married. I got pregnant. I had twins. I got pregnant again.
And now, five years after I started, after watching every single student to ever be in that program graduate, I am finishing.
|These things kept me from finishing... for a while|
I am actually going to graduate from something. I think. Probably. Unless some sort of epic disaster strikes.
I'll still have one class to do, but I can do it. I can do one more class.
One more class. And a new baby.
The end is in sight.