I went to the college today to hand in some final paperwork and to get my books. Despite dropping a wad of cash on the books, I left the school feeling overwhelmed with excitement. I have practically been counting down the seconds until school starts because I'm just that eager to start and this put me one step closer!
I wanted to share my excitement so I posted on Facebook that I had gotten my books and that I couldn't wait to start school. Now, I'm not one to get into silly Facebook spats because, first of all, I live in a house with three little girls and that is more than enough drama for me and second, I understand that people can come across differently in that type of forum. However, someone posted, "You must be sick! What happened to the Jillian that hated school 8 years ago?" I know that this person probably wanted to say something funny or clever and that the intent of the common wasn't destructive. It just kind of stung because for my entire life I have felt... stupid.
There are reasons for this... I have an older brother and sister (who I adore, by the way) who always made amazing grades with their eyes shut. To give a comparison, my brother has a master's degree in engineering and my sister has a bachelor's in nursing. I was the type of student who would study for 2 hours and be thrilled with a C when they wouldn't crack a book and get A's. When we lived in Texas there were advanced placement classes called "Gifted and Talented" classes and I was the only one out of the three of us who didn't get an invitation into the program. I once had a teacher ask me, "Why can't you be more like your brother and sister?" I also had another incident where I truly studied my heart out and got an 80 on a biology test and my teacher said, "Did you get a boyfriend or something because your grades are slipping?" Comments like that made me not want to try and not care about being intelligent. To compensate, I found myself as the class clown and a social butterfly and pretty much decided that school was a waste of time and energy. And for me, it turned out that skipping class and pulling pranks was way more fun than studying anyways.
For as long as I can remember, I never wanted to go to college. When I graduated from high school I just wanted to marry John (who I had been dating since the middle of my senior year) and have a family. I went to college partly to appease my parents but mostly because I needed to be full time to have their medical benefits. With a severe case of asthma I couldn't be without them. I goofed off for 2 semesters and never went to class because it wasn't what I wanted in that time of my life. Thankfully, John and I were engaged so once we got married I could have his benefits and quit school. He was always happy to support me in whatever decision I made and I loved that about him... And still do:-)
Now that this is what I want with all of my heart, I feel know that I will do whatever it takes to get there. I may not be the most "book smart" person on the planet but it's possible that I'm far more determined than most people realize. And I also tend to believe that intelligence and success is not based solely on a person's ability to score high on a test or write a perfect paper. I have other gifts and abilities that simply aren't reflected in academics.
I have no regrets. I'm so happy that John and I married and had babies super young. In response to my plans of going to school, somebody recently told me, "Hindsight is 20/20. I bet you wish you had seen this desire before you had the kids." That statement isn't accurate for me, though. I would have never been content waiting the 2 years of getting my schooling out of the way and then possibly working before starting a family. My life's ambition and drive was... and still is... to be a mother. And even though I'm furthering my education, it's still all for my family and it will be done with ME being the one to sacrifice, not them.
I know that I really don't have to prove myself to people but I feel as though I do. I didn't try very hard in my previous attempts at education so I suppose people are entitled to think that I won't succeed and that this is weird ambition for me to have. With that being said, though, I intend on working my butt off to show everyone that I can do anything I set my mind to!