A year ago today, I graduated with a BA in Communications from Cameron University. Luckily, I graduated with ZERO student loan debt – but that was due to my GI Bill from my little over 9 years of service with the US Army.

I wasn’t with Mr. “O” the first two years of school. It was just the girls and me. I bartended 6 nights a week to keep the roof over our heads and all the bills paid. I got little to no sleep during this period. Getting home at about 3-4 in the morning and then having to get up at 7 to get the girls ready to be at school by 8:30 and then getting myself to classes by 9 am – it was stressful. It was tiring. It wasn’t easy, and there were many times it would have been easier to quit than it would have been to stick it out.

I am proud to say that I completed my 4 year degree in 3 1/2 years. I am proud to say that, against all odds and tribulations during this time; I MADE IT.

Of course, there were trade-off’s. There are moments that I missed that I can never get back. But if there was one lesson that I taught not only myself, but my children, is that if you WANT something – if you DREAM of something – and you are dedicated, motivated and put in the hard work – you CAN accomplish ANYTHING you set your mind to do.

The past year has had many changes. It feels like a lifetime ago – not just a year ago. But that’s all its been – one year.

A day that I will never forget. A day that my parents sat in the stands next to my children and my husband along with great friends who stood by me and supported me through the process. A day that brought tears of pride and joy to my parents. The first in ANY of the generations to earn a higher degree.

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