I’m still celebrating! Nearly three weeks ago, I accomplished something that has been a long time in the making.
I completed the MBA program at the University of Florida. It almost feels unreal, simply because I have been at this for so long. I had to take leave in the middle of the program. When I came back, I had to bounce from cohort to cohort, seeking out the courses I needed to finish. The road was not easy. There were so many bumps, twists, and turns – even moments when I lost my way. But thanks to support from family, friends, and colleagues, I pushed through to the end. It also helped immensely that I had an incredible team to work with in the final course. Those team members have a lot of heart, and I have no doubt we’ll keep in touch. The shared experience and the pain of pushing through to the end forged a strong bond. The night before my final exam, I wrote a blog post that I never uploaded. It was an account of what I was feeling – excitement, fear, disbelief, sadness. This was a part of my life for four years! What would it be like without it taking up so much of my time? I barely remember life pre-grad school. I wouldn’t have to go to my old stomping grounds any more in Gainesville. It was the last time in our little hotel room,
the last time enjoying my time on campus and snapping a few selfies – the last everything.
What opportunities would this new degree unlock for me? How would I do on the final exam? I needed at least a B in the course. With all of the points possible up until this point, I already had a B-, so I didn’t need many more points on the exam, but I still had anxiety about it. Could I do it? Had I studied enough? Had I spent enough time on the right topics? Read the below post, and you’ll have a better idea of what goes on in my head. Enter my mind at your own risk.
Reflection. It’s one thing I am very good at! Tonight, I am thinking back on the last four years of my life. Let me set the scene for you. I am on my iPhone sitting on a hotel room toilet (no worries… the lid is down). My hubby and I are watching my kids burn off the final bit of the day’s energy in a tub of shallow water with a few toys. This is one of their favorite things. This will be the last time we do this at this hotel. It may be the last time we ever come to this city. You see, I am completing a journey four years in the making. This is the last weekend I will travel for MBA courses. It is the eve of my last final exam. I am about to be a graduate of the program. I am a bit sentimental as it is. So this being the final leg of this journey has me thinking about how we all got here. And it’s also not lost on me that when I began this journey, the tub only had one child in it. So life has changed quite a bit over these last four years.
It’s no secret for those of you who know me. I tend to keep quite a bit on my plate at all times. So it wasn’t all that surprising that shortly after I had changed jobs, moved to a new state, and had my daughter, I decided to go back to school to get a Masters in Business Administration. I wanted more knowledge, a potential competitive advantage, and a new challenge. I had been thinking about it for a while, but didn’t actually take the plunge until I was a wife, mother, and full-time television executive. Sometimes I think if I just needed more adventure or challenges, perhaps I should have just taken up rock climbing or jumping from planes! This adventure was grueling at times. There have been tears. At times, my stress levels have been off the charts, but I kept on going with the strong backing of my husband who cheered me on when I thought it was all just too much! He’s on the bed now, relaxing, likely not even realizing that I couldn’t have done this without him. He knew when to gently nudge me and when to push– when to be gentle and understanding and when to give that tough love to shake me out of a slump. He’s my rock.
As I get ready to put the kids down for the night, I am a ball of nerves and a sentimental fool. I only need a few points on tomorrow’s exam to finish really strong in the class and the program. None of this seems real. I likely won’t believe any of this until I get the degree in the mail. Anyway, this was just a quick post because this was in my head, and I needed to share. I actually need to do some more studying and create the sheet of notes the professor is allowing us to have tomorrow. I am tired. but this is the final stretch, the final hours. I can push through.