An interesting little fact dawned on me this morning when I was driving myself to work. At first I didn’t believe it, I thought that surely I had to be mistaken, but I thought long and hard about it and it’s true.
Next week I’m going to be the first woman in my family with a college degree.
I know thinking back to great-grandparents and older the women in my family didn’t even graduate through high school. They married young and had families so college simply wasn’t a priority. I know that my grandmother on my mother’s side didn’t attend school beyond the 8th grade. Years later after she married she did ultimately earn her GED and nursing certificate back in West Virginia but she never earned any college degree. I do not believe my other grandmother ever graduated high school either, she married young and had children. My father never earned his college degree although he has earned many certificates and licenses and has completed his certified contractor’s license. He has mostly brothers, who have no education beyond high school, and his one sister earned her nursing certificate but didn’t graduate college. My mother has one sister who has no education beyond high school. My mother has her Emergency Management Service certificate but she also never earned her college degree. I have only one female cousin who never attended college at all and I have one sister who has her cosmetology license but who has also never attended college. My brother earned his Bachelor’s degree back in 2002 and that’s it. Until me he is the only college degree in my family. It makes me feel even more proud of myself now that I’m able to truly reflect on what an accompishment this is for me and for my family. It saddens me a little bit to know that this little triumph, this victory of mine, will largely go unnoticed by my family. Even I chose to call attention to my accomplishment myself it would garner a few words of “congratulations” from one or two family members and that would be the extent of any celebration. Regardless, I’m proud of me and I know my husband is proud of me and truly that is all that matters.
This realization does reinforce my desire to continue going to school. I’ll have my Associate’s degree next week. I’ll have my Bachelor’s degree in another year. I want my Master’s degree too. I’m happy and I’m proud of myself. 🙂