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This week my Associate in Science degree finally came in the mail! I practically earned it last summer, and then had to wait to apply for it in the fall, and then it got sent to the wrong address, haha. So I have had these proud feelings for 9 months, but finally got the paperwork to show for it ;) Believe it or not, my college career began in Fall 2009… Over the past six years, I made important life decisions that took me all over Utah, and to three different universities… haha. I took semesters off here and there, as well. Hence, why it took me five years to earn a two-year degree :)

Underestimated education

I know people say that an A.S. is no better than a high school diploma these days. I completely disagree! Yes a Bachelor’s degree is better to have, but people underestimate the opportunities that are opened with at least an A.S. Most people view it as a stepping stone to a bachelors degree, that might possibly get them a better entry-level job. Others view it as: “Hey, I’m the first person to even go to college in my family so at least I got this far!”  For me, it represents a lot more than that.

This represents a long, giant growing experience for me. One that started with “I’m just going to college for the experience” to “I love college and wish I had tons of money so I could take every class and learn about everything!” One that taught me a lot of independence through paying my own bills, making my own decisions, figuring out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. This degree represented a constant goal I had no matter what my circumstance was at any time. It represents a whole lot of knowledge I have gained about many different subjects, and knowing I am a better person for what I have learned. It represents my determination not to be working at Michael’s the rest of my life, haha. And finally, I’m not sure I would have discovered my full potential in this life if it weren’t for college.

Why it’s a big deal

I know it’s kind of funny that I’m making such a big deal of it, considering how many people go on to earn more education than this. However, I think an A.S. is actually a big deal among women in my demographic: LDS, married, early 20’s. The usual story here is the wife drops out of school to work full time so the husband can finish school first, to get a good job and better support them in the future. I’m not bashing on this decision at all because we decided this was the best thing for us to do, too! I’m just pointing out that this is a common circumstance and common reason why we have a harder time finishing school. I’m not a huge advocate of “total career wife and mom” nor am I an advocate of “school is for fools.” I’m just a wife saying that I feel proud to have achieved a level of schooling that is often underrated, and actually does take time and work to achieve.

For those of you who started a degree and who want to finish but stopped for whatever reason, don’t give up on trying to achieve that someday. There is so much to gain from getting more education! Of course, my motto is to do what’s best for you and your family, though :)

I’m so grateful that the opportunity came along for me to go back to school so I could achieve this! I’m looking forward to getting my B.S. in a few semesters and can’t wait for the feeling I will have in achieving that as well.

Keepin' marriage fresh,
Amy

5 Comments

  • I have an associates degree, and in my country we call it a 2 year diploma; and I am really proud of it too. No it isn’t as prestigious as a bachelors, and I am the least educated person in my family. (My mom has 2 bachelors, my dad has a bachelors, 2 of my sisters have masters degrees, and my other sister has an associates degree, and a bachelors degree. We are a farming family, and like most farming families, we value education.) It took me a long time to get it because I have some learning disabilities. I consider it to be on par with a trade, and nobody goes on about settling on mediocrity when somebody picks up a trade, (and if you do, you are a snob.) Statistically the majority of people with my disability, don’t even graduate high school, and I wasn’t diagnosed for my disability until I was an adult so the fact that I went on to any sort of post-secondary and graduated is pretty amazing in itself. I have a seasonal job where I work 10 months of the year, ( I work in a school) where I make $28.10/h, I work at another job I make $20/h for another 6 hours a week, and I have a summer job where I make $19. I have been working at my job for four years, and I would not have been able to get any of my jobs without my education. Without my education, I’d probably be somewhere making slightly more than minimum wage. I am able to afford a yearly vacation abroad, I can save/invest money, I live in a nice apartment with access to great public transportation, I am financially comfortable with 5 months emergency savings, and 30k in retirement (at age 29) and I am debt free.

  • Thank you Mrs. Amy, I just received a letter congratulating me on my upcoming graduation with an A.S. in radiologic tech and although my mom was proud she said it could have been a B.S. For a moment I didn’t feel like I achieved anything until I read your article and it lifted my spirits.

  • Congratulations! And yes, it’s interesting how you managed to go to three different universities to earn that degree! College classes don’t always prepare you for a specific job, but broaden your horizons about topics you never considered, and teach you that you can do hard things.

  • Congrats Amy that’s really awesome! I couldn’t have said it better myself! I love college and it’s not easy to finish but so worth it!

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