That time again

Class of 2020 Image

It’s that time again. The  wonderful email arrived in my inbox alerting me of my financial aid, the box of books arrived on my doorstep. The steady stream of information means that a new semester is ready to start. Things are moving along with a quickness. I’m excited for the new semester, although it looks much different than I expected.

First, I’m still here at Cowley. I expected to be attending WSU and having my first class this week. Life had other ideas, and to be honest it wasn’t bad. Things turned out much better than expected in some ways. When graduation was canceled because of COVID, I was devastated: It has taken me a very long time to achieve my degree. Exactly 15 years. Including five separate attempts, at four schools and here I finally was... until COVID that is. My plan was to walk at graduation in May, then complete my biology course over the summer. It was a simple well laid out plan. But I failed to realize that it would only work perfectly if the stars aligned in the exact way they needed... and they didn’t.

As most of you know by now, I have severe and persistent illness. I have complex ptsd, that has led to an anxiety disorder. I have had this my whole life and have always been able to manage but the past couple of years we’re bad emotionally and mentally. My relationships suffered, my career and health suffered, and my mental health was in the toilet. 

I rocked school, as always. Because well, it’s school and I think school is awesome. Plus, it’s served as an escape. It provided a much-needed respite and distraction away from reality. Plus, I’m good at it, and being good at things feels good. Not getting to walk across that stage in May had some major recoil. Then, I failed college algebra. This was the icing on the cake. I dropped my summer class, contacted my mentor and made a plan B. One more semester at Cowley. Algebra and I would have another go. Biology, poetry, state & local government, and the mile marker review would be the new plan. Also, I could take the summer off. So that’s what I did, and that’s a first for me. I have completed so many credit hours since coming to Cowley. I took my education seriously, and I was always afraid of “getting out of the swing” of things. If I didn’t dial in and focus, I would not be successful, I would not achieve my goals.

But here we are, struggling with the strangest year. All surviving on survival, and the only thing separating me from that graduation is four months. In 16 weeks, I will finally, finally, finally check one of the biggest boxes in my life. So here is to getting back at it, the final four-month push, and a strange new educational experience. What a story to tell.