Target Reached – Freshly Minted Paralegal
I am on the cusp of finishing my Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies. I have my last final Thursday night. Then I am done. Theoretically I need to wait for the grades to come in, but at this point I know I am done, I know I get my degree. I can now call myself a paralegal.
When I started out on this educational journey on September 9th 2013 I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous that the whole studying thing would be difficult, having been out of the educational arena for decades. I worried that I would not be able to juggle everything. I was scared of not knowing anything. I was worried that mommy-brain had wiped out every brain cell I ever had. In fact, I was worried that I just wouldn’t cut it at all.
What I did not know was how much going to college would fulfill me. How addictive knowledge would become. How my self-confidence and self-belief would grow by leaps and bounds. How I would fall in love with learning.
It took me one semester longer than expected to finish this degree for various reasons. And initially that upset me, because I wanted to be done at the normal pace. But it’s done. And I did it. I set myself a goal that at the time of setting it seemed unattainable – yet I accomplished what I set out to do. With excellent grades.
Setting school aside for a minute, these last 2 years have been extremely stressful personally for reasons I won’t go into. So the fact that I still kept going to school, and still pushed myself to do my best, and managed to get this far is a huge achievement. It’s also a sign that I am one very stubborn woman who doesn’t let anything get in her way.
I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without the support of the KoD – knowing your spouse believes in you and supports you is a tremendous thing. My kids have been great cheerleaders – and have taken great pride in their mom’s achievements. When I came second in the college’s speech contest they said I was robbed!! But they were proud all the same. They read my essays and quizzed me on US history. Mo even taught me about the Supreme Court.
I have made some really good friends – among the staff as well as the student body. The paralegal department at RCC is staffed with excellent professors from whom I learned so much. I am more than ready and capable to take on a paralegal position at a law firm. There were electives I had to take – some were more fun than others. Those who follow me on Facebook are well aware of all of the stories of the less fun classes with the less capable professors (psych much?). But the highlights of the electives were definitely Speech class – we all know I love to hear myself talk, English Literature – that class was such a joy, and classes from the Criminal Justice department.
I plan to continue towards my Bachelor’s degree very soon. Now that learning has infected my blood I must continue. I also see a Master’s degree in my future too. There is no stopping me now!
Once I am done I plan to take a couple of weeks to just breathe, and to start looking for a job as a paralegal. But I know I will miss being in the classroom.
I want to thank you all for supporting me. My friends Amy and Chanie helped get me to the point that I felt able to go and get a college education – and I will always be so deeply grateful to them for making me see that it was totally doable, and that I was not alone in being an older student. Yes, it is easier to get a degree before marriage and kids, but you know what? When did I ever choose easy??
I remember being a little girl of six or seven when my mother finished her Bachelor’s degree. We all got to go to her graduation which took place in a huge auditorium. We had seats on the second tier at the front. When they called my mum’s name, we stood up and applauded. I told the fellow sitting to the left of me “that’s MY mummy” – my heart was bursting with pride. Having completed a degree (not quite a Bachelor’s yet) myself with young children, it is only now that I really understand how difficult it was for her, and what a tremendous accomplishment it was.
I must get back to the books to finish up studying for my final final. Wish me luck!!