My College Graduation!!!
Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Like most people, I went to college right after high school. I started at a junior college and earned my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. I went on to a 4-year school but didn’t finish for various reasons. I honestly thought I would never finish. With my limited time and the rising cost of tuition, it seemed impossible.
Fast forward to 2018, when I started working for a new company. This company, like previous ones I worked for, offered to pay for schooling. However, this time it was different. They had contracts with 9 colleges that covered my tuition at 100%!! Also, I did not have to pay anything and wait to be reimbursed. All funds went between my company and the school. Previous companies I worked for only promised to pay up to a certain amount which was not enough to cover the full tuition even at a state school. Also, you had to pay for the tuition and wait up to 6 months to be reimbursed from them. No thanks!
After looking heavily into this awesome benefit, I decided to go with Purdue University Global. I sent them all my transcripts for review. When I heard back from them, I only needed to take 15 classes to obtain my Bachelor’s in Business Administration. I decided to start in April 2019. The way Purdue works for their online classes is 10 weeks on, 1 week off, all year round. I created an excel spreadsheet of classes I needed and how long it would take. I had a goal and wanted to achieve it!
Based off my excel tracker, which included taking a term off for a long trip to Europe in 2020, I would be done by mid-March 2021. We all know what happened in 2020. My Europe vacation was, of course, canceled. This allowed me to move my completion date up to December 2020. I also decided to add a marketing concentration which added 3 additional classes to my load. Each of my classes was 6 units. This meant taking 2 classes at a time would be a full load. I did not want to extend my finish date back to 2021. Thankfully, my company allowed me to take 3 classes at a time, so I could still finish in December 2020. Yes, that meant I was taking 18 credits for a couple of terms along with working full-time still. I had no social life and was always doing homework. Literally, friends would text or call me and ask what I was doing. My answer was always "homework"!
Looking back, I wouldn’t change what I did though. Yes, it was extremely hard and plenty of times I wanted to quit or just turn in work that wasn’t my full effort. Because of my determination, I was able to finish when I wanted to, with the degree I wanted, and with honors too! Magna Cum Laude baby!!
Because of covid, many of the graduations were changed to virtual. I really wanted to walk across that stage. August of 2021, they finally were able to have an in-person graduation ceremony. The first one in 18 months. It was a great graduation too. I am grateful for the ability to attend. I even was able to finally meet one of my classmates that became a friend. I met some amazing people through my journey and most I have not been able to meet in person yet. I can’t wait for that day.
(Before, during (I happened to be sitting right in front of her), after)
(Night before beauty prep, pre-ceremony pics in the hotel lobby, pics from before the ceremony started in the venue, I took a selfie on stage and my friend took a pic of me taking a selfie, I have my diploma holder (actual diploma was mailed months before), after the tassel turning)
(entering the venue to Pomp and Circumstance)
(the virtual students getting to "walk" across the stage too)
(The turning of the tassels)
-Wander With Mekela
Bachelor's in Business Administration with a Marketing Concentration
Magna Cum Laude