It's Never Too Late to Finish Your Degree

Most students feel pressure to go to college right after high school and finish in four years. When I graduated from high school seven years ago, I felt that pressure as well. I picked a university 40 minutes from my hometown that most people from my graduating class also attended. The school I attended was also one of the few universities in Missouri that offered a degree in music technology, which is the career path I had my heart set on. However, once I got into the music program, I started to struggle academically. I loved being involved in orchestra, choir and theatre in high school, but university music classes were a struggle for me to keep up with. Not only did I feel discouraged from getting tutoring and still barely passing my classes, but I was losing the passion I once felt for music. By the time I was a sophomore in college, I realized I didn’t even want to be in college anymore and made the decision to not attend my university after the end of my sophomore year in 2015. 

I decided to take time off of school for a year and I worked full-time as a waitress. I used that time to try to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I decided I was going to switch my major to English and I discovered a private, liberal arts college in a different state that I thought would be perfect for me. However, halfway through my first semester, I found out their English department was falling apart. I discovered I would have to take most of my classes as independent studies in order to graduate. At the end of the fall semester, I decided that this school wasn’t a good fit for me either. I moved back home and thought maybe community college would be the answer. However, I was still working full-time as a waitress and found myself slipping behind in classes. I made the decision to drop out again. 

I felt like a failure for dropping out of school for a third time. It’s something I have been ashamed of and usually kept to myself (until now). I was worried that I was just a quitter who would never earn their degree. It didn’t seem this hard for anyone else to get their bachelor’s degree, so why was I hitting so many roadblocks? In 2017, I took another year off of school. I was determined to never let this situation happen to me again. I worked multiple jobs and didn’t want to commit to another college until I was absolutely positive the school I would next attend would be the place I would earn my diploma. During this time, I decided to look into UMKC. After touring the school and talking with my friends and family, I decided to wait until fall 2018 to start attending college again. By that point, I would be settled in Kansas City and have enough time to recover from the past year. 

Now, it’s spring 2020 and I am earning my bachelor’s degree in a week from UMKC. I have worked so hard to get to where I’m at and it’s finally about to pay off. Despite all the hardship, I am so happy I ended up at UMKC when I did. I have made so many wonderful memories and created life-long friendships in the past two years. I have grown academically and professionally in a way that I never expected. I have learned during my college experience that it’s never too late to finish your degree. If you have a goal, don’t let any obstacles stop you from becoming the best possible version of yourself no matter how long it takes.