It has always been a dream of mine to get a master’s degree. I loved school growing up and had a desire to pursue a higher education, but I honestly had NO idea what area of study to pursue. My dad has two master’s degrees both in Engineering, and my mom has a PhD in Speech Therapy – two of the smartest people I know. I’ve always admired their intelligence and have wanted a higher education for myself. I genuinely love to read and write, and I have ever since I was a kid. I’ve even had teachers tell me that I was a good writer, but I truthfully didn’t have enough confidence in myself to pursue a degree in English or a career as a writer. Being a former college tennis player, I have dedicated most of my life to sports. Most of the jobs I’ve had involved sports or fitness in some way, shape, or form, but being active, I’ve come to realize, is more of a hobby for me rather than a career path.
Because I was so focused on tennis throughout college – my whole life, really – I never considered life outside of it. Don’t get me wrong – my academics were important to me, but sports always seemed to take priority. When I was a senior in college, I transferred to a different university for athletic reasons. I had majored in Journalism for the majority of my college career. However, it wasn’t something I chose because I really wanted a career as a journalist. If we are being really honest, I just wanted to major in something that didn’t require too many math or science classes! I didn’t care for the reporting side of journalism, but I really did enjoy the writing – and I knew that even back then.
When I transferred schools, I was told many of my credits hadn’t transferred over. I was given the choice to pursue a major in Communications with a concentration in Journalism and graduate two years later than originally planned, or I could settle for a degree in General Studies and graduate on time as planned. I wasn’t heartbroken when I was told I couldn’t get a degree in Journalism, as it wasn’t a true passion anyway. Even though I didn’t know exactly what it was, I decided to settle for the General Studies degree so I could graduate on time and move forward in pursuit of a graduate degree – the ultimate goal. I knew at that point I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in English & Creative Writing – I even took a creative writing class that year. I had every intention to apply to graduate school immediately after graduating. However, more and more time passed after graduation. My plan to attend graduate school was pushed back further and further until it seemed more like a big dream I had when I was a kid rather than a realistic goal.
Six years later and the stars have finally aligned – I applied to grad school and have been accepted into an online master’s program through Southern New Hampshire University. Because my current situation doesn’t allow me to physically attend classes, this online program was the perfect fit! This degree is going to do a couple of things for me – both professionally and personally. The biggest personal goal I have for myself involves a bit of redemption. I want a degree I can be proud of – something that I pursued because I was passionate – not because I “had” to choose an area of study. I also have a dream to one day write a book. Although I am not sure what it is I’ll write about just yet (I’m taking suggestions!), I know I want that for myself.
Just because you aren't where you want to be yet doesn't mean you'll never get there, and it doesn't make you a lesser human being because of it. This is your life, your time, your clock, and it's never too late for YOU to pursue YOUR dream. You can't compare your journey to someone else's – everyone is walking a different path. "There's no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it's their time."
Coming Spring 2020: Erin Wilbert DeCuir, M.A. English & Creative Writing.