Today I was accepted into grad school! It's been a long dream of mine to continue my education - I just never quite knew what I wanted to do or when I would want to do it. So after receiving my undergraduate degree, the grad school dream sat on the back burner as I started working my way up through various jobs until I happened upon my last one in web communications. It didn't take me very long to know that web communications - strategy, design, development, etc. - was the field I wanted to pursue a career in. So I started to think of what grad programs may apply.
Unfortunately, in the world of web comm, most people are completely self taught & I knew I didn't need a Master's to make a living at it. So I set my sights on just learning as much as I possibly could on my own. While at a conference in Portland in May 2013, I was introduced to the concept of User Experience (UX). I attended as many sessions on the UX track as I could, and by the time I headed home, I had found a new direction to set my sights on.
Almost immediately, I found an online Masters of Science program at Kent State in UX. I bookmarked it & kept going to back to it over the next year. I wasn't ready to commit to it. I wanted to make sure I really, really wanted to pursue UX in a formal setting. The longer I made myself wait, the more heartsick I became. I desperately wanted to enroll. I made a list of pros and cons, benefits and opportunities the degree would grant me, and I presented it to C. Once he saw I was serious, he didn't hesitate and got on board. So I applied for the spring semester, to begin January 2015.
Less than a month after submitting my application, I accepted a job in Austin & we moved to a new city. During the move, C started gently telling me maybe starting grad school a month after a new job wasn't the best idea. I fought him on it for days... all the way up to the official cut off day, which also happened to be the day we completely packed up our entire house into boxes. With only a few hours to spare I made the decision to move my start date back to the Summer. (A decision I'm so happy I made. I'm so happy to have a husband willing to challenge my decisions.)
Which brings me to today. The day I was officially accepted! I'll be starting May 18. Not a day too soon, or a day too late. I'm completely thrilled by the prospect.
When I told my dad the news, he texted this to me:
Somewhere Grandpa O is smiling. His kids went to college and their kids go to grad school.
I'd never looked at my educational pursuits as the result of my ancestor's hard work. But as the granddaughter of a Chicago steel worker and Texas electrician, I know that I wouldn't have these opportunities without their life's work, sacrifice and love.
I can't wait to make them proud.