Salute to Spouses Blog

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The College Spouse: The wandering world of the military spouse student

 I am the perpetual student. That’s honestly how I feel sometimes. I began my journey towards my bachelor’s degree in 2004. Yes folks, eight years ago, and I am still in school. Thanks to PCS’s I had the task of completing different requirements at the different colleges as I transferred. Not to mention, I changed my major twice. It all adds up to a degree that seems to be taking forever.

I have been a SAHM (stay at home mom) since I was six months pregnant with my son, who is now 13. So as you can see, I have been out of the workforce for some time. But I knew I would be returning eventually, and what I lacked in employment, I wanted to make up for in education. I didn’t want to return to the workforce with nothing. The jobs I held in food service and retail were great when I was in high school and a young 20-something, but they aren’t what I want to do with my life now that the big 4-0 is up the street and around the corner! When I start working again, I want to pursue a career, not just have a job.

So as I said, I began my journey in the fall of 2004. We were stationed at Fort Carson, and I finally decided to go back to school. Even though I knew it would be some time before I sought employment, as my son was turning 6 and our daughter had just turned 1. I figured it gave me plenty of time, and boy did I need it! Accounting was going to be my major, but I soon found out, it wasn’t all I thought it was going to be. So after a wasted semester, I changed my major to teaching. Not quite sure why I went that route, but I did. After another semester of pursing a major I wasn’t 100 percent in love with, I changed again.

The criminal justice field is one that I have always been fascinated with, and should have been pursuing from the beginning. I realized this after two semesters of college, and knew that’s what I wanted to do.  Finally! I have a plan! So with a new education plan, I am on the right road. But I should have known there would be another bump. PCS orders arrived, and we we’re off to Fort Bragg. Somehow two years passed before I returned to school in the fall of 2008, and while most everything transferred from my school in Colorado, their criminal justice requirements were much different, so it was almost like starting from scratch. But that was ok. From what I had heard, Bragg was the ‘black hole’ of posts, and it sounded like we would be there forever. Plenty of time to at least finish my associate’s degree, or so I thought. Remember that bump we hit earlier? After only two and a half years at Bragg, we hit it again. Orders to Fort Leonard Wood arrived. Another post. Another college. Another transfer. This is getting old.

I transferred as soon as we arrived, as to not waste time like I had when we arrived at Bragg. With three semesters under my belt from Carson, and two from Bragg, I figured I wouldn’t have many classes left. To my surprise, the community college here had no criminal justice major, just a general associate’s which required a whole different set of classes. Pretty much everything transferred, but I still had quite a few core classes left. I began in the fall of 2010, and finally earned my associate’s degree in December 2011! Now, on to my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration which is where I stand today.

I transferred to my current college, and began in the spring of 2012. I just finished my second quarter, and am really enjoying it so far. All but six of my 90 credits transferred, so I was incredibly lucky there. The only hiccup that I have encountered is the requirement for 36 junior/senior class credits must be taken here in order to graduate, and I only had 24 junior/senior credits left to take. So, I have to declare a minor in order to get those remaining 12 credits. But that’s ok, because my minor, Crime Scene Technician, is something that completely interests me, and just gives me another avenue to travel when it comes time to seek employment.

So as you can see, it has been a long, interesting and, at times, frustrating road. But despite all the roadblocks, I am so thankful that I did make the decision to go back to school. Ideally I would have done all this before I got married, but life doesn’t always go as planned. Not to mention, I was in no frame of mind to go to school when I was younger. School was not a priority. So in that sense I am thankful that I waited. And as long of a wait as it has been, I finally am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

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