Thursday, May 26, 2011

EDITORIAL: There Is No Timetable On Education Goals

by Erika Martin

Education Columnist

When I first started my journey towards getting my high school diploma this year, at the age of 34, there was a part of me that felt a little embarrassed. I felt like I had to put a disclaimer in every conversation that I had to explain why I didn't have a real high school diploma. I felt like people would just assume that I'd quit school in my teens. Then I felt like people might wonder how I'm able to run my business without a college degree.

It wasn't long into the process of the Vermont Adult Diploma Program and telling people what I was doing that I had my moment of awakening. People were proud of me. They were inspired by what I was doing. They congratulated me. They were excited to hear that I was reaching out and grabbing a hold of something that had eluded me for almost 2 decades. They wanted to know what I would pursue after I had gotten my diploma. My embarrassment quickly slipped away when I realized that there was nothing for me to be embarrassed about.

I'm not embarrassed that I'm working towards a higher education. We are always in a state of learning, no matter what age we are. I'm not embarrassed that I'm 34 years old and finally getting my high school diploma. I believe that there's a time for everything and this was the right time for me to get my diploma. I'm not embarrassed that I'm going to be starting college in the fall. I'm at a stage in my life in which I know, without a shadow of doubt, what it is I'm called to do. My life's calling has been made clear over the past 20 years and now is the time when it's all coming together and when it all meant to. I'm not embarrassed that I've built a successful business for myself without a high school diploma. I'm proud of that accomplishment and it only goes to show that we can turn our dreams into reality regardless of some of the obstacles in our way.

I've been asked to be one of the speakers at the graduation ceremony in a couple of weeks and I've been thinking about what I could share that would tell my story and also be an inspiration to others. In so many areas of life, especially in this country, society is bent on trying to keep up with everyone else. Society tends to frown upon those of us that have waited, for whatever reason, to get a high school diploma, a GED or even in waiting to go on to college. There seems to be an unspoken rule that these things need to be done on a specific timetable. Graduate at 18 years old, go straight on to college and graduate at 22 and perhaps go on to earn another degree right away. I want people to know that they have their own timetable and don't have to succumb to the "social norms." Those of us that have waited until now have reasons for doing so. Some were in our control and some were not. Regardless of the reasons, we are taking control and we are doing it in the timing that is right for us and that is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is something to be celebrated and embraced. We should be proud of ourselves and excited for what this steps means for our present and our future. We should congratulate ourselves. I am.

About the columnist:

Erika Martin was withheld from attaining her high school diploma and a higher education due to living in a spiritually abusive upbringing. She is currently working towards attaining her high school diploma and plans to pursue a degree in Psychology after graduation this June. Erika will highlight relevant news and information that relates to education as well as chronicle her journey toward her diploma.



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...