If you are new to the blog, welcome! If you are a regular reader, welcome!
If you are a new reader, I guess you should know that I was born in Louisiana, but raised in south Alabama. I had always dreamed of attending The University of Alabama in Birmingham since my freshman in high school. Well, to make a long story short, things did not work out as planned. My family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, four days after I graduated from high school in May 2009 for my step father to take on a new role within the company he worked with for many years. In order for me to keep in state tuition and be independent, I made the move to Louisiana with my parents and sister, too.
Since then, I have transferred universities twice. I started my freshman year of college at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. After my first semester I became financially dependant and had to transfer to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge so that I could live at home and cut expenses. I attended LSU for three consecutive years and was scheduled to graduate December 2013. If I had never encountered the hardships of financial responsibility at age 19, I would be graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University May 2013. Depressing? Yes, but I am over it now.
Last year (Fall 2011-Spring 2012) I decided that just one more transfer would not hurt me too bad. I was already behind because a few classes did not transfer from SELU to LSU. And, after starting classes in Spring 2010 at LSU I had a completely different curriculum to follow since I changed my major from Nursing to Elementary Education. So, I decided to transfer one last time to my long time dream school, The University of Alabama at Birmingham. (In between that last transfer, I married a pretty spectacular man and became a resident of my beloved state again, too!)
After completing my first check in for this semester with my advisor earlier today, I learned that I am scheduled to graduate December 2014 from The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education and a certification to teach Special Education. You better believe that will be a glorious day if everything plays out as currently planned.
During Fall 2012, I started retaking Alabama state requirements (of which I had already completed and passed in Louisiana). Over the weekend I received a notice in the mail that I PASSED (praise Jesus!) the ACETP (formerly known as the APTTP). This semester, Spring 2013, the goal is to complete 16 hours of practicum that I unfortunately am retaking since I have already taken these courses LSU. Also, I must retake all official education state requirements in order to apply for student teaching by the end of Summer 2013. YAY! Let's hope and pray like crazy that I will successfully complete 16 hours this Spring, pass the Praxis II, and move forward in time to complete 12 hours this summer before my application for the college of education is due in July.
So, now that you all are caught up on my , I say all of this not to complain. Yes, at times I feel somewhat defeated being a senior with 90+ credit hours in classes full of sophomores. However, eventually I will have a college degree. I will be a college graduate. It might take me five years, two college transfers, and a marriage to get things accomplished, but it will be a well deserved worked for accomplishment that my parents did not pay for. It will be an accomplishment that I can tell my future children that I worked for after many hours of stress, determination, and time. No one can take away an earned and worked for college education.
Although my degree will not pay in great strides money wise, thankfully, I will have no student loans to pay off. Thankfully, I married a man who does not worry about income or defeating women in the work force financially or based on status merit. If I end up scoring a job fulfilling my passion teaching children for the rest of my life, I will be happy. If I do not find a teaching job, I will still be happy. I know that the Lord will provide where He needs me to serve when the time comes.
With all my heart, I believe that the Lord had a purpose for my life in Louisiana for the three long years that I attended SELU and LSU. Between working one full time job, one part time job, commuting, and being a full time student, I had no social life. I did not know who I was or where I truly was heading. At the time, I learned a lot about myself, my family, friends, our world, and my purpose in life. Times were tough, but I knew that I had to continue to push through the phase of painful, long, tired days. However, I did have the Lord on my side and a man who supported my dreams. By the guidance of my Heavenly Father and Tony's unending encouragement, I continued believing in the best, setting goals and working toward the future.
Today, I know who I am and where I stand. First and foremost, I am a Christian, wife, student, daughter, sister, and future educator. I have a purpose. My purpose may not work out the way I expect in my timing, but the Lord's timing always prevails. Without a doubt, the Lord led me to back to Alabama, back to the love of my life, and to transfer to UAB for a reason. His purpose for me was, is, and always will be in Alabama with my husband living the southern life.
Recently, I was discussing with some friends how college is not what we expected. We all agreed that we were not sure exactly what we were expecting, but in reality it is a very different experience than what is marketed to high school students. Whether you enjoy the party scene or are more laid back, college is not all fun and games at all times. However, despite the circumstances I faced, I have learned that the experience it is what you make it.
Even though I hated my financial experience at LSU, I loved being a Tiger. Now, although my experience at UAB is different, I feel as though I am embarking on a more professional journey that will ultimately better my future. If you feel lost in the college crowd, do not be afraid to step out there and experience all that college has to offer! If you feel overwhelmed, friendless, and in debt-- Know that it is perfectly okay for this point in your life. I want to look back in 20 years and know that I took advantage of all the opportunities and gained experience. I want to know that I did my best, which is all that truly matters.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do and HE will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3If you are going through tough times, if you feel defeated by life and all that is thrown your way, know that there is a purpose waiting for you on the other side of turmoil. There is a reason behind everything, even if that reasoning is not transparent right now. Create your own happiness. Let your faith be BIGGER than your fear. Pray hardest, when it is hard to pray. Psalms 91:4 says, "HE will cover you with HIS feathers and under HIS wings you will find refuge." Reassurance!
As of Spring 2013, I will be in class two days a week and in the schools two days a week. I will have one free day to catch up, plan, study for state requirements, do homework and rest. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging every single day during Christmas break, I must get back to the priorities of school starting as soon as I publish this post. I plan to continue to blog as often as possible. Hopefully, if I do not post everyday, I plan to post every other day.
Shout out to all my ladies in Baton Rouge at LSU: Congratulations on starting student teaching! I am one PROUD friend! Go get'em Tigers! Yall are almost to the finish line! :)
If you are a prayer warrior, Tony and I would greatly appreciate your prayers in the coming months. Not only is this semester going to be a tough one juggling practicum, testing and classes, but my husband is attempting an environment of academia that is unknown, too. He is preparing to register for and take the FE in April. If he passes the test, he will begin working towards his PE License, which would be awesome for future reference. In advance, thank you for your prayers and love!
Thanks for reading. We love you all and appreciate your support! :)
As always, until next time- Happy Blogging!