You know how sometimes big things happen and you begin to reflect on life, your choices, and the future? In my little world, this could have been triggered by my recent appointment with my endocrinologist where I found out that my body isn’t chugging along as it once was and that I am in control of changing it (which just made me mad at myself because I’m better than that.) It could have been my 31st birthday when I went to Albuquerque and played in a charity kickball tournament and WON.
But as I sit here sipping on this g-d awful juiced beverage (literally made up of a handful of kale, three handfuls of spinach, an entire head of celery, two cucumbers, an apple and some lemon juice) I realize I’m reflecting because of my recent graduation and the message it pointed out to me, and I probably should share with everyone: There is NO SUCH THING as “too late.”
Twenty-something years ago, I sat in the Auditorium Theater on Congress and watched as my mother walked across the stage and received her Masters degree. In the midst of having raised three children, owning a business with my father, putting a kid through college and having a child under the age of 10 in the house, my mom decided it was not too late to get her advanced degree.
If that experience didn’t give me the goal of getting an graduate degree, deciding to get my bachelors in Psychology did. There is NOTHING you can do with just a psych degree. You can’t even teach high school psych without a teaching certificate. Getting that degree was a step in the grad school process. When I started, I thought I’d go to law school. A year into college I thought I’d get my Masters in psychology. Second semester of my senior year, I decided to scrap everything and go to grad school for Sports Administration.
Four months after graduating from Purdue in 2006, I started the Masters in Sports Administration program at Northwestern. I worked 40 hours a week and went to school on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I did homework on the weekends. Then I attempted to write my thesis. And through a series of unfortunate events, that never happened. I moved to Florida and considered myself done. I put the degree on my resume and continued on as though nothing mattered.
Seven years later, with a plan that included the ability to move to Chicago for three months before moving to Arizona for good, I went back and finished the program – and now I didn’t have to write a thesis, I could take a capstone class and present a project instead. Nine and a half years after walking into my first class, I walked out of my last one. I finished my final class in December. I received my diploma in the mail in February.
Last week, I walked into that same Auditorium Theater on Congress. My mom, dad, sister, brother, best friend, and boyfriend watched me walk across the same stage my mom walked across and receive my very own Masters degree. I joined the ranks of my mom, my sister, my aunt, and my two immediate cousins, and a number of other more extended parts of my family. And I don’t say any of this to pat myself on the back or ask for accolades from anyone. I say this as inspiration.
It is literally NEVER to late to finish something you started.
It is never too late to start.
It is never, ever, EVER too late.