Growing up I was always told that I would go to school, graduate from high school and college, and have a good, successful career. Completely normal for parents to want this for their kids. However, mine seemed to remind me of this every single day. If I ever joked around about finding me a rich guy to marry so that way I never had to work, my parents would drill me with the “successful, strong woman I need to be” speech. In fact, it gets pretty annoying and stressful all at the same time. But it wasn’t until I graduated from high school did I realize why and education is so important.
The day of my graduation I had my entire family there. This is a pretty awesome thing considering all of my relatives on my moms’ side live in Texas and Alabama. As I was going around talking to everyone, they all kept reminding me how proud they were of me and my decision to go to college. I just thought they were being nice until I got to sit down and talk with my great grandmother. She began by telling me stories about how she couldn’t even go to school as a kid. Her mother had to home school her and all she did was read books she could find. As she got older she worked at many places but the last job she had was at Auburn University Library. She told me she was jealous of the students there because she never had that opportunity. Other family members began telling me how they wished they could have gone to college so that way they could be fulfilling their dreams. And that’s when I realized. I am the first person in my family to go to college. I asked my mother about it and she confirmed. Most of the men in the family were deployed before they could go to college and when they were done they just went to easy jobs. For example my father, he was in the navy and when he was out he went and worked for his father as an electrician and he still is one to this day. The women went off and worked and got married then became stay at home moms. So I really was the first person in my family to go to college. Now I understand why my mom drilled me so hard about going to school and getting a great education. Being here at northwest right now makes me one lucky girl. I have the opportunity to do something that most people don’t or can’t and I thank my lucky stars for that every day.