Degree Bound



Today I was thinking about my first collegiate experience versus when I’d finally made up my mind to finish my degree and then to now working towards my MBA. I remember being 18 years old and going to college only because my father didn’t give me any other choice. I’d begged him to let me go to film school, but he said that was a dead-end career and would be a waste of my time. I didn’t have the guts to go against him at the time so off to school, I went.

I arrived at college totally clueless, so much so that my first major was, undecided. Can you imagine? I had all the basic classes with no idea of what I wanted to concentrate on. The only thing I’d ever had any real interest in was writing and acting but my father made it clear that I’d better think of something more concrete to commit to. By the end of my freshman year, I’d just barely made it off academic probation, jumped from an undecided major to Political Science, to African American Lit, and finally landing at English which was the only major I could find that had something to do with writing. I was struggling to keep my focus and barely making it through each semester. By the end of my sophomore year, I was up to my neck in student loans and completely miserable just thinking about returning to school. My father was finally tired of fighting with me and gave in to me dropping out.

After I left undergrad, I spent the next ten years of my life putting every ounce of myself into my writing and acting careers. Although I had many moments of success it frankly wasn’t enough to live a proper adult lifestyle. When I had my son, I felt an obligation to complete my degree so I reenrolled in school with a new attitude and brand-new outlook on what my degree should be in. Through my experiences chasing my writing career, I learned that most of where I needed help was on the business side of things. That’s how I decided to change my major one final time to Business Management and when I started to excel in school.

The reason I am sharing this is that it took me a very long time to find my way. I struggled with being in school for most of my life because I didn’t understand why I needed it and my parents didn’t know how to explain to me how it could help me develop my passions. This time around I have a strong why and can see myself walking across that stage. I could never picture myself graduating in my first experience with college. Although balancing it all is tough, I push myself daily, and regardless of how hard it gets I finally feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m writing every day while learning how to turn my passion into a lucrative business. I’ve never been more fulfilled and prouder of myself. Knowing your purpose and destination changes everything. I’m going to make sure that my kids know theirs, so they don’t have to spend years on the wrong path before they find the one that was laid out specifically for them.

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Copyright 2020 Shireal R. Lewis.

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