My Daughter Chose to Leave College And I’m Proud
Since she formed in the womb, I proclaimed that she would be kind, respectful, giving, and ultimately, a college graduate. I made it my life’s work that she would become as many professionals, leaders, or entrepreneurs of her dreams. My only daughter would rule the world.
She was my buddy for 9 years before her little brother was born (I was married before she was born, separated when she was three, and divorced when she was 10).
We did most things together. I became moreover a divorced single mom of two by the time she hit 4th grade.
My girl was always going somewhere doing something with friends.
Her calendar was sprinkled here and there with the occasional party invites to spend with classroom friends. The extra-curricula activities she enjoys on some weekends, or many times she would accompany me to my graduate class 2 nights a week when there was no babysitter are forever memories.
As she grew older, she was a social butterfly and school was a place she flourished and was academically great, from kindergarten on. I knew she would complete high school and choose a career in medicine because she truly enjoyed science and most times, math.
I was so excited when I noticed her love for STEM during her early years when the first time she came home, showing me a flyer about her science project assignment for school.
This apple…fell far from the tree. I am so far from STEM it’s not even funny, but I was there for each step every school year.
Her perseverance to do well continued through high school. We both were focused on finding a major and the career she would be happy with and thrive in.
Each year she experienced the typical high school activities, connections with teachers, and continuous classroom and academic routines.
I heard nothing but great things about her academically and personally at her school’s family nights when meeting teachers. Grades were always higher level, and she never really needed me to follow up with her for several reasons.
She and her brother would place graded papers and their homework folder (per my request for both kids)on my bed when they came in from school.
This outside of the fact, since my kids started school, I was all in committed; from PTSA to family days, report card pick-up, and everything in between.
Then her senior year…
I mainly just remember all the fun events that came along with being the most envied “class” in the school. Even as she became more introverted, her high school memories flourished, I was all in whenever she wanted to be a part; prom, school trips, college tours.
Through the testing, classes, testing, and applying for college, we both were optimistic that she would choose the college that was the best fit. Then it happened, a college was chosen and tuition was covered.
We (or I) were super excited! Now, looking back, I may have been more into this process than she…but she forced herself forward.
As classes started, her enthusiasm slowed. “Oh, she’s just adjusting,” I told myself EVERY week. The more I ignored her slowing down and pleads of it not being what she wanted, the more I saw her just, “adjusting.” Then it happened. She was over it.
I listened less and less each moment. Because this can’t be happening. I have several degrees; this is what we will have to do to get ahead (not that far ahead, I’m a teacher).
But it’s what I know, it’s what I was taught. However, it was not the right path for her.
I began to see that glow again. Once she completed her last day of class (mid-semester) *tears*, she researched what she really wanted to do, moving forward.
I did a little research on this place too, reluctantly, but respectfully.
Then it hit me. She has seen a lot of my life from her section of her world.
She watched me go from married, to separated to reunification, to pregnant again, to finally divorcing.
My hunnie saw me lose our very personal possessions, moving to a new state, living with family/friends, work small jobs, and still continued to push toward our own apartment, graduate school to career.
Seemingly, the good, bad, and ugly. This may have taught her, Choose your path! Choose a career you will love even in hard times or one you would do for free. I had to remind myself. You taught HER to choose, not me to choose for her.
I struggled with all of this until I pulled it together and allowed her to become what I had taught her since she was young; to choose for herself. For some weird moment, it hit me…
She had grown to finally decide on her own, even if not popular with me. She didn’t need anyone else at this time.
Then it happened…such a proud and unforgettable moment for me when she asked me (like in the past) to attend with her the tour of her future institution as a prospective student for certification.
Here are a few things about me:
I’m a divorced single mother of 2 (10-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter/who is my inspiration for the article). It has been such a life-changing experience and a grind like no other…
I wrote about that too! Check out my e-book/paperback! I teach and have decided to begin the academic journey to support families in a different way, as a future social worker. Or not.
I love writing and not a day goes by without thinking about what I can write next.
What is it that you can’t go a day without?
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