Good Afternoon, GP5 Fam!
I hope your Summer is adventurous, fun and that you’re being safe (and of course wearing sunscreen)! Our Summer has been interesting, to say the least. When is it not interesting in the Guerrero household?! Anyways, if you couldn’t tell from the title of this post– we are gonna talk about my college journey!
So, sit tight, grab a snack and get comfy!
My college journey began immediately after I graduated high school in 2007, I literally wasted NO time! I started classes two weeks after I graduated. I attended the junior college up the road from my home and took my general education courses (English, math, etc.) I was able to attend college on scholarship thanks to pageantry! My first two college semesters were merely funded by competing in various pageant systems. In 2008, I struggled to balance my load. I was dealing with my Dad’s stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis and working 2 part-time jobs. I stayed focused on my studies and during the week of finals my Dad’s health began to take a turn for the worst. He passed away the night before my finals, I went back to school the following morning after my Dad’s death (that was SO hard to do). But, I knew it’s what he would want.
The same year in 2008, I unexpectedly became pregnant during my second semester of college – (Hi, Skyler). After my semester ended due to my situation I left Arizona and moved in with Ric in Nevada, I used the last of my savings to enroll at College of Southern Nevada. My goal regardless of what obstacles I had to endure was to FINISH college! As I had promised my Parents that I would. During my six months at CSN, I was able to make the best of friends who became a huge support system during my pregnancy. They would drive me to Ric’s work at Discount Tire after class or hang out with me in the library until Ric was off work. And, some days I would just walk from my college campus to Ric’s work that was about 16 minutes away by foot. After my semester in Nevada, Ric got approved to move back to Arizona. And, as soon as we did I continued my education online.
In 2009, I gave birth to Skyler-Ian and was still enrolled in college. I was taking a class or two at a time just to make sure that I could balance the load. The following semester I took time off while I transitioned to go back onto campus for school. I completed all of my general education courses online and had to tackle bios and labs on campus and online. After completing my general education courses, I took a break until I could afford to go back onto campus. In 2010, I welcomed Spencer and in the same year graduated with my Certificate in Nursing Assistant.
I was able to find an online program which helped us (A LOT) and I graduated cum laude with my Associates in Applied Science in Medical Assisting in 2013, that same year I welcomed Katelynn! I was able to enroll online at Grand Canyon University in 2014 and begun my bachelor’s journey! I had to do A LOT of my college classes online due to being a single income, 3 kids needing sitters, etc. Although I had tons of help (thank you to my village) it was just easier on our little tribe if I did schooling from home. After a few financial struggles, I am happy to announce that I am FINALLY graduating with my Bachelor’s degree from GCU this Fall!
I just received this announcement today in my email and besides the fact I’ve been doing a lot of ugly crying this month alone. This one was tears of relief! I also received a scholarship to finish my final two classes! Woo Hoo! An unexpected death, a surprise pregnancy, an impromptu move out of state, a shot-gun wedding, another move out of state. Add 2 kids, a certificate, associates and a few years later — I’m FINALLY walking across the stage! (Cue WaterWorks)
Excited is an understatement – I waited YEARS for this! I always felt “defeated” in ways, cause I felt like I would’ve been finished years ago. But, I realized my journey was different and special. It took much longer, but the light at the end of the tunnel will be much more worth it!
To my valued readers who can relate to this, or who so happen to be on their own college journey (whilst balancing parenthood, marriage, and life in general) — You CAN do it! Trust the journey, trust the obstacles, trust every moment and put your faith in God (and, if you don’t believe in God– put your faith in the universe)! I firmly believe everything happens for a reason whether it’s good or bad, whether it was planned or not. The road less traveled can most definitely be a rewarding one! It won’t be easy, there will be tears, there will be frustration, but, if you keep pushing forward and continue to strive regardless of the situations, I can promise you– those long nights of studying, or days trying to read chapters out of your textbook while feeding a newborn, or the mornings where you are struggling to go on campus cause its hard to leave your kids. I promise you, many years down the road you will look back at it and know that you did all of that for your kids, your Family, for Yourself!
I know you can do it, I have faith in you, so promise me– You won’t give up! I’m cheering for you and will be waiting for you at the finish line! We can finish altogether!