The time is coming SO close to the fifth (and hopefully final) graduation of my life. Only a couple months away. How crazy. Let me fill you in on my previous four graduations and what is exciting about this one.
8th grade graduation…this seems like centuries ago to me. And to be quite honest, I don’t remember a whole lot from it other than I was happy to be getting the hell out of middle school and moving on to the big scary high school. I think the only thing significant about this was it was the first graduation ceremony we were able to participate in.
High school graduation…this was a big one for me. I had graduated early, in January and a week later I was attending MATC to pursue my dreams of becoming a machinist. Although I only attended the graduation ceremony in June for my parent’s sake, I was so proud to be able to graduate early and move on with my life. Having that high school diploma, I knew my opportunities were endless of what I could do next.
MATC – CNC Setup & Operation…I didn’t attend the ceremony for this. It was required to have to continue on to the tool & die program. So although it wasn’t super special, it is still another diploma I’m proud to say I have.
MATC – Tool & Die…this by far has been my biggest accomplishment, education-wise. I was the first female to EVER graduate from this program at my school. I was even interviewed by a couple different news companies about it. (You can read the articles here and here!) It was quite a challenge for several different reasons, but I did it. And it is something I will always take pride in.
MATC – Mechanical Design Technology…this is happening this May already. Truthfully, it wasn’t my first choice of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
*Let me fill you in a little on this. My big dream was to be a machinist (which I was for two years) and eventually take over my dad’s shop. Unfortunately, my body couldn’t handle the physical aspect of being a machinist anymore. This has been one of the toughest things for me to go through, knowing I had no control over how my body felt. Not only that, but to let down my dad after working for him for a couple years was absolutely devastating to me. I knew I couldn’t just give up though. My original plans were to go get a business degree after my tool & die degree to learn more about the business side of things. But I knew I couldn’t do that anymore because I needed to get a new job. And I figured with doing engineering, I could still be in the industry, just in a different position that isn’t so physically demanding. Boy was this an adjustment for me. Going from working ten hour days of standing and wrenching hard on stuff to sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen for eight to ten hours a day was NOT easy for me to do. And still isn’t on most days. But I make it work.*
But now…a couple years, a few hiccups, and a lot of hard work later I’ll be graduation yet again. This is bittersweet for me knowing it’s all coming to an end. I will be the first one to tell you I HATE school. And to think I went for as many years as I have, is crazy to me. I will always look back and be proud of my accomplishments. And now I can look forward to finding a different engineering job that suits me better than where I’m currently at and moving on to bigger and better things with that diploma in my hand. I’m excited for my husband and family to be able to see me walk across that stage one last time. And I’ll be sure to update y’all with a photo of my decorated graduation cap once it is finished as well as graduation photos. 🙂
So remember, even if you feel you are stuck in a rut or not sure where you want to go yet, give it time and you will figure it all out. Almost five graduations later and I’m still figuring it out! 🙂