My journey in becoming “educated”
Two years ago when I went back to university to get my Masters, I had classmates who were 21 years old. I was not aware of it but apparently in some countries including Europe it is possible to graduate at that age without skipping any years or being some sort of genius. It is ironic because when I was 21, I only started my Bachelor degree, the one I finished, and by the time I graduated I was already 27. Some of you might think that something is wrong with me but that would just make me laugh, because there is nothing else that I am more proud of than graduating at 27! After all, I could have ended up with no education at all. But after moving a new country half way around the globe, being completely on my own and not even speaking the local language well, I was determined to go back to school even if I had to start at the beginning (those damn vague transcripts and translators!). Ironically, my previous education was free and now the tuition was equal to the price of a house but that just made me want it even harder. The best thing that could happen to any student is having to pay for your education from your own pocket. That quickly made me not waste any time and study hard. And at that age I already discovered who I wanted to be when I “grow up”, so I even got an opportunity to enjoy the ride of education to the fullest.
So yes, I waited tables so I can pay tuition and basically survive. I guess not being able to speak the language did not help me either (don’t ask me how I managed to get a job as a waitress. Another long story for another time). And having to take many language classes to get to the university level and to acquire all necessary pre-requisites set me back some semesters for sure. But I did study full-time, including taking additional classes at the same time and every summer semester, which was optional for others. And it still took me 5 years to be able to say that I am a graduate. But now when I look back I know it was worth every bit. In four months when I reach my next milestone I hope to say the same.