Anyone who knows me in the slightest knows that I love my alma mater – Miami University in Oxford, OH. All I heard growing up was what a great school Miami is & how it is the most beautiful campus anywhere. (This “brainwashing” might have something to do with the fact that the majority of my family are Miami alums – 16 total including my mother & #17 is currently a sophomore at MU.) I can remember being accepted to Kentucky and my mother telling me, “It’s not Miami, so I’m not paying for it.” After a year at UK, I caved and transferred to Miami.
There were some bumps along the way, but I finally got my act together and graduated in December 2006.
I took a job at an electronics distributor a few months after graduation. Last year, I was laid off due to the economic conditions. I was angry at the world. Even at my beloved Miami. I looked at my diploma as a really expensive & useless piece of paper. I have recently changed my tune.
Last night I began to reminisce about my years at MU. I remembered working 12-20 hours per week for three years, while taking a full class load. I remembered being deathly ill during Spring 2004. So ill my DSC professor was concerned. I remembered the ridicule from a few classmates – and even a professor – because I was not in my 20s like the other students.
Then it occurred to me. My diploma is more than a really expensive piece of paper. It is a sign; a sign that I survived. It shows commitment, strength, and courage. Granted, I do not like the $50,000 student loan debt I have, but I am proud to say that I worked for my education. It was not handed to me.
My degree from Miami means more to me than people will ever know. Why? Because I earned it.