7. Masters Degree

12:33 PM

It's so crazy but yes, I have a Masters degree! It has been a dream since high school. I remember sitting in a scholarship interview when they asked how I saw myself in ten years and I accomplished what I had planned.

I finished my Bachelors degree and decided to wait a year before getting my Masters. It was such a restful year without homework but I applied for grad school with the encouragement of my professor. I was accepted but then came the hard part - paying for the degree. School was going to start in two weeks and I did not have the money,  and I thought that I was not going to attend because I did not want to put myself in debt (TCU is expensive). I talked to my professor and in literally two days, I had a full ride scholarship. TWO days. God is good.

Looking back at my first semester, I realize that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was doing well in my classes until Spring 2015. With God's strength, I made it out alive and maintained my 4.0 GPA.

Then it was time to complete the big boy - my Master thesis. It was quite the learning experience. I am so so thankful for my advisor and my committee. I am really glad that I chose the research track. When I was doing my undergrad, my school offered a competitive Masters program where you could complete your Masters in one year. However the degree was a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) but I'm really, really glad that I decided not to do that. I'm really proud to have a Master of Education and completed my thesis. 

I'm not going to lie, completing my Masters was difficult because I wasn't getting a Masters degree to move up, make more money, or get a different job. What was motivating me? The pursuit of knowledge, growth, challenge, and hope of success. My grandmother instilled me a mindset that has challenged me. 

I would spend the summers on my grandparents' ranch in Mexico and one day my grandmother shared a story with my sister and me. When my grandmother was a child, her mother was very sick. It was the 50's and in rural Mexico, without many of the luxuries and amenities we have now like electricity, paved roads, or running water. My grandmother saw her mother struggle to clean the house, make meals, and with everyday tasks. My grandmother is such a loving person that she decided to drop out of school to help her mother and 7 siblings. As a result, she never learned to read. She was really embarrassed not knowing how to read but what really hurt her was when her siblings made fun of her.  She asked my sister and me to live out her dream of going to school. This motivated me in high school so I wanted to honor her request by graduating as the Valedictorian with multiple scholarship offers and graduating with my Bachelors degree in Mathematics cum Laude. When I shared this with my grandmother, I realized that the accolades didn't impress her like the idea of facing challenges, working hard, helping others, and staying humble.

For her, getting a diploma or degree was not about making more money or for people to think of you in a higher regard, it was about seizing an opportunity. She taught me that if I have the opportunity to learn, then I should take the opportunity. This really drove me to push through different obstacles while completing my thesis. I challenge you to do the same : take opportunities because there are others who would love to have those opportunities.

I decorated my cap with "Para mi abuelita" meaning dedicated to my grandmother because the Lord called her home almost two years ago. I don't know if it's biblical to even hope that my grandmother was watching me graduate from Heaven and that's ok because I know that I will see her again and my accomplishments then won't matter compared to seeing her again. 

 Thank you so much for reading!

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