When I went to college the first time, I was 21 years old, newly married and far from home. I went to a lovely little college campus with rolling green land as far as the eye could see. It included a golf course and walking path, butted right up to the Cape Fear River. After two years, I transferred. My second college was an older campus, with beautiful old world charm, set atop a hill, dotted with trees and close to a major city. I loved both campuses and in the second instance, I studied Education.
Years later, as a wife and mother, when I decided I couldn’t ignore my passion for art anymore, I went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division for one blissful year. I studied design basics, color theory and perspective. I was at my easel every day. But then there was pressure to leave, as my being in school had altered our home life. I told myself I was choosing my family, and left my dream behind.
Several years later, I was going through a divorce. I struggled to find work after 7 years as a stay at home mom. My ex and I have resided under the same roof for 10 long months. Returning to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division has given me some of my joy back. I cannot wait to begin! Not only will I be working in a field I love, I will be giving my children the example of never giving up on your dreams, always getting educated in whatever it is you love and that while life can be challenging, there is reward for hard work.
This time, I am going back to college to be able to stand on my own two feet in a field where I can actually get a job to support my three children on my own. This school works so hard to accommodate non-traditional students in a field that is typically thought of as hands-on, in-person only. They creatively use technology to educate and evaluate you at your own pace. Every professor has excellent credentials; I feel like I am getting a top-notch education. The first time I attended I was pregnant and my professor worked with me to get my assignments in before my due date, in order to be finished with the course before I was induced. I found my teachers to be sympathetic and understanding, knowing that children came before school sometimes. When I told my professor at the time that I had to leave school, I was taking Figure Drawing, which had been a challenge for me, but she said, “You are a bright and shining star. I’m sorry to hear you’re leaving. I hope you come back to school.”
I know that this school will not only allow me the flexibility of getting my education while I work, they will work just as hard as I am at getting me to the finish line.