Four hundred and sixty four credit hours after I first started a decade ago, I will finally obtain my undergraduate degree. There are lot of reasons it’s taken this long, or why I have so many credit hours (though eight years in the Army is the biggest explanation for both). But the biggest problem I have had since coming back as a full-time student has been the class schedule.
It’s cruel of them, really. I work a full time day job, but my major offered many of the 200 level classes in the evening. It was not until I had finished the 200 level classes that I realized that many of the upper-level courses were only taught during the day, while I was at work. It’s for that “I’m still at work” reason that I refuse to recognize a 4pm class as an “evening” class, no matter what time it gets out – and even those classes were rare. My professors and advisors were individually supportive; without them, I would not have been able to stay enrolled. On two different occasions, it was impossible for me to take any classes in my major, or that even advanced me towards graduation. Many other terms, I was only able to stay “full time” due to independent studies with my professors.
It is extremely demoralizing. To be barred from taking classes not by merit or need, but because nobody will bother to teach them in the evening? It makes you feel alone, like you are unwelcome. Despite the individual support of my professors, I nearly dropped out twice.
I finished, however. (Well, barring catastrophe between now and June.) I will not only graduate, but I have been selected as the 2009 Outstanding Sociology Senior. Which is pretty damn cool. Finding that out made the rest of it more bearable. Yesterday, I recieved the official notification and invitation to the awards ceremony.
Held on a Friday, at 2pm.
While I am still at work.
It’s like a knife in my gut.