I took that single step to change my future close to ten years ago. It was just one of many that I took to get to the life I’m living today. One of the biggest steps was the decision to go back to college. Finding a major and registering was the easy part. Stepping into a classroom of people close to the same age as my children was terrifying. Yet, I trudged ahead to conquer my fears and reach a place where I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to take care of myself in the future. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my life. As the Andrew Carnegie quote says, “anything in life worth having is worth working for” and I had to work for it.
I found comfort that there were people from different backgrounds in my general education classes, including some my age. My major was in information security and forensics, simply put, cybersecurity. The classes specific to my major had very few women enrolled, if any. I was the only woman in my graduating class for this particular major and all the guys were much younger.
I had no idea if my brain could retain the information the instructor was teaching, and in some cases, such as algebra, it refused to remember any of the formulas. This was funny to me since I was really good at it in high school. Thankfully algebra wasn’t a necessary subject for my program, so I was still able to get my degree. During the process there were a lot of late nights, a lot of fast food, and a lot of encouragement from my partner and family.
Ironically, I don’t currently work in this field. It’s not that I don’t find it interesting, forensic investigations were awesome. However, monitoring logs was boring enough to literally put me to sleep. I found that I like people much more than I like computers. I’m still working in information technology, just in a different facet. Yeah, there’s a lot of knowledge in my head that’s not currently being utilized, but it does come in handy from time to time at work as well as in my writing. The English classes didn’t hurt either.
The journey wasn’t easy, but it was well worth the outcome.