My quest for knowledge began with a search of local colleges that had online courses, as I needed the flexibility to be a “soccer mom and volunteer by day, college student by night.” I started by enrolling in the local community college, which was Northern Virginia Community College. NOVA is a Military Friendly college* that has online classes. I always thought of myself as a knowledgeable individual but there were so many intricate details surrounding one’s degree plan.

The first thing I had to do was speak to a military advisor, so I could get a handle on how the benefits my husband transferred to me were able to be used at NOVA. The next thing I had to do was talk to the financial aid advisor. I had never applied for financial aid, so I was not sure what was available for me.

Then, I had to collect all of my high school, college and military transcripts. I set an appointment with my college advisor, so I could see what prior education would equate to college credits.

The next thing I did was schedule an appointment to take the college placement exams. The English portion of the exam was rather enjoyable for me but the math portion seemed to be in Greek! I highly suggest that you find a tutor or take an audit course in math if it’s been awhile as degree plans call for particular math courses.

After obtaining the results from my college placement exams, I decided to enroll in the honors program. I created a student account online and began to familiarize myself with NOVA’s student portal and ordered my books for the upcoming term. I was ready!

The semester started the same day as my children’s school. I thought, “This will be great! Everyone will be in school at the same time so we can all do homework together!” I signed up for three online courses and one course at the campus, as honors courses could only be taken in a physical classroom.

Balancing a full-time course load, a part-time job, children with various extra-curricular activities, volunteering AND being a military wife and keeper of the home was a very delicate thing. Some of my friends thought I was crazy and at times I thought they were absolutely right, but there was a method to my madness.

I have always felt that hard work and dedication pay off. My GPA was high enough that I began to receive invitations to honor societies at NOVA. I was super excited, as this was something I had stressed to my children. I was able to share my honor society induction with my oldest daughter, as she was also inducted into her middle school’s honor society. I made sure to express to my children that you are never too old to achieve a goal and that anything is possible. I began to feel ignited with a new passion and purpose.

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