COLUMN: Everything says I shouldn’t be here

Statistically, I should not be sitting in here, in this office working as a graduate assistant while pursuing a master’s degree while typing a column to be printed in the school paper. 

Studies show that everything was against me reaching this point in life. 

I come from a broken home, there is a point. 

My parents’ education is barely that of a middle school student, there is another point against me. 

Addiction is prominent in my family and several members have succumbed to the disease. There is another point against me. 

With odds against me, college after high school was not an option. I entered adulthood full force working and then eventually marrying and starting a family. 

Statistics for women obtaining college degrees after children add another point against me. 

With all of these points against me, I could have given up. I could have said the trouble was not worth it and it was too much work, but I didn’t. 

As cliche as it sounds, I had a dream. For as long as I can remember I aspired to one day be a college graduate. 

So, I went for it. And I won’t lie, it wasn’t always easy. It was really, really hard at times and I wanted to give up. 

But I had found a tribe, many of those coming from Marshall University and they kept me going. 

From just giving me a much-needed pep talk, loving my children as their own, listening to my woes or even watching my children while I take a test, they were there for me. 

When I stood at graduation, they were there for me. They cheered and loved me as I stood as a first-time graduate. As I walked across the stage getting a diploma that I over-achieved on and took a double major in. They congratulated me and were proud when I made the decision to go further in my education. 

There is nothing in my story that I would change. In fact, I hope my story will encourage others to go after their dreams. 

If you have a dream, go for it. If you want to accomplish something, I believe in you. If you’ve been looking for your tribe, but have yet to find it, reach out.

Whatever it is that you dream of doing is just a little work away. 

Will it always be easy? Absolutely not. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.

Brittany Hively can be contacted at [email protected].