I started this blog over 3 years ago to mostly stay accountable in regard to weight, health, and fitness. I also wanted to change my habits of not doing things. The name, Monica Does It, came out of my desire to do the things I said I’d do. “She said she would, so she did” became my personal mantra. During the last few years, I’ve accomplished some of those things that I knew I wanted to accomplish.
One of the major things was completing college. My parents both graduated college “on time”. They went on to become teachers and my mom later became an administrator. They taught me that college should be a no-brainer for me. I worked hard – or not so hard – and received two full rides to college. I only applied to two schools – the University of South Carolina and Florida A&M University. My dad wanted me to stay in his home state and go to South Carolina but of course,
I wanted to party and get away. I spent my first year of college at FAMU and then dropped out. I think this is the first time I’ve ever admitted to being a college dropout. I met a guy and went down a horrible road. I don’t know how I made it through, but I did. Who gets two full rides to college and throws them away? This girl did.
I never gave up my desire to finish college. Over the years, I attended several different schools. Let’s just say 10 isn’t a far-off number. I got married. I moved around the country. I grew a photography business. I started a YouTube channel. I developed a blog. When I first started college, online education was pretty much non-existent. I remember seeing the ad for the University of Phoenix online several years ago. It intrigued me, but it was so expensive. I also didn’t want to be branded as someone with a “fake degree”. So, I took classes at whatever local college was near me. Naturally, this means that I had tons of credits that lead to nothing. For those who don’t know, college classes can be proprietary to the schools that offer them. I don’t know if it’s a curriculum thing or a money-making thing. Either way, I wasted too much money and time being in school just for the sake of being in school. In my mind, I was working towards this goal but in reality, I wasn’t working towards anything.
Then, in 2014-15, I found out that Mississippi State University had an online degree completion program. I loved this for two main reasons. The first, I could get a degree from a real university and nobody would know I didn’t go to classes on campus. The second reason, my husband graduated from the same school! He went there on a football scholarship and had a real-life college experience there. I signed up and worked hard to finish up. And I did it. I actually did it. I couldn’t believe it. I cried when I finished my last exam. I just couldn’t believe that those small steps lead me to this point. I did it. At first, I didn’t think I’d attend my graduation. I mean I was a 35-year-old college graduate. I’d be surrounded by young 20 somethings. I wouldn’t know a single person at graduation. Then I realized that I’d only have this one time to do this. This was something that I’d worked towards for so long. It took me nearly 20 years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and I needed to do this for me.
So, my husband and I made the decisions to head to Starkville, MS in May for my graduation. My family decided, without me even asking, that they’d be right there with me. I was filled with love and support. I didn’t even have to ask my sister or my mom and dad. They just came. At the time, I didn’t know my dad had cancer. He knew but I didn’t. He wanted this for me. I’m so glad he was able to be there. I can’t help but wonder if this was why I felt the push to go ahead and finish. Why was that time the right time?
Now, my journey to “do” continues. I’ve signed up for a half marathon at the end of this month. I’m participating in the Disney Princess ½ and I can’t believe it’s almost here. I know I’ll be able to do it. I have to be able to do it.