Changing the Game in Higher Education – Fed up but still precocious and haute about it.

I was precocious and haute about getting into the University of Miami.  I had sacrificed having a typical high school experience to be involved in any activities that would have me, hold a job, and get top grades.  I must admit I was heartbroken when I had to transfer from the University of Miami to the University of Delaware in 1997.  I tried to stay in Mechanical Engineering until I realized I wouldn’t be working on engines, ever.  Miami’s program was a Mechanical AND Aeronautical Engineering program, unlike Delaware’s.   Instead, I would be sizing pipe supports and HVAC systems forthe rest of my life, because everything is forever at 19.

So I began to transition to electrical engineering whilst balancing a few personal responsibilities which included working full time.  I had since lost my academic scholarships when I transferred, I had also lost my “early-admission” perks for committing to and being accepted by Miami as a junior in high school.  Gone.  I wouldn’t realize the ramifications of all that until I tried to settle into this new college life.  

Delaware was a culture shock.  It was a bucket of ice cold water being heaved into my sun kissed face.  I didn’t know colleges could be so different.  

In all fairness to the Delaware campus, they were no better or worse than 90% of the colleges in the US.  I had been sheltered in my small high school and coddled at Miami.  I hated the 300  plus student classes, the study groups where no one studied.  I didn’t live on campus so it was hard to find groups to meet with.  When I did find someone who was willing to help, they treated it like a date (insert eyes rolling here).  I failed epically and basically failed out of UD, but I dropped out before that could happen.  I just walked away from it all.

 I kept trying to go back and hated it,  every class, every moment, and I gave up.  I was resentful for having to take bull$&@t courses that I knew I would never need to refer back to in the real world (confirmed). I became disenchanted with ‘higher education’ and looked at it as only being attainable by the already established, not for the daughter of blue collar parents.  

expectations

 

I attempted to make a career in graphic design and architectural design.  I laugh now because I brazenly started a consulting company at 23 and landed a contract with a Fortune  500 company to manage their facility plans globally.  I thought that was it, I was golden but that only got me so far.  I saw that not having a degree kept me out of the conversation for better projects and bigger contracts.   I finished out my commitment and moved on to work for architect and engineering firms and found the same limitations.  If anyone tells you you don’t need a degree to achieve your dreams, punch them in their mouth for me please, because I have hit the ceiling.  I have once again found myself in a place where, even though my ideas are used and implemented, I am not a part of the conversations that take place to make the important decisions and it is beyond defeating.  

I have quite a few beautiful accomplishments and quite a few more to achieve and I am tired of having the world only caring about what college I went to.  I look at all the people around me with degrees upon degrees and I think “God, what I could do with that.”  It feels similar to how I viewed the superheroes in comic books with their powers.  That is how I view someone with a formal education, God, what they could do with that. I would change education policies and join boards.  When I am done all this, I may not be able to stop a runaway train with my bare hands, but I will make it stop.  I can change the game.

Changing the game

 


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