We’ve been asking our mature students to share their stories with us; why they returned to school, what keeps them motivated, what do they plan on doing once their time here at York is up. I decided that perhaps I should share with you all my reasons for being here…and for staying.
At 16, I became pregnant and had my first daughter. When she was four, I decided that I would go to college because the thought of raising a child and attending university was overwhelming. I earned a law clerking diploma and, shortly after the birth of my second daughter, I was able to start my career at a family law firm in downtown Toronto. I was happy for the most part. I loved my work, and although it was very demanding of my time and energy, I excelled, and I advanced from junior to senior law clerk in a short span of time. I moved my girls to the suburbs, got married and everything seemed, well, great.
Then life happened. My husband, the father of my girls, passed away at the age of 30. My daughters were just 5 and 12 at the time. His death gave me a new perspective on life. There were things that I wanted to do, things I regretted not doing, and one of those things was obtaining a university degree.
My work was extremely demanding of my time and often kept me away from home. I remember one trial in particular that lasted almost two weeks. It was after that trial that I decided that I had to make a change.
A couple years after that trial my eldest daughter received her acceptance letter to York for Fall/Winter 2012. I don’t have the words to express the way I felt when she received it; ‘proud’ really doesn’t quite capture the feeling. Visiting Keele Campus with her, getting her ready to move closer to school, getting her settled, and even attending one or two lectures with her, really lit a fire inside me, and when she said to me “mom, just do it”, there was no extinguishing that flame. I applied to the Criminology program and was accepted for Fall/Winter 2013.
Leaving a full-time, well-paying, career is never an easy decision, but after weighing the pros and cons, I realized that attending York was the only decision I could make and I haven’t regretted it since.
The fact that I’m almost at the end of my undergrad studies, and looking forward to going on to do my Master’s, keeps me motivated…that, and the two girls that call me ‘mom’.
It’s your turn. If you’d like to be featured in our ACMAPS Student Spotlight, drop by the ACMAPS office and let’s talk.
- Michelle S.