Military Spouses – Obtaining Your Degree Can Be Done!
By Nora E. Reed
In Military Education, Special Student Contributor
I met my husband my junior year of college at Shippensburg University. At the time I was entering my fall semester and he had just graduated and returned to the area after OCS. I knew nothing about the Navy at the time, or anything submarine related for that matter, but I knew I liked him and decided to date him. After a year of a long distance relationship, switching my major from Elementary Education to Psychology, I was worn out from the distance, especially since we were engaged. After we got married I made a pretty rash decision, I would leave Shippensburg, move in with my husband, and find a new school. I didn’t realize at the time how difficult this switch would be.
To be honest, I wanted it all; I wanted to have what I could salvage of a normal marriage, I wanted to finish my degree and start a job within my field, and I wanted all of it right away. I am usually a very structured person, a little on the obsessive compulsive side I must admit, and for the first time in my life I was doing something without thinking. I am originally from Maryland so the transition to Pennsylvania to attend Shippensburg wasn’t too difficult, but the transition to Georgia was nothing short of a nightmare. As soon as I got there I started looking for colleges close to where we were living. Sadly, nothing was close or even fitting for me. There was a community college close but I already had my two year degree, and the closest four year school was an hour and forty-five minutes away. I began to think I should have thought more about this whole leave college and move in with my husband twelve hours away from home and thirty minutes to the closest Target thing. My husband continued to tell me something would work out, but I didn’t believe him.
However, a couple weeks later I came across American Military University (AMU) while I was browsing online. I had never thought of an online school before, but the more I read, the more it made sense. AMU grabbed my attention right away due to the affordable courses, the availability of the E-books, the accreditation, the shorter course weeks, and the best part of it all – when we moved, AMU could move right with me. No more transferring, no more stress of attempting to plan out my life as a military spouse and my education; it was perfect. AMU accepted all of my courses from Shippensburg and my two year college, which saved a lot of money and time. In about three weeks, I was back in school and closer to obtaining my degree.
I took my last undergraduate course in December of 2013 and finally graduated with my B.A. in Psychology from AMU. It was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life and I wouldn’t change it for anything! As a military spouse it can be hard at times to separate yourself from the military lifestyle, but I knew when I was younger that I wanted to go to college and have a career. Thankfully, due to the support of my husband and the entire team at AMU, I was able to obtain everything I ever dreamed of. I enjoyed AMU so much that I decided to pursue my master’s in school counseling with them.
My goal for this blog post is to send a message to all my fellow military spouses that continuing your education is important, and it can be done. It can be done through deployments, transferring duty stations, working full-time, and having to call AAA because your husband is gone and your car broke down on the side of the road. I know what it is like to feel that your dreams are on hold temporarily, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Gaining an education with AMU helped me see just how strong I am as a person, not just a Navy wife, but a person, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
About the Author
Nora Reed is originally from Bethesda, MD, but currently resides in Norfolk, VA. Nora obtained her B.A. in Psychology from AMU and is working on her M.Ed in School Counseling. In her spare time, Nora enjoys working out, spending time with her loved ones, and cooking.