I think she started college before we started the family. But, with three children and always a full-time job (and a full-time husband) — it was always a part-time endeavor. One course at a time — with semesters off, years off, odd hours, three children, old beaters to get around in, transfers, changes of major.
I remember her taking a course when we only had one car — riding a bike four miles each way.
For years, she had to use vacation time in order to leave work early, two days a week, for a single course. Which meant no vacation.
She never would have finished if we had not started Coffee News — giving her the flexibility to take some morning and afternoon classes. It also meant long days, 7 days a week.
She’s an art major.
She would have been done six months ago, in December, except both cars broke down the same week — the first week of fall classes — and the economy collapsed (which temporarily collapsed our income). It was the first week of her final semester, and she withdrew, putting it off again.
I had all the opportunity in the world and barely got the degree. She had morsels of support from an otherwise distracted family and graduated cum laude. 3.7 GPA.
An accomplishment in its own right but also a great example to her children, demonstrating first hand the benefits of showing-up and perseverance.