Then in 2010, I lost my job anyway. Budget cuts. Since I was so close to completion, I just kept going, racking up those student loans with the idea that I would be able to get a job that was good enough to pay them back. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Studies, a minor in Early Childhood Education and an undergrad certificate in Conflict Resolution and Mediation in 2013; and a 4.0 GPA.
I was advised to keep going - get my Master's degree. I would be able to find so many opportunities, and so I did. In 2015 I received an MA in Interdisciplinary studies with a concentration on Leadership and Organizational Communication (with a 3.85 GPA - I got one A-).
It took me a year to complete my thesis -
And then came the thesis presentation (quite an experience being challenged on the facts I had collected)!
The hooding ceremony
And the diploma.
Since then I've had 4 job interviews for positions I was very qualified for - I have more than 35 years experience in my field. But no one hired me.
It's not that I am unhappy where I am. I love the job I do, I am just struggling with the student loans I incurred trying to "better" my career.
The last position I applied for, one I had an interview for the last time it was available, didn't even invite for an interview. I was told it was because I was not bilingual. But I know who got the job. She is not bilingual. She recently completed her BA. She has almost as much experience as I do. And she's younger.
I am looking at my 61st birthday coming around the corner. The way I see it, I've still got at least 10 good years on me.
I have come to believe I am meant to work out my years right where I am. I will do the absolute best that I can and serve my families with all that I have. Unfortunately, I will most likely die with student debt - because no one wanted to hire an old lady.