My boyfriend Tyler and I started dating right before my senior year of high school. Soon after, I needed to decide where to go to college. Through all of my decision making, Tyler endlessly supported my decision to choose a college best for myself rather than just one close to his school. Our schools were two hours from each other, and we started long-distance dating. I had the dream of being able to finish my bachelor's in three years. This meant, each semester, I would be taking at least 18 credits, sometimes more. Each winter and summer break, I would take extra classes so I could stay ahead. Now winter and summer breaks were some of the only times Tyler and I would be able to spend time together. With the addition of homework, our time was limited. Again, Tyler continued to encourage me each break.
After some time, we got into a routine. With scheduled Skype dates and short weekend visits, the time flew by. I will be forever grateful for the support he has given me. It seemed each semester I would pile on more activities or classes, and he would still be there cheering me on. On top of all of this, I am severely dyslexic. At the beginning of each semester, I would panic about the upcoming classes. I would wonder if I could do it or if my luck would run out. Tyler would be there to remind me that I had made it this far, I can make it further. Fast-forward four years, and we both have ended up working in Augusta, Georgia. Quickly after moving to the South, I decided I wanted to get my master’s. I had many concerns going into my master’s. Being dyslexic, I felt I somehow managed to work my way through my bachelor’s, but there would be no way I could do it again for an advanced degree. Additionally, Tyler and I were finally in the same zip code and I was not ready to leave to find a new school. Thankfully, I found Johnson & Wales' online master's for public administration. Finally, I had found something that would allow me to continue my education, while also working and providing the flexibility to stay in Augusta.
Each step of the way, Tyler has supported me. When I was deciding to take two classes at once or not, he said “just go for it” with a smile on his face! He even helped me build a new computer for my program since my undergrad laptop was hanging on by a thread. With all his help, I can balance my life and still fit in time for friends and family. I am grateful for his love and support throughout all of my schooling and stress. I feel like a lucky girl that I have him in my life. He has stuck with me during the turbulent twenties, and they have been turbulent. Without his encouragement and endless support, I would not be where I am today.
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