After many, many long years and late nights, Austin is finally graduating from college. I almost can't believe it. We've been waiting for this day for so long. I can't believe it's finally here! The last several years have been very difficult for all of us. Austin has had one delay after another on his road to graduation.
Prior to his mission, Austin attended one year of college at Southern Virginia University. This was from 2000 to 2001. He got excellent grades. Then he went on his mission from 2001 to 2003. At the beginning of 2004, he moved to Utah to go to school (and to date the girl he wrote on his mission....no, it wasn't me.) He didn't get into BYU, but he did get into what was UVSC at the time. Unfortunately, UVSC did not accept his college credits from SVU. So that was a year academically wasted (not a waste in that he had great life experiences and met great people whom he is still friends with to this day).
He attended two semesters at UVSC. We met during his first semester and started dating during his second semester. He did terribly at school. He failed all but one class (mostly because he stopped attending class). He decided to focus on working and making money since clearly school wasn't working for him at this time. We dated throughout 2005. In March of 2006, we got engaged. Four months later we married. Since I was almost done with school, we decided that Austin would work while I finished school. (Though I also worked a part-time job at this time.) I graduated August 2007 and got a full-time job in October. Fall of 2007 Austin returned to school part-time. He took two night classes that semester and spring semester. He took two classes again that summer. Fall of 2008 Austin bumped up to 3/4 time, taking 3 classes for two semesters. He took one class in the summer. Then in Fall 2009, Austin returned to school full time. He has been going to school full-time continuously since then, including summers. He retook a few of the classes he failed. He lost a whole year spring semester of 2010 when Austin had to withdraw after having surgery. He had his metal prosthesis of knee and femur replaced as well as his hip removed and replaced with a metal prosthesis. So he lost that semester plus another semester to make up those credits. He took two classes that summer. Fall of 2011 Austin bumped up to five classes a semester for fall and spring and one to two classes in the summer. (Many of the classes he needed weren't offered in the summer.) Austin was supposed to graduate last year, but they changed graduation requirements on him, bumping him another semester.
So now here it...2013. Austin has been in and out of school for 13 years. All to earn a bachelor's degree. We fortunately aren't graduating with too much debt. About half the state's average. This is really fortunately considering how many years he's been in school. More than half of my student loan has already been paid off. We hope to have my student loan paid off in two years, and Austin's in five years.
I can't even tell you how surreal it is that Austin is finally graduating. I feel like I've been saying "He's got two years left" for years and years. The last few years have been particularly difficult. Austin has been working full-time (or close to it) and going to school full-time year round. He's been gone so much and not here when he's been here. The last two semesters he's practically lived in the office. Coming home to eat and then disappear to the office sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning. This semester was particularly crazy as he was working several jobs and internships, going to class, and working on internship stuff and homework at night.
It's going to be gloriously awesome to have my husband back. You know it's been hard when my husband working full-time feels like a vacation to both of us. I love you Austin! I can't believe it's finally here! It's finally happening! We are free! The future awaits us both.