If you had told me, when I was in high school, and even in college, that at age 25 I would be going for my Masters and looking forward to a long, long life, I wouldn’t have believed you. Age 25 was a blur to me, mired in uncertainty and sickness.

After graduating from Stonehill in 2013, I assumed I would do what I can, work for as long as I could, and not waste much time doing anything beyond that. Investing in my future wasn’t an option… because I felt as though I probably wouldn’t have much of one.

Although I held onto a lot of hope that my life would be long and prosperous, something inside of me told me not to waste time, because of that uncertainty. After all, what sort of life would it be if I spent all of my time in school and didn’t take the time to appreciate each and every day. It wasn’t about the money, it wasn’t about the title for me…  I prioritized living my life over having a career.

Then, the prospect of a life-changing drug became very real to me. As results of studies were released, hope was renewed. It became very real… and scary, to know that I might live a long, long time. And if I did, I better start thinking about my future. The first step was signing up for that retirement plan. I happened to meet with a representative from my company’s 401k around the time that I started to realize that… if this drug comes to market… maybe my life will be longer than I’ve been preparing for.

And soon, I found myself in a career and an organization that I could imagine myself in for quite some time. In order to advance in my profession, I realized I would need a Master’s Degree, something I had never considered up until this point. And then, there was a date for the day this drug would potentially be approved.

July 5th. Suddenly that date was but a few months away, and my uncertainty turned to promise as the potential for a drug that, although it would not cure me, would maybe extend my life. It became very real to me.

So I went for it. I applied for a part time Master’s program, and I got in. Suddenly, I was really believing I would grow old, and maybe have a successful career, buy a house, get married, have kids.  I invested in my future.

It is surreal that I will be earning my Masters. I’ve worked hard to get to this point, and the fact that I might have a future filled with promise, growth, and hope, is unbelievable.