By Celine Healey (AGI ’18)
[Reprinted from Colloquy, Vol. I, with permission from the author and editors.]
My first experience with St. John’s College was after I moved to Annapolis with my family in the early 1990s. Whenever I had the chance, I would walk the campus and wonder about all of the people who had been there before me. Becoming a student was only a dream at the time. I used to tell myself if I had to do it all over again, this was the place that I would choose, but I was a working mother with two sons, and returning to school didn’t seem to be in my future. When the economy declined, I lost my job working as an institutional investor for a corporate credit union; I looked for work for over a year without success. It was a tough time for me, personally, to go from having a career to no longer having a sense of purpose.
My husband Dan suggested that maybe it was time for me to go back to school. I had not completed my undergraduate degree, and it had always been a stigma for me: this finally seemed like the perfect time. After I earned my undergraduate degree, I wanted to continue with graduate school, but I could only find programs that required taking a bunch of classes that I had no real interest in. Once again, I found myself at a crossroads.
One day I was looking at the SJC website to determine when the croquet match was taking place. It was an event I had always wanted to attend and never took the opportunity to witness. While I was looking around the website, I noticed the Graduate Institute; I had no idea that the college had a graduate program! I read the reading list and could not find one thing I did NOT want to read. I was over the moon. I quickly contacted Mr. Crouse, went for a visit, and attended a few classes. I applied, and thankfully I was accepted. My experience has been more enriching than I could have imagined — sometimes I still can’t believe that I am a student here.
I only have a few classes to finish before I graduate. However, I will always maintain my ties to SJC. It is my academic home!