When Adam and I first met we were kids. Eleven years ago our ideals and plans were very different than they are today. At first I was embarrassed to be dating a guy who hadn’t gone to college; after all, I was college bound and planned on dating a guy with alpha beta whatever attached to his name rather than a 9-5 to job. As the years passed I came to terms that not every 18 year old is ready for college. And as Adam’s career flourished he taught me that motivation and hard work could take you places even if you don’t follow a traditional path. I realized that in my youth I recognized college as being a vital strategy toward long-term success, but perhaps that wasn’t the case for everyone. Although I still felt college was important and felt confident that my degree would open doors for me, I accepted the fact that Adam could be successful without it. Over the years I still encouraged him to get a degree so that there would be no barrier in the future holding him back from further success. It was so clear that Adam had ambition, more so than even myself, regardless of having gone to college. And last week when he accomplished his MBA, all I could do was beam with pride. Adam had gained so much success professionally he could have very easily walked away without a degree under his belt. Or Adam could have settled for a bachelor’s degree. But the boy I feared was not ambitious grew into an ambitious, motivated man (or maybe he always was but I didn’t know how to recognize unconventional ambition). Maybe he did it for me, maybe he did it for his family but somewhere deep down inside I know that he must feel a sense of pride in himself. For the first time in over 8 years, Adam has no lingering homework or school obligations. It is such a thrill. Despite balancing a full time job, parenthood, household chores and husband responsibilities…he did it! And although I followed the conventional path of college and career, he accomplished so much more. It was easy for me to go to college, hit up parties on the weekend and cram for tests in libraries. It was not easy for him to go through a full day of work, balance all the familial responsibilities during the weekend and cram for tests while the kids napped. And on top of all that, he could have stopped twenty months ago when he earned his bachelor’s. Call him a glutton for punishment, or an amazingly ambitious guy but now eleven years later my husband has his MBA!!!