Celeste Bridges

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree?

I started college back in 2008 at Virginia State after graduating high school. After completing 3 semesters, I found out I was expecting my first child so I transferred to NOVA community college close to home. I went to school part time and worked full time to provide for myself and child. I then found out I was expecting twins, but I was able to complete my Associates degree in Criminal Justice in May of 2013. Two months later, I gave birth to my twin boys! At this time in my life, I have three children to set an example for! I want to finally finish what I started and have more of an opportunity to grow in the future. Here I am 26 years old with 3 kids, out of high school for 8 years, and I am now motivated more than I have ever to complete my goal of obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology!

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program?

My sister also attends Averett and told me about the program. After being a stay at home mom for 2 years, I came to the point where I had to get back in the game. In March 2015, I started working full time and I started thinking about school again. I had 97 credits and I just wanted to be finished but I had a few thoughts of pressure on my mind. I kept going back and forth on would it be too hard to raise my children, work full time and go to school fulltime as well. I then took the first step which was speaking with an admissions counselor. I spoke with Ms. Andrea Levengood and she provided me with all the information on the program. After I sent over my transcripts and looked at start dates, I then backed out because I was scared. After Ms. Levengood reached out to me for a few months, she finally talked me into starting the program in October of 2015. Here it is July of 2016 with only four courses left to complete and all I can do is smile! If it wasn’t for Ms. Levengood, I probably would still be still debating if I was ready to finish school. She is a great asset to the admissions unit at Averett University; she is a great motivator.

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students:

To my fellow classmates and future AU students… the best tip I can give you all would be manage your time wisely! Always stay on top of your studies; it can only help for the better. I make sure I set aside time to complete my work, I have time to spend with my children and I have a great amount of time I spend on my class work. A major key for me is starting my course work ahead of schedule. Being that I work full time and I have children, something always comes up when I least expect it. If I am ahead in my course work, I have time to deal with the extra things that pops up. I will always rather be ahead than behind in my course.

CelesteBridges2What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program?

First and foremost, I have my children who I hope look up to me as a role model. I want to do my best so they can have that drive and motivation to do more in life. I don’t want my kids to grow up and say “Mom, you didn’t complete college, why should I?” I can only see the finish line and there is no way I am turning back now. I want to earn not only the piece of paper we all call a degree, but I also want them to know that I never gave up. When times were hard, when money was low, or even when I would rather have hung out with friends, I chose to stick to my studies. I truly feel by obtaining my degree, it will open so many new doors for me. I work in a job that is great, but I barely get by with all the bills I have and things I am responsible for. I am ready to begin a career within my field of study.

What is your anticipated Date of Graduation?

I finish my courses in November 2016, but due to travel for a wedding I am in, I’ll be walking across the stage in May 2017!