Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Headed to study at Oxford University

Well, I'm a busy gal, with little time to write blogs these days. I am not sure if anyone even check this blog anymore. But on the chance there are still some of you who peruse this site from time to time, here is the latest update on my life and chance to be involved:

For those of you who know me or have caught glimpses of my life through Facebook or blogging, you may already know that I have been selected to participate in Oxford University’s journalism program this summer. This opportunity is not only a colossal honor, but an exceptional milestone in the story of my life. But as with most spectacular opportunities, it comes at price and requires quite a bit of sacrifice. The cost to go is well beyond what I can afford, even with scholarships and financial aid. I’ve contemplated getting a second job, but since I currently have no days off, that doesn’t seem to be a possibility unless I want to give up sleeping altogether. I go to school Monday through Friday and work Mondays, Wednesdays, and all weekend-long, not to mention raising my son in the midst of my jam-packed schedule this semester. As a single-mom, student, and worker, I am stretched to the max both with time and money. I’m working and saving all that I can, but it will not be enough. So, friends and family, if you’d like to help me attend Oxford University this summer, I would be forever grateful.

I will keep this relatively brief to avoid an all out self-promotional sob-story in order to solicit money. But I’ll share part of my story to explain why this opportunity means so much to me. 

When I was a child. The world was small. At least, that’s how it seemed. From a young age I developed a very poor self-image that plagued me throughout my life. My opportunities and options for life seemed limited for numerous reasons that do not need to be rehashed here. This perceived smallness of my world lead to defeatism. I did not apply myself during high school and dropped out my senior year. I spent the next few years waiting tables, believing this was the best I could do for myself. Deep inside, I always possessed a passion for learning, thinking, writing and experiencing the diversity our world has to offer. But the unforgiving boot of self-doubt pressed heavily upon the neck of those passions, leaving me resigned to a mediocre life because I erroneously believed I was not intelligent enough or good enough to pursue these repressed goals. 

Thankfully, as the years went on, I begin to catch glimpses of a larger world filled with possibilities. Each small accomplishment lead to new goals and new confidence. I earned my high school diploma and the world grew just a little bigger. I enrolled in community college and the world grew even bigger. I excelled academically and was recommended for the Honor’s program. And the world grew bigger. A short story I wrote won first place and was published in a Georgia Magazine. I won awards for my newspaper articles and was offered a job as a reporter for a local newspaper. And the world grew bigger. I was accepted to the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism. And the world grew bigger. Each of these developments seemed an impossibility to the defeated high school dropout I was ten years ago. So here I am, standing on the borders of the only world I’ve ever known, hoping to go further. The opportunity to study journalism at Oxford University holds tremendous meaning for me. It’s not just the amazing experience that lies ahead at a prestigious school in a beautiful foreign country. It’s the affirmation that all the hard work over the past 8 years has not been in vain. It’s a brazen middle finger wagging in the face of the lies I believed about myself for far too long. For me, it’s the world, once again, growing bigger. 

So, if you would like to see this former high school dropout become a student at Oxford University and help make this dream of mine a reality, you can make a donation here: 


 If not, just join with me in celebrating this momentous opportunity. Thanks!

6 comments:

R.A. said...

That is fantastic!!! I'm totally stoked for you and wish you blogged here more (do you have another blog where you blog more frequently?). I will be praying for your total to be above and beyond what you could ask or imagine. Wish I could give, but I've been out of work since August after having major abdominal surgery...there simply isn't any surplus at the moment.

Tia Lynn said...

Thanks so much! I will take all the prayers I can get. I'll keep your surgery in my prayers as well. At the moment, I am not blogging anywhere. I post some thought here and there on facebook. Hopefully, when things settle down after this semester, I can get back to blogging.

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Elizabeth Kays said...

Hi Tia! I stumbled on your blog today through a post you wrote in like 2008. I thought it was extremely well thought out and beautifully written, and your story/perspective sounds really similar to mine. I've really enjoyed browsing your blog this morning.

I'm a Georgia girl who got my degree at Oxford (St. Catz, the ugly 60s concrete college, yeah!), and I just had to contact you! I started tracing your blog forward and it sounds like you've been through a lot of life changes recently, and I want you to know I'll be thinking about you.

I don't know if you still even check your comments here, but if you need anything at all, please contact me over at my blog (http://thecolourofsojourn.wordpress.com/) and I'd love to get in touch!

I don't know if you're still in Oxford or if you go to church there, but I highly recommend the postgrad group at St. Aldates and the Graduate Christian Union if you're still there. They really carried me through my last year back in 2010 and I made some wonderful friends. They challenged me so much and I gained such a broader perspective from being around them. I think most of my friends have finished their degrees and moved on, but they still attract some really neat people.

So, yay for random internet connections, and I hope you're doing well! All the best :)

Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

When does your program begin? How much do you need?

Tia Lynn said...

I already attended Oxford this past summer. Still paying for it, though, lol. :)