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“I wish I knew to ‘Savor every moment and be present.’ I was always rushing. Rushing through the day, rushing through my youth, rushing through the good times and the bad. In the blink of an eye, time has flown by. I am in my thirties, married with three kids, and completing a bachelor’s degree. I have learned now to savor the moments—even those that make me feel uncomfortable. I learned this when my dad passed. I wish I had known of it before he died,” says Scott Sebree, a father of three, husband, and BHC Scholar. And this is his story.

“After high school, I did not know what I wanted to go to college for. I was terrified of getting into debt and was still considered a dependent of my parents, who were not fiscally prepared to send me to college. In earnest, I was not ready to be a college student straight out of high school. I needed to gain an appreciation for what higher education could do for me. While working as a director of a no-kill animal shelter, I realized that my solution to most problems was education. I now major in elementary education because of an experience while substitute teaching. I knew I wanted to be a teacher but had not decided on primary or secondary education. During a music concert performed by the students while working as a long-term substitute at an elementary school, I had a moment of clarity and thought, ‘This is where I want to be.’ I am an upbeat, energetic, and eccentric individual. Where else in education is this personality best but in elementary school?

“The University of Central Florida offers a direct connect program with Seminole State College, where I received my Associate Degree. Now that I’ve finally figured out what I want to do with my life, I am ready to go to college and commit to the experience. I see myself as a different branch on the college tree. I perceive most of my classmates as younger than me and have gone from high school directly into college. I did not take that path and feel good about my decision. I am not alone on this branch either. There are many other continuing education adults, some even middle-aged.

“Being a parent and a student increases the chances of ‘life happening.’ Meaning if I procrastinate, I don’t only face issues other students experience, but I also take on the added chance of something happening with my children. So, staying ahead of the ball is necessary. If I stay ahead of work, I usually do not need time away from my family to catch up. Thankfully, my family understands the need to be flexible as things occur. The important part is that I set clear expectations and communicate my limits. My spouses and I rotate childcare along with our extended family. We attempt to keep communication clear and have a communal calendar so everyone knows what’s coming down the pipeline. Without them, I would not be where I am at today. It is important for me to not have everything on my plate and know who I can lean on.”