When making life altering decisions, the danger is often not in what you can see, it’s what you can not foresee. I so desperately wanted to make apps, I believe I was blind to any and all danger just up ahead. I thank God for protecting me and my family while I chased after a dream. My dream is still very much alive, but the challenges I can see now in looking back could have done much more damage.
Apple had this great encentive program for employees which helped them pay for school and Full Sail Online (FSO) was one of their approved schools. This was one of the pillars I built my decision on when going back to school. I could work full-time at Apple while attending university online. My employee discount was a big help in paying for my computer used for school. All of my ducks were lining up perfectly, or so I thought.
I already had a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Business Management. Many of my courses from the University of Central Oklahoma transferred to FSO which helped me to jump ahead into the program. I had quite a bit of experience when it came to web development so this also helped me to skip through some of the web development basics. The other basic courses were pretty solid since they had been taught for many years at FSO. Early on, I had no doubts about the quality of my education which served to distract me when I should have been paying closer attention.
I was so entrenched into the idea of building apps, and I was getting so close to actually learning about it. The grueling schedule of an accelerated bachelors degree started to sink in. I was going to school full-time, working at Apple full-time and doing my best to be both a dad and a husband with my leftovers. My excitement and ambition had carried me this far, but I did not see many of the hurdles in front of me.
It was merely months into this new adventure and other Mobile Development students were dropping like flies. This would have been the time to stop, take note, and ask questions to faculty, but I had way too much on my plate. This and I chalked it up to their lack of programming experience. I also hated conflict and this seemed to be pretty confrontational, which I avoid as much as possible.
The more I got into the program, the more the program required from me. I countered this demand with more effort. This was not the first time my I would use my work ethic to try and solve a problem. I was a night owl so I figured I would stay up an hour extra each night. This and I would take less breaks from studying. I know what you are thinking, just bear with me.
My grades were holding very well and I was convinced my extra work was paying off. My relationships with my daughter, my wife Kristi, and God all suffered during this time. I did not want to admit it, but they were getting the short end of the stick. I justified it by saying this was for a short period of time and it would be over. This came up a few times in discussions and my solution was to quit working to focus on school. So I did. I’ll revisit this later.
Thinking my relationships were more important than my job at Apple, I had good reason to move forward. Or was I asking enough questions? Things were moving very fast and I was making tough decisions for the good of my family. I knew leaving Apple would never be fun, I just did not know it would like this.