It’s Never Too Late: A 10-year Journey from High School to College


Stacie S. McCartan

Kaitlin Morgan, smiles proudly while standing in front of Whitehorse Hall. After tiring of working low-wage jobs, she has come back to school to earn her degree.

Seventeen jobs, three states, and 10 years of living paycheck to paycheck. After being tired of working cheap jobs, EvCC student Kaitlin Morgan decided to go back to school and get a college degree.

Back in 2007 at the age of 18, Morgan graduated from Cascade High School.

Since then, she has worked as a dairy farmer, a landscaper, horse trainer, barista and a dishwasher. She’s lived in her car, a tent in Alaska and a sailboat.

Working such crappy jobs makes you realize how important a college degree is.”

Two years ago, after finally realizing that she wanted to stop doing manual labor, she decided to go back to school. She says, “Working such crappy jobs makes you realize how important a college degree is.”

Stacie S. McCartan
Kaitlin Morgan, a current EvCC student, returned to school after realizing the importance of a college degree and is on track to earn her degree in elementary education.




Since coming back to school, Morgan is pleasantly surprised at how much she is enjoying it, “I really like the atmosphere. The teachers treat you like an adult.” Now, two years later, she is thirty weeks pregnant and starting a family. She’s looking to transfer to Western Washington University with plans to major in elementary education.

As expected, there was an adjustment period when it came to the changes in a classroom since the last time she was in school. “Using Canvas was a huge adjustment… I had never turned anything in online. But now all of my quizzes and assignments are online. It was all new to me.”

Another thing she had to wrap her head around was the age difference between her and the other students. Morgan explains how most kids that go to EvCC still live with their parents, as opposed to someone like her who is living on her own, about to start a family and going to school full time.  It was difficult at first for her to understand the thought process of some of the younger students as well, saying, “People would text or talk in the middle of class and it would irritate me because I’m paying a lot of money to take these classes and I’m giving up all of my time.”

It wasn’t just the age difference that was tough though, the generation gap was apparent from an early point. She says, “I heard someone talking about the Kardashians and I don’t know who that is. I’m out of the loop; I’m not sure what’s hip these days.”

Not many students stop and think about the generational difference between people who decide to come back to school, compared to someone who goes straight to college from high school. Morgan says, “It is a totally different environment now than when I was in school. I had a fancy flip phone last time I was in school. It was an adjustment to see how much school relied on electronics now, I have to have a computer and a smartphone just to be able to turn in my assignments.” Now, compare that to a student who has grown up with an iPhone and was shown how to use the computer since the time they could ride a bike. 

School is stressful for sure, but in the end, the real world is a lot harsher than this.”

With the stress level of someone who is pregnant, going to school full time and trying to adapt to a whole new style of studying, Morgan knows how to handle it. She says, “School is stressful for sure, but in the end, the real world is a lot harsher than this. As long as I have food on the table, I will be fine.”