My College Experience

Wow! This Holiday season has been a little weird, kind of stressful, really exciting, and a bit bitter sweet. In the midst of all the holiday chaos and COVID panic, Cody and I decided to make a HUGE move and I graduated from college. I’ll touch more on our big move in another post. (why, how, what our plans for the future are, and all the other big questions.) But, today’s post is all about college and life after graduation.

This whole year has been weird, so it’s only right that my graduation be weird and confusing too, right? I actually finished school this summer with a summer semester. The commencement was originally moved to August due to COVID, but since numbers weren’t really dropping, it got moved, again, to December. I ultimately decided not to participate in commencement due to the guidelines, budgeting, and the fact that I hadn’t attended school since July.

Since I didn’t make a big deal of graduating, I wanted to share a little post to wrap it up and honor the past 5 years like they should be. No matter the circumstances or the degree, I feel like graduating is a huge accomplishment and deserves some celebration. So, here we go … my 5 years of college, summed up!

I graduated high school in 2015 and was 99.99% sure I wanted to be a nurse. (My engagement ring size and style was even based on the fact that I didn’t want to rip my gloves at work) I only had 1 week between my high school graduation and my first day of college. I am kidding you not, I worked on homework on my senior trip and family vacations. I wanted to graduate early and was pretty determined to.

My high school graduation night.

I had a dorm my first semester, and let my tell you, sharing that small of a space with someone you don’t know is really weird. I didn’t have roommates that I didn’t like, it was just odd… like how do you set boundaries when you both share a desk and a sink ? My first roommate moved a month in because she was a germaphobe and just couldn’t deal with the shared showers (I can’t blame her). My second roommate wasn’t horrible, we just didn’t talk much. (So you can guess how that went. )

My dorm room.

This semester I worked 2 jobs, went home on the weekends, took 18 hours of classes, and still finished with all A’s and B’s . So, far college was off to a great start.

As my next semester carried on I had moved home and dropped one of my jobs. My grades dropped and I began to get exhausted. My plans of summer classes got canceled. I was burnt out. I thought a break for the summer would refresh and recharge me. Little did I know…

A week before the next semester started, I got engaged and our entire city flooded. My home and Cody’s had flooded and we were both living with friends or family by the time school started. I still kept my 17 hours of classes that I had planned… that was a mistake.

Cody proposed at the aquarium.
Some of the flood photos

At the end of the semester… about a month before the semester had ended I remember saying to Cody, “If nursing doesn’t work out, I may try teaching.” I had made this statement so many times in the past about so many different things. I am super multipassionate and have so many things I want to do with life, so this statement had always been a thing that I say, shrug off, and we move on. That was not the case this time. He said, “Why don’t you?” We weighed out the pros and cons and it seemed right. I had failed microbiology and anatomy for the second time this semester… I was just wasting money at this point. So, I did it. I switched my major to early childhood education. I wanted to be a first grade teacher.

The next semester was the semester before we got married. I had so many wedding events to attend, but my education classes were so intriguing and exciting so I didn’t struggle at all. I was so excited to be learning new things.

Before my first observation in the education field.

I decided that I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher the following semester after observing the same kindergarten class 10+ times that semester. I fell in love with the kids at that age. We had some issues with financial aid after that semester, so I took a semester off to get that straight and worked at PJ’S and at our church pretty much full time.

When I returned I only had a year before I started methods (1 step before student teaching.) Things were getting more serious, but I was still so excited and happy with the major I picked I loved the kids and all of the education classes. They were all so full of positivity and fun.

Come fall of 2019, everything changed. I was in methods … I had made it… so I thought. This class was not full of positivity like all the others had been. It demanded so much time and so much money. And they talked about all the ways you can fail. I paid, I spent the money, I went broke. I couldn’t work. I was stressed. I finally broke after my first full week of teaching. I decided to drop. I needed a break. Maybe this wasn’t for me. Maybe I just needed a break and then I would be able to tackle it again… I wasn’t sure. The only thing that I was sure of was that I needed to get out for my mental health, financial health, and for my marriage.

After lots of thought and prayer, I decided to switch to general studies. I could graduate by the end of the summer. I still had no clue what I wanted to do, but I knew college was not it.

The next semester was so easy. All of my classes were online except one, so I wasn’t really phased when everything shut down. In fact it gave me a ton of time to focus on my school work.

So there you have it. 5 years. Engaged. Married. 1 major natural disaster. 2 pandemic. 2 changes of my major. I made it out ! I’m not really sure where I am going, but I’m on my way. I still have so many plans with life and can’t wait to see exactly what God has up his sleeve for me.

To anyone reading that’s still in college: It’s ok. You’re going to make it. You are doing great and if you feel like what you are doing isn’t working, try something new. Don’t listen to societies opinions or what you think will make someone else happy. Do you and do your best at it. It is enough.

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