I have never really been a fan of school. I enjoy learning and I love to read...but tests stress me out...as does the social drama that usually goes along with school. I graduated from high school a semester early and got a job. I knew however that I would be attending Brigham Young University in the fall of that year. I had grown up in Texas and was excited to be around more people who shared my religion and my values.
I remember being put on a plane and flown to Utah to begin my college career. My papa had told me he would help with the financial part of my schooling. I remember him saying, "If you go to college, I will help you financially...but if you don't, you just get a washer and a dryer." That still makes me laugh. I went my first year to the Y and was happy there. It was fun living in the dorm. The second year I decided to live in the dorm as well, but this time I had my own room and was president of the dorm. My junior year I moved into a house with seven other girls...with my roommate being my sister Lori. That was a new experience and one that I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, I had some bad experiences with teachers and classes and lost my momentum for school. I left in the middle of my junior year.
Back when I was still living in the dorms, my papa was dying from cancer. I remember talking to him on the phone and promising him that I would finish my college education. Those words have often rung in my ears over the years. I was so excited when I saw the billboard for "Independent Study - Finish What You Started." I realized that I could finish my BYU education online. This seemed to fit perfectly with the station I was at in my life.
I got going on my classes, but then life went into a downward spiral. My husband at the time was diagnosed with an incurable cancer, my marriage failed, I had to leave home to work, etc. Everything seemed to be fighting against me finishing my degree.
After moving to La Verkin, I decided to go headstrong into completing my remaining courses. I found myself studying every moment I wasn't working or serving in other responsibilities. There became no time for rest. My brain at times felt as if it would explode.
Finally in November of 2012 I completed my final class and received my diploma in December. I will be able to walk in my cap and gown at BYU in April of 2013. This is such a relief...and I love checking off that I am now a college graduate. I am very proud of myself. This has been one of the most intense and gratifying things I have done.
I was also very excited to replace the license plate on my car with something a little more educated!