March 11, 2013

college. good decisions. dinosaurs. therapy.

2007. freshman year of college. buena vista, virginia.
remember in college when it was finals week and all anyone talked about were finals and all anyone thought about were finals and everyone was on edge and moody because the stress of finals was weighing down on them like a dark storm cloud ready pop?

me too.

and i feel like even though i'm not in school right now, i'm still experiencing it. is secondhand (finals induced) stress a real thing? if so, i have it. 

garrett is done with this quarter (his school works in quarters, not semesters. it's cool in a lot of ways and kind of chaotic in a lot of ways.)in a few days and stresses are high. 

more than one conversation this weekend turned into a stupid bickering argument just because we were both feeling stressed. garrett was stressed because of school. i was stressed because of garrett's stress. 

and i have two awesome zits to prove it.

i hate finals. even when i'm not taking them. 
(though i am doing some heavy editing of garrett's final paper. and that's about as awesome as joey fatone.)

and finals stress may or may not have been a contributing factor to why i was like "aahh screw it. i do hair. that's good enough." and dropped out of college. well, finals stress and the swine flu, of course. the combination was nearly lethal. i had to drop out. i had no choice!

but in all seriousness, i did sort of drop out of college. and i never thought i would be that person. however, i don't think i ever really thought much about being that person that graduates college either. i knew i wanted to go to college. well, i knew i wanted to get out of the city i grew up in (the city i'm currently living in with my husband while he's going to college. ironic, no?) and i knew i wanted to go somewhere where i could just be me and not feel like a freak because of it. and i knew i wanted to make something of my life. but i don't know if i ever had the kind of conviction most people have for college. 

i just did it because that's what you did. i mean, if you're 18 and you're not a total fry, it's just what you do..(please, someone name that movie.) so i went to college. i went to a small school in southern virginia. in fact, it was called southern virginia university. there were about 700 students. and since i went to a private high school, that was actually big compared to what i was used to.

i went there for two reasons: 
1) my sister had gone there and she loved it. and i loved visiting her there. 
2) because it felt right. in my life, there have only been a few instances where i felt 100% that i knew exactly what the best choice was. going to southern virginia was one of those. 

and it's a good thing i did. because i met my husband there. 
matching, homemade TBS shirts AND garrett had bleached hair?! 
so good.

i spent one year at SVU. one crazy year. and not the "i was so drunk and i made so many friends and i totally had the time of my life" sort of crazy that most people say when referring to their freshman year of college. i mean the "i'm taking 18 credits in one semester, my roommate is borderline psychotic/sexually harassing me/legitimately stalking me and like half the kids i was friends with at the beginning of the year have been kicked out or are knocked up AND for reasons that i STILL to this day don't understand, i have earned the reputation of a slut."

that kind of crazy.

how one can earn such a reputation when they spend 85% of their time in class or studying in their dorml/the ibrary  and the other 15% doing very normal,college kid things like eating crappy food in the school cafeteria and taking crappy luke-warm showers in semi-sketchy bathrooms or going to a crappy walmart in the next town over to buy Easy Mac and granola bars is totally beyond me. but yes, it's truth. and yes, i had a few guys take me on dates because of that rumored reputation. and yes, those dates did end awkwardly. and yes, those guys were sorely disappointed to find the rumors to be entirely false. #sorryimnotsorry

anyways, one year was enough. i was done. i didn't know at the time that garrett would be the boy i would marry, and for some time i really struggled with my experience at SVU. i was so sure that i was supposed to go there. but none of my classes made enough of an impact on me to push me into a major, none of my friends seemed to be any kind of real by the end of the year, my roommate was telling me i was fat and asking to make out with me in the same conversation and i left virginia feeling like i had been totally cheated. and i couldn't help but wonder why the heck that felt right.

(this was why, ya big doof.)

but like i said, at the time i didn't know garrett was the boy i'd marry. and SVU left a pretty nasty taste in my mouth for college. 

i was confused and kind of hurt and totally weirded out and ready for a complete change.
so i moved to Utah, moved in with my best friend and attended cosmetology school.

i never thought of myself as the type of person to go to cosmetology school. but i liked the idea of it. and it didn't have finals. so i did it. 

(and i thank the good Lord every day that i have parents amazing enough to put up with all of my "i don't know what i want to do..oh, hey maybe i'll give this a shot" tendencies.)

and i liked it. for the most part.
being around that many girls and mirrors for that much of the day for an entire year definitely takes its toll on your self esteem. but i made one really fantastic friend while i was there and together, she and i blew through those 2,000 required hours as fast as we could, took our state board tests and never looked back. 

after cosmetology school, i took a much needed (extended) christmas break and then went back to college at BYU. i still had no clue what i wanted to study, but no salons were hiring in Provo and i was still pretty burned out from hair school anyways.  and the bad taste of college had worn off. so again, i just did it because..that's what you do. 

i enjoyed my classes. (except the class i took called 'Dinosaurs'. guys, i took it because it counted as a science and i suck at science. but Dinosaurs? how hard could that be? it's like Jurassic Park meets that weird awesome television show from the 90's about a family of Dinosaurs that are just like you and me..except that they're dinosaurs. and they don't wear pants. that class was supposed to be a breeze. and yet it was not. and if i saw a dinosaur today, i would slap it. i would slap it hard.)

and i enjoyed the idea of being in college. 
i definitely enjoyed not getting the judgement look that EVERYONE gave when i told them i was in hair school. (oh, you're in hair school? you must not be very smart,huh? i'll talk down to you from here on out, okay?)
but my heart wasn't in it. i still didn't know what i wanted to do. i declared a major. then changed it. only to declare another major. then changed it,too.

there is a significant chunk of my life that was very confusing and i was sort of lost for a while. i  sort of just floated and hoped i didn't end up anywhere too treacherous. 

as miserable (and i do mean miserable) as the swine flu was, i was sort of grateful for the excuse to HAVE to drop out. (granted it was only required for me to withdraw for the semester, but you know. go big or go home, right?)

the funny thing is, i really shouldn't have ever been accepted to BYU in the first place. not that my grades weren't good enough, they were. but a lot of the classes i took at SVU weren't transferable. and without them, my GPA dropped quite a bit. but through a force of divine intervention and an incredibly kind hearted admissions counselor, they let me in. because they felt like it was a good decision. truly. 

in my time there, i never totally knew what i wanted to study. but i had the chance to meet really amazing people. people, that had i not ever been accepted to BYU, i would have NEVER met. i'm not going to go into detail right now, but these people i'm referring to aren't the people i took classes with or met in the library (or even the people in those pictures above. however, they, too, were pretty spectacular.) they're the people i attended group therapy with at BYU. didn't know that existed? me neither. until i went. because i sort of lost it for a little bit. and they, along with an amazing, professor i had sort of changed my life. and i honestly, truly believe that i was accepted to BYU just so i could meet those people. just so they could change my life. 

so i never graduated. i hardly pursued a major. 
but i had a really good time for the short time that i was a Cougar. and i think i learned just as much as any college graduate. just different stuff. and maybe one day i'll want to go back to school. but for right, garrett's secondhand schooling, a cosmetology license and a whole lot of lessons and memories of college is enough for me. 


lyrics: if it feels good and it sounds nice then it's your choice, don't doubt yourself. don't even think twice.

ps. i had zero intentions of that post being so long. zero.


  1. I seriously love your blog. Thank you for always being so fun and inspiring its really awesome to read. Also yay picture shout out! That has been my favorite FHE family and I still love telling people about how much fun we had and how awesome our group was!

    1. Missy, i'm so glad to know you read my blog. i think about our FHE group ALL the time. i'm so so grateful that i had you guys during that time of my life. that friendship and all of the times i was able to laugh with you guys helped me so much more than i know how to explain! <3

  2. So, I have a friend from my home ward who went to SVU and she is graduating from there this year and LOVED every minute of it so it's kind of funny to hear that you had a totally opposite experience!

    Oh my heck, for real is cosmetology school a huge killer of self esteem. All of those fashionable, cute girls, being around a mirror ALL day long! I used to be the biggest mirror freak and I was just remembering that. There was a mirror in every room of our apartment and us girls would spend so much time in front of them and on the floor.

    And I totally understand your hatred of school. When I went back (yes, I'm back in school) it was two years after cosmetology and I was trying to just get my associates. I'm so glad that I found a major I love because if I hadn't and didn't have one major related class to take every semester, I would quit school because it is BRUTAL! Especially those pointless, supposed to be easy, general requirements!

    I LOVE this post! I won't say anything more because I've already written a massive comment, but I related to every part of this post, even if I didn't have the EXACT same situation!


  3. Oh man I can relate to this post so much! Oh and you do look kind of short in these pictures haha I guess ones where you are standing by yourself you look tall? haha!

  4. DROP DEAD GORGEOUS!! - "It's like asking why do all the guys chew Copenhagen?"

    1. love you for this. i'm so glad you got it.

  5. gorgeous pic! I'm in grad school now and we don't have tests, thank you Jesus! But I do remember the days of the dreaded final exams. Not exciting. Found ya on the Monday Mingle blog hop. New Follower :-)

  6. oh college - if I could go back and do it all over again....
    I would have done everything different!

    I would also make sure to go to a school where I could take a course on Dinos!

  7. and so you could meet me. love you.