I can remember my very first day of school in the Summer of '04. So many fears, hopes, nerves, and expectations filled my 18 year-old round-faced chubby head. I reminisced tonight with my freshman year roommate about how different our lives were just a few FAST years ago. She returned last week from a mission, I am graduating, and our original group of friends have all but vanished into their own lives of careers, marriage, and children. To know then what I know now....
But each year of college I can think of a few defining moments that has helped shape my current outlook on life. Here are the highlights:
Freshman Year: I took a Career Development class, which is supposed to help undecided undergrads find their major. For the final, each student has to stand in front of the class and declare what they want to do for their career and the reasoning why. Well, this sweet girl who I sat next to the entire semester stood and said something like this:
"I am smart. I get good grades, but I just am not loving college. I have always loved doing hair, and I know it may be looked down upon by university students, but I have decided it's what will make me happy. So as scary as this might be for me to tell my parents; I think I am going to try to go the hair school route. I just want to do something I enjoy. Okay?"
Last winter I went to my normal hairstylist for a trim, and who do I see there cutting hair about two booths down from me?? Yep, you guessed it. The girl from my Career Development class, who dropped out, went to hair school, and looked genuinely happy..... I am pretty positive she made the right decision.
Sophomore Year: Grounds Crew. Enough said. The biggest character building period of my life. Ever. I needed a job, and learned the hard way (for me). While the job was exhausting, humiliating, and difficult, I sincerely LOVED my co-workers, and grew to love landscaping. I can now mow a very straight lawn can I just say. But this opened many doors for me; among them a very stable and fabulous Research Job on campus which has carried me through the last 3 1/2 years.
Junior Year: Sam Nielsen. My little bro came up to BYU at the perfect time. I had just moved into a new apartment with random (and interesting) roommates. But nearly every weekend he and I would go up to Salt Lake together to visit family. And then we would meet on campus for lunch. And oh yeah, it was just me and him as he opened his mission call at my apartment... And I got to go to the MTC to drop him off. A week before he left on his mish, we got in the biggest argument we ever had while in my car. I felt sick to my stomach for three days. His first week in the MTC he sent me the sweetest note/apology ever written. I still read it to this day. He gets home in T minus one month. He truly was a blessing for that semester we were together, and an even greater blessing as he rocks his mish. Love him.
Senior Year: As a reporter for BYU Daily News I have been given some profound and not so deep stories to cover. But last winter, going to the Utah Army Base for a soldier deployment goes down as one of the most emotional experiences in my life. I cannot write or say with words what it was like to witness the farewell of 300 soldiers from their families on their way to Iraq. "Heart-wrenching" is the best I can think of. Even thinking of it now, makes me feel a little foolish for my selfish worries and complaints of late.
I am in the midst of finishing my LAST school project as I finish this blog, and the emotions are mixed. Relief, anxiety, sadness, excitement are all mixed together. But hey BYU, we had a good run right??? You've taught me well. Brought some amazing people in my life. But now this Coug is moving on... and I will let you know where I'm going when I get there.