Friday, August 22, 2014


As a child, I always wanted to be two things when I grew up:  A mom and a teacher.  As I got older and moved to Provo with my family, I always just had it in the back of my mind that I'd go to BYU and major in Elementary Education.  When I was a Junior in High School, I thought it through and changed my mind.  I realized that my number one goal in life was to be a mom.  I worried that I would probably start going to BYU and get married and have babies and never finish school, at least not until they were bigger.  Or even if I did finish school before having kids, I always knew I wouldn't work while they were young and I didn't want to be the old lady teacher that hasn't worked for 20 years and comes back thinking things are exactly the same and be all set in my ways and end up not being the best teacher out there.  (I realize now that this doesn't necessarily have to be the case-- you can raise a family and then go back to work and be a good teacher.  But at 16, you just don't think that way!)  Instead of going to a traditional 4-year school, I decided on cosmetology school.  My dad was not very happy with my decision at the time.  I got really good grades in high school, and he kept reminding me that I could go to any university that I wanted and get a scholarship to boot.  I kept reminding him that I knew I was smart and I could go anywhere I wanted-- and what I really wanted to do was go to cosmetology school.  In the end, my parents let me make the decision (which I am incredibly grateful for!) and they supported my decision to be a cosmetologist.  

I did concurrent enrollment my Senior year of high school, so all my elective credits were taken care of by going to cosmetology school.  I  also needed one English credit, which I did through BYU Independent Studies.  I graduated high school in May of 2005 and graduated cosmetology school in October of 2005.  In December of the same year, I decided to go to Nauvoo through BYU's study abroad program (even though Illinois is not technically "abroad"), and was there from January- April of 2006. 

When I returned home from Nauvoo, I started working as a cosmetologist in the MTC Barbershop.  It was SO awesome, and I stayed there for 3 years, until I got married.  I am so very grateful that I was able to go to cosmetology school and have the experience of working in the MTC!  I love doing hair so so much!  Now that I'm a mom, I'm grateful I had the foresight as a 16-year-old to make the career choice that I did.  My number one priority is STILL being a mom.  I certainly don't do hair full-time, but I do it enough that I make some extra money to do fun things with my family.  It's also been comforting to know that if anything ever happened to my husband, I would have a career to fall back on and be able to support my girls.   

There have been times that going back to school has crossed my mind, but I never really gave it much thought.  A few days ago, a friend of mine on Facebook mentioned that she was going to go back to school and do the Pathway program through BYU-I.  I'd never heard of it, but decided to just check it out.  The more I looked into it, the more right it felt, and I got pretty excited.  

Pathway is a 1-year (3-semester) program.  Each semester you take one religion class and one general studies class.  For me, the religion class is at the WSU Institute building one evening a week.  The general studies class is online.  It's only 5 credits a semester, which I think will be totally manageable with 2 kids at home-- if I have time to do Family History, refinish furniture, and do other projects, I certainly can make time to go to school!

After my one year in Pathway, I can start taking online courses through BYU-I for only $65 a credit.  There are quite a few options of programs and majors available.  I've decided to get a BS in Marriage and Family Studies.  I chose this because I'll be learning things that will help in my real, everyday life.  I'm not doing it because I want to go out and get a good job.  I already have the BEST job, and won't be working outside my home unless something catastrophic happened to my husband. 

There have been so many General Authorities who have talked about the importance of education.  In April 2012, Mary N. Cook gave a talk in General Conference and said this: 

Gaining knowledge now will pay huge dividends when you become a mother. “A mother’s education level has a profound influence on the educational choices of her [children].”  A mother’s education can hold the “key to halt [the] poverty cycle.”  Educated women “tend to: Give birth to healthier babies, have children who are healthier, be more confident, resilient and have improved reasoning and judgment.” 
We learn in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” that “mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”  Providing an education for your children is part of that nurturing and is your sacred responsibility. Like the stripling warriors, who “had been taught by their mothers,”  you will be the most important teacher your children will ever have, so choose your learning carefully. Bless your children and your future home by learning as much as you can now.
I believe that continuing my education will help my girl see how important it is to me.  I already think I'm a pretty good mom, and being more educated will only help me to be a better mom.  I know this is going to take a long time.  I'm not trying to get it done in 4 years.  It's a 120-credit program, and going into it I'm hoping to have 28 credits-- 15 from Pathway and hopefully my 13 from BYU transfer.  I'll only take a few credits each semester until all my kids are in school and I have a little more time to focus on my own schooling too.  I believe in getting as much education as you can.  I know that all education doesn't come from a university.  Right now, for me, it does-- and I am so excited about it!


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