May 29, 2013


I did it! I finally graduated from college with a degree in Health, Society and Policy. What do I want to do with my degree - absolutely nothing. Then why did I pursue going to school? I originally started going to school, in all honesty, for the social aspect. I didn't take my first two years of college seriously and I had no plan. After meeting Jeff and getting married, I decided I was done with school and just wanted to work until I had a baby and be a stay at home mom. I had no motivation to get a degree and thought my life would be made by having a husband who would be a doctor. 

When Jeff and I got back from our honeymoon we moved into a place called University Village. It wasn't glamorous at all, it had cinder block walls and a floor with spiders and cheerios sealed into it, but it was a place we could make and call home. And surprisingly, it actually exceeded my expectations. The beauty about the village was that the people that surrounded us were also poor college students just trying to get by. I met some pretty amazing women there that have forever touched my life. One day I was preparing a visiting teaching message for a woman in my ward. I opened the ensign to the message about being self sufficient by President Monson. I read over it several times and made sure that I was prepared to share it. As I started sharing the part of the message about getting an education and being prepared for anything that could go wrong, I got a strong impression that I needed to go back to school. I ignored it for a while, but would frequently be reminded about what I had felt that day. 

After about a two year break from school, I sat down with Jeff and we talked about me going back. We both decided I should only go back to school if I was serious about it and if I had a plan to actually graduate by the time he finished medical school. I knew art would not be the best major for me if something were to happen to Jeff and I needed to support our family. I had two years to get all the credits I needed and after hours of researching different degrees and the major requirements I finally settled on Health, Society and Policy. The classes for the major were broad; they ranged from politics, nutrition, psychology, anthropology, sociology, family consumer science and so much more. It also would be a major I could finish within my time limit. I loved having the many class options and before each semester I would research every class and the teachers to make sure I would enjoy it and get the most out of my school experience. I did go wrong with some classes, but for the most part I loved going to school and loved learning. Epidemiology was fascinating. I loved learning about different health care systems and about the breakdown of the ACA from an economic perspective. I even enjoyed my geology class and statistics.

 I worked hard. I had a full time job for most of it and I had a baby at the beginning of my final semester. I'm sorry for not being humble, but I'm so proud of myself. I never thought I would be able to say that I graduated college. I know graduating with an undergrad degree may not be that big of a deal to people, because it seems like everyone graduates and then goes on to pursue a masters or doctorate degree, but I will forever treasure my degree and will definitely be framing it and putting it on a wall in my home. But, as I stated earlier, I don't plan on using my degree unless something occurs in my life where I need to provide for my family. Some may see that as a waste, but I see it as being prepared and following a prompting. 

I'm so grateful for Jeff. He was extremely supportive and would listen to me every night when I would come home from school and share with him what I learned that day. He would also lift me up when I felt discouraged and always provided a positive perspective. He also went to my stats class for me when I had my miscarriage, so I wouldn't miss anything. 

I'm also so grateful for my parents. They always encouraged me to finish college and were also very supportive, even though I attended their biggest rival. They helped me out so much by paying for my first two years and would often buy my books or other things I needed for the last two.

I'm also grateful for Jeff's family. They too were supportive and Melinda helped me out a ton by frequently watching Garrett so I could attend my classes at night. 


1 comment:

  1. So proud of you, Ashton. You'll never regret following that prompting, even if you never use that degree in your life! Good job, good job...G-double O, D, J,O,B, good job! (I know Grandma is proud of you, too!)