I’ve had an unusual history when it comes to college. I’m really bad at school. (Except everything through high school–that was a breeze!) I changed my major 9 times before finding what I really fell in love with, and then I couldn’t make it through all of the first-year courses because of all the emotional and mental issues I was going through in therapy. I was a wreck. I dropped out of school and didn’t think I’d ever go back. I always regretted that, so I planned to finish my last few general education classes online and just get a bachelor’s degree of general studies. But I honestly wasn’t happy with that choice. It was better than nothing, but I still felt so much shame and regret over finally finding a major that I was passionate about, and then being unable to complete it.
Then last year, I realized that I felt ready to try again. I thought I was just crazy at first, and didn’t really make it an option for myself. Then one night, Bob and I talked and talked and the truth came out: I wanted to go back to school and finish that degree.
“Do you mean you want to study online? Or are we moving back to Utah?” Bob asked.
After some contemplation, I replied, “I think I want to move back to Utah.”
I felt bad about that choice in one respect though, because Bob had just finished his coursework in getting his real estate license for the state of California. This would mean he wouldn’t even get the chance to use it. But without hesitation, he supported me in my decision without looking back. I’m so glad I married such a loving and supportive man!
I planned on reapplying to the freshman level courses just like everybody else, but God has a funny way of making sure you know what you should do. What happened next was no coincidence. One day at work, I randomly ate lunch in the employee cafe with a guy named Spencer. Small talk led to the discovery that he was actually a sophomore in BYU’s Industrial Design program. After learning my story, he persuaded me to just email the program director about it, even though classes were starting soon. So I did… three days before the semester started. He readily replied, asking to meet with me. So, that Monday, on the first day of class, I sat in his office and we talked about it. It didn’t take much convincing. He had talked with the other professors and they all seemed to want to see me give it another shot. I got the add-codes so I could add the classes to my schedule, and the following day I sat in the same classroom I had been in a few years back, ready to try one more time.
And I made it through all of the classes this time! I started and completed each of the ones I retook. It’s been a really big deal for me. This is something I’ve fought so hard to do. If my application is accepted and I make it into the professional level courses, it will have taken me 7-8 years to get a BFA. As silly as that might sound to some, I’m really proud of myself. I want to finish and graduate and have that diploma hanging on my wall, because for me it’s so much more than a degree or a career. It will be my victory over the battle of my dark past. It will be my healthy self esteem which emerged from a broken and damaged girl. It will be a symbol of me fighting for myself for the first time ever in my life. Earning that degree will be me living a good life that I never thought I could have: a life of happiness that I deserve.
I turned in my portfolio and application today. Below are six of the 20 pages that I’ve included in it.
The above 2-D assignments were both ones I did the first time I took the classes. I created them using Adobe Illustrator, and I based them on some photographs I found which demonstrated the words we were supposed to be illustrating.
My professor made up the word “Frizbeck.” This was an assignment where we had to use 3-4 things, use parts from each and create something that looks like a product that actually does something useful, but really doesn’t.
We studied bones for about a week, sketching them and really getting a feel for the shapes and forms they create. Then we had to go through the process of making abstract forms based on that bone study. We then carved our final idea out of a block of polyurethane foam, spackled it, primed it, and painted it a color of our choice. The bone I originally studied was a cast of a large dinosaur vertebrae.
Only about 15 students are accepted out of the 35-40 who apply. I’ll find out on Monday if I’ve made it in. Right now I’m feeling pretty confident about it, but I’m also finding myself second guessing a few of my choices of pages that I put in. Well, it’s all out of my hands and there’s no changing it now. I just hope it’s good enough! Wish me luck!
UPDATE: On April 28, 2014, I was officially accepted into the professional level of BYU’s Industrial Design program! I’m SO excited!!!!! This is a dream I didn’t think I’d ever be able to make a reality when I had to stop school to take care of my health issues 3 years ago. I can’t wait to get going on this journey!