While contemplating which stories have most defined my life, it took only a few brief moments of introspection to realize how vast a role going to school has played for me. From the time I was in Kindergarten, up until now, as a senior undergrad, going to school has been central to everything I have done and become. It is for every memory that I decided to capture pictures illustrating my days of school and what it’s felt like to have so many learning opportunities whether they were happy, sad, or otherwise.
For the first picture, I decided to represent my years in school K-12; at first I had a hard time thinking of a time that could easily define my years as a grade-schooler. When I was a kid, I lived and breathed for recess. Playing on the playground, running around kicking soccer ball in the fields, and playing with my friends were what tied everything together and made my learning experience enjoying. In the picture, myself and one of my best friends, who I met back in sixth grade, are posing and playing on the playground- totally at ease and happy to be there.
In the second picture is a representation of my first year at Utah State University as a Freshman. It’s blurry, I hardly remember it; but, it was fun, it was easy, and it was full of the freedom that comes from moving away from home for the first time. Being surrounded by strangers was oddly exhilarating for a girl as shy as I used to be.
The third picture depicts my sophomore year. That year was extremely hard and extremely dark. Almost all of my friends left college- going to other schools or other countries far away. It felt like every waking moment I was huddled over my books, laptop, or calculator. Studying engulfed my life as an Accounting Major, and I truly hated every monotonous minute of it.
Naturally, my next picture would have been of my junior year of college; except that I made a rash decision. I decided to leave and serve a Christian mission for my church; like my friends, my own mission took me far away- Japan, to be exact. That’s when my life started to get brighter. I left everything that I had known and loved behind and learned through the school of personal experience. It was like a whole new world, and it was in those years away from school that I learned to truly be myself and to chase my own dreams.
Eventually the time I spent learning and teaching in Japan came to an end; I returned to study at Utah State again. However, this time I did something so drastic that my dear dad almost cried- my major was changed. In a lot of ways, it felt like I was starting on a new path in school even though the progress was apparent. The fifth picture depicts that new trail; there was dirt, twigs, and difficulty along the way, but it was liberating to finally be studying a subject that wasn’t thrust upon me. Back then, it seemed like there was still a long way to go to reach the top.
In the sixth picture, I am at the pinnacle of my senior year- sporting Aggie blue and standing in the new Huntsman hall. The wall behind reads: “Accomplished Alumni,” an aspiration of mine as a senior in the Business School. Many of my days are spent in the business building, studying ardently and filled with day dreaming more ambitiously than ever before.
The last picture represents my future after school. I’m seen standing again with my best friend; and surprise- he asked my dad for permission to marry me the week before this picture was taken! As for now, I don’t know what the trail up ahead consists of, but my life in school, and the people who I met and became friends with along the way have made me a happier, healthier person- the person that I had always hoped to be.