Learning to Learn

There are defining moments in everyone’s life; finding a soul mate, losing said soul mate, landing that dream job, moving to a new city, all defining moments that sculpt the person you are meant to become. Graduating high school five years ago was just the beginning of my defining moments (spare for a few minor incidents throughout high school). College was exactly what I was hopping for at the time: a party, who needs to learn?

Looking back on my first year of college I don’t think I would change very much. My grades reflected the effort I put into class (not much), I had the time of my life and made life-long friends. I had never been a great learner unless a teacher was there who cared and went above and beyond to pull something out of my under used brain. Everyone knew I had the capacity to be a great learner, everyone that is, except me. It wasn’t until a couple years later after I had given up on the University learning and moved to community college, when I was three credits away from getting my associates degree, I realized maybe this educational life was for me. Receiving that degree was a turning point for me, I knew I wanted to finish my bachelors degree now that I had achieved something as incredible as obtaining one degree.

I had to go about this in a very delicate way, I had no money and the idea of taking out more student loans made my stomach turn. I had a bartending job already, so despite the fear of never finishing, I took the year off of school to become a full time bartender.


During this year off school I met the love of my life, he was close to graduating at the time,and seeing him finish school and dive right into a job gave me mixed emotions. On the one hand I was so happy for his success, but what about mine? I won’t lie I was a little jealous. I wanted to get out of the rut I was in, I was ready to get back to school. The only problem, I had no clue what to study. I knew what I liked to do but how would I make a career out of that? Making people smile and trying to make the world a better place is a pretty broad spectrum of possible jobs. For the benefit of myself and my significant other I decided the best option would be to move to Chadron, NE and try my hand at elementary education. What better way to change the world than to shape the minds of the world’s youth? So it began, my journey to learn. My sister lives in Chadron with her small family and at the time I was a newly made aunt with a beautiful baby niece that I had the opportunity to live with and watch grow.


Becoming an aunt was possibly the biggest defining moment of my life, all of a sudden my whole perspective on life changed. I wanted to do great things for this little eight pound bundle, and to do that I needed to get down to business. Life throws some unexpected twists and turns at you, and I was no exception. After a semester in Chadron I had found my calling in education. I could not wait to get into the classroom and teach, I really feel like I was meant to teach. Once again though, money became a block to my new found dream.

My parents had just moved to Fort Collins, CO after selling my childhood home on 40 acres of land, a pretty big blow to my heart. I loved that house and always thought it would be there, but my parents were so much happier out of the mountains (mostly the 10 month winter). They offered to let me live with them for the summer so I could return to my bartending job and make some money. Life never goes as planned, one summer turned into a year, but luckily I was able to stay enrolled in CSC and do a year online. Now I am back in Chadron for my final year and I can’t believe I have made it here. A little more wiser, a little less broke, and an aunt for the second time. Life is unexpected and who would want it any other way? How boring would life be if we knew what was waiting at the end of each turn?



5 thoughts on “Learning to Learn

  1. Wow, I really enjoyed reading this blog. I love that you are so honest. Student loans also make my stomach churn, I hate the idea of owing money not knowing if I am actually going to pass or not. I this whole online class thing is new to me and I am very nervous about it all. However, Ia m going to give it my all! I am also from the high moutains in Colorado and when my childhood home burned down and my parents moved to Nebraska it was the end of my world. They are happier here, and thats all that matter, I still miss Colorado terribly.


  2. Really enjoyed this! I just changed to an art ed major at the end of last semester and I’m definitely feeling the money strain already. I’m on a full tuition scholarship that runs out at the end of this school year, so I’m already saving up money for that extra year. I believe in you, keep it up!


  3. I really enjoyed reading your story of how you decided to become an elementary education major. I agree with you: teaching is a great way to make a difference and a larger contribution, plus it’s usually fun to work with kids.


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