Friday, January 3, 2014

Utah - Take Two

Ok, so we are back in Utah. We have returned so I can finish my degree on campus instead of online. Here's the scoop:

April 2012 - Matt graduated and I was pretty much done, so I walked in the graduation. The classes I had remaining were offered online through BYU Independent Study, which was the best option for us because if I wanted to stay and do them on campus, we would have to stay for another year and a half at least, as the classes weren't offered during the same semesters. So we moved to Tri-Cities, where Matt's job is located. He had been working for them online, but it was time for him to be in the office so he could start doing more 3D animation, which is hard to do remotely. We were excited to move - I was way way down in the dumps and ready for a change of scenery.

August 2012 - We moved to Tri-Cities. I started working like crazy (as a high school coach and in the Aquatics Dept at CBRC), and then I found out I was pregnant! So between getting ready for a baby and working 60 hours a week during the girls swim season, I was very busy. I needed to work to save up $$ for baby and to afford the online classes. The drawback with doing Independent Study is that you can't qualify for Pell-Grants or Subsidized Loans, so all tuition is out of pocket. Which means that I really couldn't afford to do all of my remaining classes at once, nor did I have the time, because I had to work so much.

November 2012 - Girl's HS season ends, so I dropped down to 30-40hr weeks at the Racquet Club. I began 2 of the 5 courses online. It is very slow going (they still aren't done...)

May 2013 - I had Jude! This isn't exactly relevant to this specific post, but I just thought I'd throw it in there :)

August 2013 - I randomly felt like I should check the course catalog and see if BYU is offering my 3 remaining courses in Winter.
So I did. They were all offered. With no conflicting times. And in a way where I would only have to go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. AND since we had the baby, I would qualify for almost a full-tuition Pell Grant. Also, rent is half the price in UT. And so is cost of living as a whole, really.

November 2013 - After a lot of struggle with admissions, advisement, and registration - to the point at which I wondered if this was all worth it - I found out that everything was good to go, and I could register!

January 2014 - We are here in UT and I start classes next week!

Q: What about your jobs?
A: My job/my bosses are awesome. They are very supportive and are allowing me to leave work for this time, and return in May. Matt's situation at his work is equally awesome. They are allowing him to work remotely again for these few months.
Q: How long will you be in UT? What are you doing afterwards?
A: We will be here until the beginning of May, at which point we will return to Tri-Cities, and we will go back to our jobs there.
Q: Where are you living?
A: We are renting my best friend, Dani's, basement apartment in the house she and her husband live in. We are in Orem, about 10 minutes away from campus.
Q: What about your apartment in Pasco? And all your stuff?
A: Unfortunately, we had to give up our apartment. We had already fulfilled our lease and were month-to-month, so it wasn't complicated at all, but it was still sad. We packed up everything we could fit in Matt's parent's mini van and drove that here. We are storing our remaining stuff at their house.
Q: What are you getting your degree in?
A: In April, I will successfully have my BS in Family Studies - Human Development emphasis. It is a social science, exploring emotional, physical, social, and cognitive development. My particular focuses are on family structure and media's influence on behavior and family interactions.
Q: What do you plan on doing with your degree?
A: I love being a mom, and I plan on raising my children, first and foremost. While they are still too young for school, I plan on starting a small, private preschool. Then, when they are older, I would like to be a school counselor or academic advisor.
Q: What about Jude?
A: I will only be in class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-1:20, and then in the evening from 6-7:15. During the first segment, we have a nanny who will watch Jude. And during the evening class, Matt will watch him. In total, I will be away from him less than when we were in Tri-Cities and I was working about 20 hours a week during the HS season, and 10-12 hours a week off-season.

I have gone back and forth with this decision - and I have felt very very guilty and selfish as I've uprooted our whole family to come back for just one semester. But we prayed about it day in and day out for months, and I just felt like I should keep pursuing this option, even though it wasn't easy. There were a lot of hiccups and I remember a day that I just though I would give up. And then I watched this incredible message, and I knew that this was the right thing to do. And as we came into town yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the feeling that we are in the right place. I am so excited to be on campus again, I know that I learn better this way, and I know that I am capable of having the best semester of my college career. Wish us luck!