- Working hard and studying really pays off. I have known since birth that my parents were not paying for my college education. So I knew I would need to work to save money and I knew I couldn't take school lightly. I saved up my allowance that I would get when I was younger and I got a job in High School. I worked my Jr. and Sr. Year, which was not easy since I was heavily involved in Drama and had my school work to do. But I figured out a way to fit everything in. I also worked hard to get a job at Snow College to help me pay for food, housing, books, and entertainment. In High School I worked hard to get good grades so that I would be able to get a good scholarship to college. A lot of people tell me how lucky I am that I am naturally smart. But that is really not how it works at all. I work hard. Harder than a lot of students. Yeah, I do understand things and can get good scores, but it comes as a result of a lot of hard work. Snow College was not my first college option. But it is where I chose to go because of the scholarship I got. It ended up being a great school for me. And my parents were very kind and helped me pay for groceries once a semester. Everyone also asked me how I was paying for college. I applied for a couple school scholarships and was awarded $800 dollars to go towards my education. I also worked hard enough in High School to get an academic full tuition scholarship to Snow. It definitely came in handy. But to keep the scholarship I had to keep a 3.75 GPA. It was not easy, but I did it. Studying is the key! Its not ideal, but turning off technology, going to the library, taking good notes in class, reading the textbook, and really studying payed off in the long run. I was able to keep a 3.85 GPA this year, which I am beyond proud of. I got a B+ in Math 1060, an A- in English 2010 and Chemistry, and an A in Nutrition, Public Speaking, Yoga, Modern Social Problems, Chem. Lab, American Civ, Intro to Film, Zumba, and Fit for Life Online. I loved all my classes and my teachers and the friends I made in class. So grateful for what I learned in those classes and grateful that my parents taught me how to work hard for something. College meant a lot more to me knowing that I was paying for everything.
- You don't always get to choose who you live with. For the most part, I loved my roommates. They were so great about doing their own dishes, not leaving anything out, and doing their part. Our apartment was always clean. My roommates were so kind and accepting and understanding. But there were times that I got really frustrated. I found that no matter how many hints I give, or how hard I try to get people to do things my way, they aren't going to. But that taught me a lot of patience. It taught me to work extra hard to keep my stuff clean and to try to be understanding and not freak out when others stuff was not where I wanted it to be. It really helped me come to appreciate the saying that you can't change others and what they do, you can only change yourself and how you deal with what others do. There were a lot of times, especially at the end of second semester that I got too frustrated that I just had to breathe and not talk so that I could deal with everything that was driving me crazy. But I am grateful that I learned to live in a different situation than I wanted to live in. I am grateful that I leaned how to live with habits of others that drive me crazy. I think it is really going to help me to be able to live with my future husband.
- I grew up in the best household. My parents taught me so much about living the gospel the way that I needed to live it before moving out of the house. Being the age I am, I know that I am right in the middle of my decade of decisions. And I had started to understand that I would have to make these big decisions and I was preparing myself for them. But living away from home for the first time, there were a lot more decisions that I had to make for myself that I was not expecting. I am so grateful for my parents for making me make decisions for myself my whole life. They never made any of my decisions of whether to dance or not or join theater or not or whether to work or get it off to go on vacation. They forced me to make these decisions, which was awful while I lived at home! But I leaned how to make a pros and cons list, and how to make my own decisions with my best interest in mind. I am also grateful for the example of my parents. When I got to school I realized that my dad wasn't going to be at the Institute building to make sure I was going to class and coming on time and paying attention. I didn't have my family with me at church to make sure I wasn't texting or talking or falling asleep. I didn't have my mom on Sunday nights piling us in the car to go to a Fireside. I didn't have my brothers to wake me up on Saturday morning to watch General Conference. My friends at college were not ever the best examples to me in any of these things which made it so much harder to decide. But I am grateful for the decisions I made. I am grateful for my parents and siblings who helped to raise me to become the person that I am today. I have found that I have never regretted going to Institute, even if I didn't love my teacher and didn't love what was being taught or if I had had homework to do. I have never regretted going to a Fireside, even if my friends didn't go with me and I knew they were home having a good time. I never regretted waking up early on Saturday morning to watch General Conference or to go to a Relief Society training. I never regretted waking up 20 minutes earlier than I needed to everyday to make sure that I had time early in the morning to study from my scriptures and be filled with the words of Christ. I never regretted pausing a movie at night to fall to my knees and speak with my Savior to thank him for all the blessings I have and to ask for much needed help in my everyday life. I never regretted staying an extra hour on campus every Friday to attend Friday Forum and listen to the words spoken directly for Young Single Adults. But I did regret every time I missed those things, because not only did I miss out on the words spoken that I always got something out of, but I missed the feeling of the Spirit that would fill my soul and bring me to higher ground to constantly remind myself to rise above the world and be the best person I can be. I learned more from these things than I did from any of my college courses. I grew more as a person from going to these meetings than I did from anything else. And the best feelings I got at college were not from the parties, the friends, the fun, but from these experiences and the insights that I was able to have by keeping myself on holy ground in the correct places to hear what the Lord has to tell me. I am grateful for the decisions that I made to always strive to do what my parents and what my Savior would want me to do if they were right next to me when I was making these decisions. I am grateful that I not only have a perfect Savior as my example, but I have close to perfect parents and siblings who are constantly progressing forward on the straight and narrow path, and who are pushing me right along with them. I love my family and the example that they have and are still setting for me. I can't believe that I get to spend the eternities with people like them.
I am grateful for the opportunities that I had to serve and to love and to learn at college. I wouldn't trade my experience there for anything. I am also grateful for this next chapter in my life. For the opportunity that I have to serve a mission and to better myself further while doing the will of the Lord. I know that I will learn so much more on my mission about myself, about others, about my Savior, and about the person that I can become. It will help me and strengthen me more than I know. I love everything about this gospel. I love the knowledge that I have that has been my strength to keep me on track to returning Home to my Father in Heaven. I can't wait to serve a mission and share what I love most about life!