Wednesday, June 9, 2010

identity crisis

{Just so you know--this is just a long, rambling post about what's going on in my head right now. You can skip it if you want.}
As most of you know, I will be graduating from BYU in August. I'm graduating with a pretty nontraditional degree: Bachelor of General Studies with an emphasis in Family Life. I would be lying if I said this was an easy decision for me. We got married when I was a sophomore, and before I knew it, Jason was accepted to law school at the University of Wyoming and we were moving out of state. I looked into transferring to UW, but it just didn't seem like it would work out. Because of different requirements, it would have taken me three more years instead of two to graduate. At the time, that seemed like a waste--now I wish I had just gone to school full time there and graduated the same time Jason did. I also looked into getting an associates degree, but that wasn't right either. Finally, I decided to do BYU's BGS program. It's the only bachelor's degree at BYU that you can finish completely online (with the exception of 30 credits that must be earned on campus). It was the best choice for me and my family, but it still wasn't an easy choice.
Going back to school full time to get a traditional degree was just not an option for me, even after we moved back to Utah. I couldn't justify putting my kids in childcare, spending so much time away from my family driving to Provo and doing homework, and the added expense. It seemed like putting my family second to get a degree in Home and Family Living or Early Childhood Education would be a little hypocritical. Believe me, if we still lived in Provo, I would have gone to school full time--but living an hour away made it infeasible.
At times, I felt like getting a degree in general studies was the biggest waste of time and money of all my choices. I worried that people would look down on me for not getting a traditional degree. Most of all, I worried that people would think the classes I took were "dumbed down" for people who can't handle real classes. Maybe people do think all those things, I don't know. But I've finally gotten to the point where I don't care and I feel completely happy with what I've done.
{Just so you know, I did have to meet BYU's general education requirements and complete the same number of credits, including upper division, as on-campus students. And taking Physical Science without the benefit of a teacher who can actually explain it is very challenging}
I've been finishing up my capstone class. For this class, I had to write a research paper in my area of emphasis, submit a portfolio of papers written in previous classes, and submit a summary and 6-page paper of how my experience with the BGS program met BYU's 30+ aims of education. Writing that last paper really helped me realize how much I have grown as a person, a wife, and a mother through my education. It's amazing. There is so much more to a college education than learning what's in your textbooks.


Kathryn said...

I thought by the title, little baby didn't let you know it's gender... do have me in suspense!!

Heidi Hiller said...

so... boy or girl!!???