When I was about 4 years old, my dad asked me if I wanted to go to BYU someday. "No," I told him. "I don't like football."
It has now been a year since Jeff and I graduated from BYU. It's hard to realize that it was a year ago - in some ways it seems like it just happened, but in other aspects it feels like so long ago. However, one thing is sure, I can no longer say "I just graduated" now - that privilege belongs to the Class of 2013. A lot of my very talented and wonderful friends just graduated today, and I'm so proud of them. I love seeing all of their photos posted up on Facebook, and of course it made me want to go back and look at our own.
Looking back on these pictures, it's strange to think that we had no idea what was coming for us. No clue that we'd be moving to Washington, DC and starting new lives here. In the days leading up to graduation I remember having a lot of doubt and wondering if I should have finished out the BFA program and stayed in school another year. Jeff had been receiving rejection letters one after another in the mail, and we started making real plans about staying in Utah another year and beefing up his experience before applying again. He got a second job at a PT office, and was working like a madman.
One thing I remember quite strongly from his long convocation (if you or a loved one graduates from the largest college at BYU, don't go if you can help it) was that one of the graduating student speakers said something about the next step, and how many of the graduates didn't know what that was. I think she even said something about how many were still hoping to be accepted to a graduate school (this is why I'm glad I journal, because I have this written much more succinctly and accurately somewhere.) Anyhow, the point is that I suddenly had this huge feeling of comfort and realization that this really wasn't unusual, several people don't get into grad school the first go-around, and that we weren't alone. It was this big moment of acceptance for me, I finally just felt like I was OK with it, we could stay in Utah another year and Jeff could become better prepared for the next application season. It was a relief and a true weight off my shoulders.
Of course, ten days later Jeff got the call from GW that changed our whole trajectory.
BYU was such an enormous part of my life and really shaped the person that I am today. I miss it in a lot of ways, and I miss being a student. A few weeks ago we went to the see a neat exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, and there were so many pieces in it that I had studied in my History of Photography class, and that was amazing. It made me miss lectures and learning, particularly art history from one of my favorite professors, James Swensen. If you're at BYU now (ahem, Nils) take a class from him. You won't regret it.
I'm so glad learning is a lifelong endeavor.