I have always had an interest in the social sciences. Classes and innovative, interesting professors in psychology and sociology increased and encouraged that interest, so much that I was originally looking at a career in either of those fields. However, I had also inherited a love of graphic design from my mom, and after high school decided to pursue a career in web design instead.
I was pursing a degree in Web Design and Interactive Media from the Art Institute of Portland when life altering factors brought me back home to help take care of my dad in his last few years. He was a Vietnam Veteran, a Special Forces soldier, and the center of my world. Education was incredibly important to him, so at his urging, I earned my Associates of Arts and Sciences from Pierce College in 2011, and he at least got to see my walk across the graduation stage for that accomplishment.
In January of 2013, my dad lost his battle with prostate cancer. It took two years before I was mentally and emotionally ready to resume my educational journey. Attending the University of Washington had always been a dream of mine, but the programs offered didn’t truly cover my range of interests. I could major in Sociology or Psychology or Philosophy, but there wasn’t a degree that allowed me to take courses in all of these disciplines.
Until the Integrated Social Sciences program.
The ISS program was exactly what I was looking for –a way to learn about all of the different aspects and elements that fall under the ‘social sciences’. Communications, Philosophy, Anthropology, Geography, and so many other courses to choose from! And the best part? It was a fully online program, which meant that I could adjust my school schedule to work around my life, instead of commuting over an hour every day to campus. I applied, and was accepted to start in Fall of 2015.
Fast forward two years later, and I am entering my final official quarter with the program. It has been an incredible journey, full of plenty of ups and downs and unforeseen obstacles. There were points where I found an inner strength and resolve I didn’t know I had…or believed that I had lost, along with my dad. And in June of 2017, I will once again walk across a graduation stage, knowing that he is watching from beyond.
The most important lesson I learned: it’s about the journey; not the destination. Bring on the next adventure.
So that’s a bit about me, the professional student. Get to know me a bit better as a person by clicking here.