Ever since I can remember, there has been a kind of rivalry among my extended family-aunts, uncles, cousins-when it comes to colors. Some of us like red and some of us like orange. I'm referring to, of course, OU and OSU (Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State University). Around here, most people come down firmly on one side or the other, there isn't really any in between (unless one of the teams is playing Texas-then you are allowed to cheer for the other team).
I happen to bleed orange. Always have. Even before I understood what a college was or why you would go there, that's where I said I would go. Back then, it may have had something to do with wanting to irritate people and stir them up, who knows, but somewhere along the way it got stuck in my head that I needed to go to OSU. So, when the time came, that's what I did.
My experience at OSU was a little different than most. I was married when I came to OSU-we were married in July and I started my classes in August. I never lived in a dorm or a sorrority house. I lived off campus in a "house"-and I use that term loosely-with my husband. So, there were some experiences that I missed out on-I don't have all those "crazy room mate" stories to tell, no memories of people on my floor, didn't go to any parties. But I also missed out on making a lot of mistakes that so many kids make at college, which is a good thing. My focus was on my classes, my home, and my husband.
I started off at OSU planning to major in Psychology. Why psychology? I don't know. I think that I really didn't have any idea what I wanted to do but felt like I need to have an answer when people asked my what I was studying, so I decided that was a good one. I actually only took one psychology class at OSU. Anyway, when I was in my second year at OSU, I found out that I was pregnant with Dakota. It was then that I heard about the Early Childhood Education program. I immediately decided that was what I wanted to do. What could be better for someone who had kids than to be a teacher? So, for the rest of my time at OSU, that's what I studied.
I am so thankful for my the time I had when I was in college. Daniel worked very hard for us during that time (sometimes two jobs) so that after Dakota was born I didn't work again until after college. I still say that was the time when I was the best mom I've ever been. I would drop Dakota off for a few hours a day while I was at class, and then I was home with her the rest of the time. It was perfect. I got just enough of a break and some adult time each day and was free to enjoy my baby the rest of the time. Not that things weren't hard. But, looking back on it, it was all very much worth it.
I graduated in May of 2000 with a BS in Family Relations and Child Development. I earned my teaching certificate to teach Early Childhood-ages birth to age 8 (or PreK to 3rd grade in public schools). Here are some pictures for my graduation day.
Here I am! Yes, I was the nerd who wore the cords from every honor society I was in. But, hey, I worked hard to earn them and I was proud to wear them.
Daniel and I. We had already proven lots of people wrong by making it through those first 4 years (and by me actually graduating from OSU-married at 18 and with a baby at 20). 9 years later, we are still proving them wrong.
I did have a (very) few close friends at school. By our last year, we practically spent the entire day together every day. This is Brandon, Michelle, me, and Twila. Unfortunately, we haven't stayed in touch as much as I would like, but thanks for Facebook, it's getting better.