We're nearly two months into 2020 and already my plans are shifting in ways I couldn't have foreseen. While there's more changes happening than I'll cover here, everything we will talk about centers around one thing: My decision to apply to Utah Valley University.
A Quick History Lesson
The year was 2009. Or possibly 2007. It's not important. Anyway, I was between the ages of ten and fourteen probably (I legitimately have no idea when this happened), when I attended UVU's "Expanding Your Horizons" conference. It was an awesome event, designed to get girls interested in STEM subjects. There were a bunch of events and breakout sessions. I listened to professionals discuss careers in fields like forensic science and radiology. I was fascinated. I decided then and there that I would attend UVU someday, and get some sort of STEM related degree.
Years passed. I graduated, moved out, and ultimately gave up on both dreams. Strapped for cash, I dropped out of the community college where I had been pursuing an arts degree in English.
Back to the Present
Recently I was given the opportunity to move to Orem, Utah. After working through my different hesitations, it seemed like a good idea, save for one thing: I had planned to continue my education at the local community college and the commute to and from school from Orem would be... beyond difficult. And extraordinarily long. I expressed this to a friend, stating that I didn't think I could possibly move to Orem because of how much it would interfere with my education. To this he replied, "Why don't you just apply to UVU?" I didn't even stop to think before answer. "Because they wouldn't accept me."
Luckily, he doesn't have the same jump-to-conclusions mentality that I often do, so at his recommendation I spent the day running numbers and ultimately submitting an application to UVU, crossing my fingers that my not-too-great college transcripts wouldn't be a deterrent. I jumped through hoops, paid off my SLCC debt, requested transcripts, and waited. I had applied stating that I was pusuing a BS in mathematics. I had written my dream down and asked that an actual real-live university take a chance on helping me achieve it.
To be honest, I was afraid. I still am.
But I knew that if I let myself just worry about it to no real end I would drive myself crazy, so instead I started working on something that would be necessary if I was accepted and useful even if I wasn't. Math.
A (tHOROUGH) sELF-imPOSED cRASH cOURSE iN aLGEBRA
If you read my goals for the year you'll know that I have this ridiculous desire to complete the entire math pathway on Khan Academy. I was working through upper elementary/lower junior high levels when I decided to submit the application to UVU. I realized that if they accepted me I would most likely be required to take a mathematics placement test, one that would ultimately determine how long the degree would take (simply because of how strict the mathematics progression rules are). I needed to switch gears.
Rather than continuing to pursue lower level math courses that were extraordinarily easy I skipped ahead. I'm currently 1/3rd of the way through Algebra 1, with the intention of finishing Algebra, Calculus, Geometry, as well as quickly brushing through pre-calculus concepts in order to score the highest I possibly can on a placement test, thus allowing me to skip straight to Calculus I (which is technically the first math class in the Mathematics major) thereby avoiding making my major take any longer than necessary. Of course, if I was unable to accepted this wouldn't be necessary, but at least I'd be more prepared for the SLCC classes I'd have to re-take, making the upcoming semesters essentially a review I could breeze through.
An ANticlimactic Email
Saturday morning at around 8am I received an email. The subject line read "UVU Transfer Acceptance Letter" with the preview line: Joann, Congratulations! It is a pleasure...
Friends, it is official. While the email was not accompanied by fireworks or a thousand roses, it was plenty exciting on its own. I have been accepted to the University I have always wanted to attend, for the major I've wanted to pursue since I was 16. I still cannot quite believe it. I've completed some of the orientation materials, and am now working on scheduling a meeting with my advisor (?!?) to determine the best next steps and get some guidance on how to approach the placement issue.
I'm looking forward to this incredible next step and can't wait to share this journey with you.