Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Last 10 Years

2000:  High School graduation.  I didn't care about my GPA, as long as I passed I was happy.

2000-2002:  Columbia Basin College getting really bad grades (I mean BAD).  Originally thought I would enter into the field of Special Education, but obviously did not take that too seriously, as my grades reflected. 

2002-2003: Met a girl who was a Dental Assistant, and thought that sounded like something I might enjoy, and the program was only 9 months.  I moved to Seattle in August, found a job working at a gym, and started a Dental Assisting program in September.  Nine months later I was a Certified Dental Assistant, found a job in a dental office, and also continued to work at the gym.  I felt I found something that I loved doing, but wanted to continue on.

2004-2006:  Not sure of how "continuing on" to Dental Hygiene school would be possible (mostly financially), I began taking my pre-requisites for the program anyway at night.  While doing so, I continued to work at the dental office, the gym on the weekends, and a couple afternoons (days not at the dental office) working for the Department of Developmental Disabilities in order to pay for my classes. Also, feeling the need to focus on something else other than myself, I volunteered for Community Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted for two years.  I met weekly with a woman and helped her pay bills, run errands, etc.  Wonderful experience!Much different from High School, I applied to Hygiene School with a 3.86 GPA and was SO extremely worried that woudn't be good enough to get in, I even enrolled to retake organic chemistry for a better grade...dang you o-chem for ruining my GPA!  Someone convinced me I would probably be fine, so I decided to apply wihout retaking the class.

2006:  I was accepted to Dental Hygiene school!!! Now how in the world am I going to pay for it plus my bills while not being able to work?  Many scholarships and a loan later...I had what I needed! 

2006-2008: This was a bit of a blur.  Shoreline Dental Hygiene Program was intense!  If you know anyone who is or has been in Dental Hygiene school you can ask them about it if you want. Unable to continue working while in this program, I got a job working every other weekend at the front desk at John L. Scott real estate.  This was perfect for a little while.  I was able to work on schoolwork while there, and I got paid for it! 

2008-2010:  Decided I must continue on with school.  At this point I figure what's another 2 years for my B.S. degree and enrolled in a degree completion program for Dental Hygienists through Eastern Washington University.  I also began temping while trying to find a dental office that was a good fit.  Also, Matt popped THE question right after I graduated, so I wanted to wait until I lived out in suburbia with him to find a permanent job.  So 2008 was a whirlwind of finding my groove as a new hygienist temping in 20+ offices that year, year one of the B.S. program, and planning a wedding.

This Friday, I will be walking across the stage at Eastern Washington University to accept my B.S. degree in dental hygiene.  Although it won't change anything for me currently working in clinical practice, it will open doors for me in the future if I want a change.  Sales, education, research, public health...a B.S. will be helpful.  I also just wanted it, just to have it, just to say I did it.  I did not do it alone, God put so many people in my life to help tremendously along the way.  To perfect work/school situations, to help obtaining scholarships, God continued to open doors I thought would be closed once I reached them. 

My Maverick (Matt) has been with me for most of the journey, as we met in December of 2003.  On Friday, he will be cheering me on (with my family) and taking pictures to help remember the day I've been working toward for 10 years.  Yesterday, he decided to give me my graduation/bday present a little early.  Here it is!!!!!!!

This is what he'll be using to take pictures!  I'm so so SO excited to start playing around with this and have been anxiously waiting the day I could be a proud owner.  I should add the user's manual to my book club list because I have a lot of reading to do in order learn how to work this monster.  I can't wait to start sharing pictures with you!

Thanks for going on that little walk down memory lane with me.  I get asked a lot what I'm in school for, or "I thought you were done with school?", so maybe this cleared some things up.  Ten years for a B.S. degree sounds insanly rediculous, but I'm DONE now! 

The moral of the story? 
1. Work hard for what you want, becasue no one else can do it for you. Unless you're Paris Hilton and you inherit a lot of cash...but where's the satisfaction in that?
2. Reaching a goal isn't always easy, but it is possible!
3. In the big scheme of life that will last (hopefully) about 100 years (that's my goal), 10 years in school is nothing!

I can't wait for what God has in store for the next 10 years!

Much Love,
Amanda, RDH, BS  :)

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