I never actually had any intention of becoming a cosmetologist. For as far back as I can remember, I wanted to do something with animals. When I was applying to colleges I was applying for biology or equine sciences (horses). So, when I ended up in cosmetology school, I have to believe that it was divine intervention.
It was a week before the deadline to submit my deposit at Bethany College. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was more than excited to be accepted into their equine sciences program, but I just couldn’t bring myself to submit that paperwork. I found myself not eligible for grants, and my parents weren’t going to be in any position to help me financially. The idea of taking out tens of thousands of dollars for a student loan made me sick to my stomach. So, I scratched that idea. I decided to take the next year off and work instead.
I had taken college classes my senior year of high school, and there was really nothing else that interested me. I thought that if I worked maybe I could find some clarity and figure it all out. I worked a retail job and was a lifeguard at a local pool in the summer. I was quickly hooked on having an income. I couldn’t imagine not having my own money after this. I was approached about corporate positions through the company I was working for, but the idea of an office job wasn’t that interesting and the idea of relocating wasn’t something I wanted to do at the time. I started looking for another job. One day, while shopping, I saw a woman my mom had previously worked for. She owned a salon. I remember growing up around the salon. It was always a fun and interesting environment. She told me to stop in and fill out an application.
I went the next day to fill out an application and had an interview. I was hired with one stipulation: go to cosmetology school. Now, I’ll be honest. I HATE SCHOOL. I love learning. I DESPISE SCHOOL. And after working for the past year, I was not looking forward to going… but I went. It was terrible. If it were not for working in a salon I would have never went to cosmetology school.
And I actually didn’t finish. I quit. But I continued to work for about another year or so and decided that maybe this wasn’t for me. I was being pressured to go back to school and finish (because it’s illegal to work as an apprentice/cosmetologist without a license), but I was in no mood to deal with school.
I ended up quitting my job and moving to Columbus, Ohio. I was serving tables and working retail again. I hated that too. I missed the creative outlet of doing hair. After about a year I moved back home to Steubenville.
I had to get it together. I went back to the salon. She was kind enough to offer me another chance as long as I went back to school and finished. I re-enrolled into school and finally completed the hours I needed. To this date it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had to go through something that I hated so terribly for something I wanted to do so badly.
Make-up was my first love. I loved to paint, draw, and color as a child, and I still do now. It all came so naturally to me. If it wasn’t for the direction of my first employer, I would have never finished.
I realized that this was an great career. One where I was able to meet so many people. I am able to be artistic and creative. I am able to think and do freely in an open environment, and it’s amazing. A lot of the people I met during my first job, I actually still know and/or have as current clients today. The bonds you create with people in this industry are unlike anything else.
Sometimes I wonder how differently things would’ve turned out had I decided to go to Bethany, but I’m always glad that I didn’t. Throughout all the ups and downs of my life in this career, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m where I need to and should be. I’m happy. I get to create every single day. I have met some of the most important people in my life as a Cosmetologist, and I can say with total confidence that I have the career I was destined for.