Ashley: "Classic Moosetracks, hands down. Can’t go wrong. I always have at least one, if not two, tubs in my freezer at all times. This ice cream has gotten me through many, many late night study sessions."
"As far as other role models go, my entire family supported me, but my Mom was the true MVP. "
Ashley Zweifel graduated high school from Century, in Pocatello, Idaho, since then she has continued on with the college life, and is now a University of Utah graduate.
The major she chose is Family, Community, and Human Development with an emphasis in Child Life. In layman's terms that means she has chosen to do a career working with children and their families in the medical setting to make it less traumatizing through therapy play (like having the children play with dolls and their lives, it's a way for them to physically show their side of things and help us grownups see as well. ) She wasn't also majoring in that though. When she first started she was a Hospitality major with en emphasis in event coordination because she wanted to plan weddings (me too!). She chose to not continue that route in her life due to pressure, as she puts it, "an identity crisis and decided to change my major after everyone kept telling me that I was so smart and so advanced (hello gifted child syndrome) and I could do so much more than plan weddings. "
She does not have any current plans now that she is done with school. "I am just looking forward to having my life be mine. I will find something someday so I’m not stressing about it "
So what are the wise words of a college graduate?
"Graduating won’t mean anything if you are dead inside by the time you get there. So- don’t stress the small stuff- and try not to stress too much over the big stuff either. Seriously, prioritize self-care. Obviously, you want to have good grades, but more importantly you should want to have a good life! Your professor truly doesn’t care if you miss Tuesday’s lecture to take a mental health day, and your degree is still valid even if you got a B- in Intro to Stats because you kind of bombed the midterm after you went to a concert with your pals the night before. After all, what do they call medical students at the bottom of their class? DOCTORS. What I am saying is find balance- study, but don’t ONLY study, make sure you are making time to be a human being. Don’t kill yourself to get to the finish line, because even if you get the medal at the end, you’ve still lost. "
I'd also like to give a small shout out to her amazing mom.
"Without my Mom I would not have made it. She moved me two thousand miles across the country to Atlanta, Georgia, then back again, and supported me throughout the entire journey. My life kind of fell apart at one point and I took a leave of absence without knowing when, or if, I would go back- and she supported me no matter what. I recovered, as humans do, and she supported me in getting back to university to finish when I was ready. Without her support, I literally would not have gotten there in the first place or gone back in the end. "
This last semester has been a blast for her! She is now just finishing Gen Ed (General Education).
"I am taking figurine sculpture, which I love, and an awesome class on dinosaurs, too. My favorite, though, is a class called Science in Cinema. We seriously just watch science based movies one day, then get a lecture about the real-world science and compare it to the film to see if it is accurate or not on the next. We’ve watched movies like Jurassic Park, Twister, and The Perfect Storm. It has been a lot of fun, plus it’s super simple and easy. It is literally impossible to fail. I wish I considered some of my degree related classes to be my favorite, but they were a lot of work and only a little fun. I think everyone should take a random, stupid simple class at least once in their college career, if not every semester. Filling those Gen Eds with fun stuff helps break up the hard, upper level stuff. " Not every class was easy for her though. Her hardest class was medical terminology. According to her, "(it) kicked my butt pretty good". Online classes were also one of her hardest classes in her college career, not having a specific time for the classes made life very interesting.
And finally, would she do it all over again? Hell. No.
"Although there are things I would like to do differently, I would never want to relive it… I gained a lot of life experience being a student, don’t get me wrong, I grew a lot as a person- I became an adult! Being in college certainly had a heavy influence on that process because I had to learn things like time management and financial management. Traveling out of state for school taught me so much, too. I never would have grown in the ways I did if I wasn’t in college, but correlation is not causation. I don’t know if I actually GAINED anything from being in school for five years, besides putting myself in $40,000 of debt and getting a degree that I don’t know what I will do with."