These opinions came from people close to me, people whose feedback I usually valued and listened to. I saw where they were coming from; I knew that it sounded like I was taking the easy way out by avoiding going to college and doing a job that seemed easy. But I knew that they were wrong and that cosmetology was something more for me. Cosmetology has always interested me in some way or another.
Not Every Successful Future Requires College
BY EMMA DAVIDSON
“What do you want to do after high school?” My physics teacher, who I actually admired, stood at the front of the classroom waiting for an answer. Every head turned my way. Heat rushed to my face as I realized how ridiculous my answer would sound. Why would I take AP physics if I didn’t even plan on going to college? Her point was proven before I even spoke. A collective gasp followed my response.
“I always assumed you were going into a science major!”
“You’re so smart though!”
“Are you serious?”
As a quiet, academically gifted girl, I guess assumptions are made. Not that those assumptions are necessarily bad, but they are assumptions nonetheless. My teacher proceeded to assure me that taking AP physics would only cause me unnecessary stress in my senior year and that I should choose another elective. I was used to this kind of feedback on my plans for the future. Those questions start popping up around freshman year: what college do I want to go to, what do I want to major in, ect. At first, the negative responses to my plans discouraged me. I felt that maybe they were right, that I should go into a profession meant for “smart people,” or that I wouldn’t make enough money to get by. “You could always have cosmetology to fall back on.” “Cut hair as a side job on the weekends.”
These opinions came from people close to me, people whose feedback I usually valued and listened to. I saw where they were coming from; I knew that it sounded like I was taking the easy way out by avoiding going to college and doing a job that seemed easy. But I knew that they were wrong and that cosmetology was something more for me. Cosmetology has always interested me in some way or another. As a younger child, I loved being in my hairdresser’s salon, watching her cut hair and paint nails. Once I got older, I started picking up on these skills, doing my own nails often and watching videos on Youtube about makeup and hair.
As I neared the end of eighth grade, I began to seriously consider what I wanted to be when I got older. I had recently taken up special effects makeup as a hobby and thought about how fun it would be to make a career around doing such. Imagining myself working an office job was impossible. Something artistic and expressive seemed more my style. Around the same time, Mrs. Ferguson visited my middle school to talk about the CTE programs at CHS. I called my mom as soon as I got home that day, not knowing what her response would be. “Would you let me transfer to Coventry High School next year? They have a cosmetology program.”
The silence on the other end of the line scared me. I realized what a good opportunity this could be for me and prayed that my mom would see it too. Even if I ended up changing my career plans, the program was free, so I had nothing to lose.
“ I don’t see why not.” Relief washed over me. In the four years since then, I have never regretted my decision.
In June, I will graduate and get my cosmetology license. I already have a job lined up at the salon I have always gone to, so I will be able to start working full time right out of high school. Despite how much people tried to deter me from becoming a cosmetologist, my determination and passion fueled me enough to keep me going.