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Tammy Smedley

BA Psychology, Class of 2014

"Believe in yourself, work hard, and anything can happen."

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a child psychologist. Life got in the way, however, and I did not quite get there when I wanted to the first time. My family became more important to me than school, so I ended up taking care of them. After many years, I found myself being a divorced, single mom living in Vermont where I became an accounting administrator. This company eventually filed for bankruptcy and left me jobless. After the initial panic and the job market being so slow, I received a call from The Department of Labor informing me of some interesting news. Since the company I was previously employed with filed bankruptcy, I was entitled to receive financial aid to attend school and learn a new career.

I was intrigued and very scared because here I was, a single mother in her thirties considering attending college again after having dropped out twenty years ago. I decided to take the chance, and I enrolled in the local community college. I have to say, it was hard at first, but after a lot of work and determination, I ended up graduating with an associate degree in health science and began a career in massage therapy. After a year or so doing this type of work and feeling very satisfied that I could help people and make them feel better, I thought about what I really wanted to do in life. That was still child psychology.

I re-enrolled in school, and I am working even harder. I plan to graduate at the end of August this year, and then attend graduate school in the fall. I am so excited and very eager to reach my goals. The one lesson in all of this for me, and for anyone else who might think they are too old to go back to school or to change their career, is that you can do anything that you set your mind to do. You are never too old to learn and you are never too old to reach for your dreams. You just have to let go of the fear and take that first step. Believe in yourself, work hard, and anything can happen.