“It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person,________________________________________________________________________
"Always do what you are afraid to do."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Always do what you are afraid to do."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
My name is Holly Theobald. I am applying to attend Mankato State University in the fall of 2009. My goal is to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in graphic design. I am submitting my application to be reviewed for consideration under contract. I thank you in advance for taking the time to review my request.
I attended Mountain Lake Public School for my high school career. I was involved with theatre, speech, choir, and student groups. I was excited to be a graduate of the class of 2003, However, the last day of my senior year, I was informed that I was half a credit short in an elective and that I would be unable to receive a diploma with my fellow students. I walked graduation with my head held high…Though in reality, I had a secret that I did not share with many. My college plans were dashed and put on the back burner. For the last six years, I have regretted the way things transpired, and dreamed of one day being able to go to college.
In May of 2007, my 56 year old mother passed away suddenly and mysteriously. I had two young brothers still living at home with her. At the time of her death, my father was a two year patient at the VA hospital in Minneapolis. He was diagnosed with Pancreatitis, and was very ill. He was released on an emergency basis after my mother‘s death. The following months found me busy with caring for my father and brothers. The loss of my mother eventually led me back to my hometown to be closer to my family.
This last May, I took the day marking two years since my mother’s death off from work. I spent the day focusing on where my life was headed and the aspirations my mom had always had for me. She was always encouraging me to try new things, and above all, to be true to myself. That morning, I sat outside, listening to the mourning doves ( my mom’s favorite…) and I realized that I needed more in my life and that I had to take the initiative for me and my family’s future. I have always enjoyed art and desired to attain a career in it, but I always second-guessed myself. That day, I found the courage.
I called MSU, curious as to how I could enroll in a few non-credit art classes. I talked to several people, and I was eventually transferred to the undergraduate admissions office. A woman named Laura took my call. She told me I would need a diploma to attend any classes. Defeated, I got ready to say my thanks and hang up…to give up once again. Before I got the chance, Laura spoke up and referred me to a adult diploma program in Mankato. She gave me all the contact information I needed and gave me well wishes. As I hung up the phone, I was very hesitant about the idea of admitting to yet another person that I had not officially graduated high school. I heard my Mom, encouraging me in the back of my head, “This is your chance…” I took a deep breath, and hesitantly dialed the foreign number.
Two weeks later, I was enrolled in the adult diploma program. It took a lot of tenacity to work through the barriers that I faced with my school. My efforts were paying off very quickly. I began the program with a class in college prep. This class became very enlightening to me. It taught me strengths that I didn’t realize I had, and it also pointed out areas of weakness that I often overlooked. My class requirements allowed me to take my accuplacer test in preparation for college. I scored very low in math, my least favorite subject, so I began a two week math course to brush up on my math. It was very encouraging for me. I realized how much more I cared now than I did in high school. I learned formulas that I never even thought important before. I had many small victories as I participated in my course work. After I had passed my math class, I began my last course, Career Exploration. At first, I disregarded this as an important class, but it did not take me long to realize how pivotal this class would become. I was required to research colleges and careers. I was challenged to think realistically about my goals and motivations. I had to start examining my weaknesses, and focusing on how to overcome them. During this time, I had the opportunity and pleasure to visit the campus at MSU and to meet with Jim Johnson. This visit gave me the final nudge and the courage I needed to make the decision to attend college. This month I received my diploma, a feat that has enabled me to assess my life and my dreams, a tool I vow to use wholeheartedly.
As a non-traditional student, I am full of fear and uncertainty. This is a huge step in my life, and the decision to commit to college is taken very seriously. With age, knowledge, and experience, I have realized that I would not have utilized college to it’s full potential six years ago. I apply with a deep appreciation and excitement for the learning experiences that lie around the corner.
As Mankato State University’s vision statement explains: “Minnesota State Mankato will be known as a university where people expect to go further than they thought possible by combining knowledge and the passion to achieve great things.” This sums up where my life has led me. I have reached a point where I can go further than I thought possible, and I will continue to. I have learned to combine my knowledge and my passions in a promising and rewarding way. Through my dedication, humbleness, courage, gratitude, and enthusiasm, I will achieve great things…And I hope I can do it at Minnesota State University, Mankato.