The Close of the Chapter

I have finished my undergraduate education…well, for the most part.

Starting in August, I will be a History teacher at a local junior high. Yes, I am “student teaching.” And, yes, I am a full-time employee with full benefits (but half the pay). So, technically, I am still an undergraduate, but I am also an adult and done with college.
It’s been an interesting ride, an interesting adventure. It is also the longest I have ever attended a single school (my dad is a Marine, so I attended numerous grade schools).
So, I am going to steal ideas from one of the coolest, most inspiring girls ever and talk about my life at Brigham Young University.
Freshman Year
I felt completely homeless. We had moved from Virginia during that summer, literally the day after I graduated , to the middle of the Mojave Desert. Then, about a month later, I came up to BYU. So, I had no friends, no home to claim. I moved into the dorms for a program full of history classes. My entire hall was part of this–we were Honors students, we were excited about school and all the things we would learn. We had great late nights–editing each other’s papers, going on Krispy Kreme donut dumpster runs, and creating a Boo Wall.
This is not me…this is Lucy the creator of the Boo Wall.

Christmas came and the envelope of classes I signed up had ended. Thus, mom wanted me to move to cheaper freshman housing. Once again, I felt I was being uprooted; but as she was paying for my entire first year at college, I obliged. Thankfully, I moved in with two girls who would become my best friends. More late nights ensued, I even skipped class one or two days! Had a boyfriend, but then dumped him because he was way too clingy. But, I felt accepted by Amanda and Sherrie. I felt with them, I had a home.

Me, Sherrie, and Amanda

That summer, I went home and by a blessing, was able to find a job at a local Subway. They gave me 38 hours a week (they couldn’t afford to make me part-time, but wanted to give me as many hours as possible). I helped my family move into a 2nd rental because our first landlord went into foreclosure.

Sophomore Year
I moved into Southridge Apartments with Amanda and Sherrie and we met Katrina there. All four of us had great times. But, that was soon to change. I got into the Education program and decided that I wanted to go to Wales on study abroad come summer. I worked and worked to earn money and earn good grades. Weekends were still party time, but the rest, I had to pull myself away from my roommates as they continued to party. Sherrie met a wonderfully sweet guy named Justin and started to date him. We all went to his house for Easter weekend.
Amanda had this boy. Then she didn’t. Then she did. Then who knows what happened. Sherrie and she started fighting. I and Amanda and Sherrie started fighting. Things just tumbled out of control. We all ended on a sour note. Amanda and I decided to take a break. Sherrie stayed and started falling more and more for her Justin.
Over the summer, I went to Wales. It was the best time of my life. I met my friend Liz there. Also met Danica, author of Black with a Chance of Cheeta. I felt alive there. I felt like I belonged there. If you want to read about these adventures, check out my blog: Writing Welsh.
Junior Year
I decided to move into a house in the same ward with a co-worker. We didn’t know any of our new roommates, but we were blessed. Danielle, Ale, Meryl, and I had the greatest year ever. Amanda and I weren’t friends anymore. Justin proposed to Sherrie. I took 17.5 credits (and the max is 18). I had 3 jobs! I kept busy, but I had fun–I enjoyed my roommates. I enjoyed my life. For the most part.
My sophomore year, I had no luck with dates…true, there wasn’t really anyone I had a crush on, but I wasn’t asked on a single date. Junior year I had more luck with dates, but I had way too many 1st dates. Every single guy I liked immediately Friend-Zoned me. I hated it. But, life still went on. Besides the wondrous nights with my roommates, I made other good friends: Tashya, her boyfriend Andy, and his roommates. Every Sunday, we would have pizza made by Brandon–best pizza ever! And, I went on a cruise to Mexico with my family. For the story on that adventure, check out: Bienvenidos Mexico!
Brandon making his famous pizza–and YES, the mustache is REAL.

Natashya and Andy! Two of my favorite people ever!
Mexican beach.

 I also became a Writing Tutor and near the end of the year, met Ryan. I thought I had things right. He was from Virginia, I was from Virginia. He was a writing tutor, I was a writing tutor. I loved to run, and I was very active and athletic as well. I was tall and skinny and good looking and smart and determined and motivated and going to change lives in Africa during the summer, then throughout his own life. We went on a couple of dates. But, since it was the end of the year, we didn’t tell each other how we felt…and with a little mis-communication  due to a mutual friend, he didn’t think I felt the same way towards him as he did towards me. But, throughout the summer, we talked almost every day before he went to Africa. And…I the day he left for Africa, I told him how I felt, and he said the same thing. Now, we just had to figure out what to do because he had graduated and was going to grad school in Arizona.

I spent the summer in Utah. I went to a ton of receptions for my friends. I went on a ton of dates. I did a lot of group activities. I worked a lot and I became an EFY counselor. Danielle and I were the only two living in our house. It was the best 4 months I ever had in Provo.

Senior Year
Danielle and I renewed our contracts for our house. We got 3 new roommates: Scarlet, a Mexican who just came back from her French Quebec misison, and Anj and Lexi. We loved Scarlet, but had a really hard time getting along with Anj and Lexi. At the very beginning of the semester, in September, Ryan finally told me that too bad we hadn’t started dating during that Winter semester. To him, it wasn’t worth a long-distance relationship. So basically, the only guy in the past 4 years who had returned strong feelings said I wasn’t worth trying. It broke my heart. I decided I was done with guys. I wasn’t going to be rejected another time. I wasn’t worth a relationship, so I wasn’t going to put my head on a chopping block. 
Then, I met Justin Morrell. He seemed like a really cool guy and we became fast friends (but he had other motives) and he ultimately succeeded in his endeavors of making me his girlfriend. How could I say no to my best friend? I promise that we will do a Her/His story of our relationship later. 
I continued to work 3 jobs, became good friends with his friends. My sister, Madison was up here at college. I had a car. I was finishing up my senior classes and my last teaching courses. I was the only one to do the dishes or clean the house. Justin came to Cali with me for Christmas.

One thing that Justin noticed was all my pictures on facebook for this year involved him. Then, he surprised me in March by proposing. Yes, we had talked about marriage and knew it was going to happen. But he kept telling me that it wasn’t going to happen till after finals. I was so surprised. I have never felt this much love for anyone before I met him. I know now that it was meant to be that Ryan didn’t feel it was worth pursuing me long-distance. I would never have met my future husband. 
My sister Madison mentioned that all things are falling perfectly for me. I am finished with classes at BYU, I have a real job in my career, and I am getting married. I am closing my chapter of a single adult and in August, I will begin the chapter of Mrs. Morrell, the History teacher. 
But, for now, enjoy my favorite classes:
Honors Religion 121&122 with Professor Merrill (Book of Mormon)
Professor Merrill was hilarious, but brutally honest. Every day, we felt the spirit as he taught us doctrine, but also the history of the Book of Mormon. We were also told that if we lied, we went to hell; if we were prideful, we went to hell; if we didn’t magnify our church calling, we went to hell. But he is a great professor and cute little old man. 
History 322: England Before 1689 with Professor Thorp
I hated the professor: he was old, and lectured with a script. He focused on dates, not on stories. Sadly, he had a heart attack half way through the semester and took the rest off to recover. Our substitute professor focused more on the stories and personalities of the kings. It was so interesting to learn.
Welsh 101,102, 201, study abroad, 305 with Susan Woods and Tom Taylor
I love Welsh. Tom and Susan made it so easy to learn and fun. We focused on getting the grammar right. We read different children’s stories in Welsh and learned a lot about the culture and history. Tom was very social and always invited us to his house.
English 292: British Literary History with Professor Steven Walker
He taught Stephanie Meyer. Just saying. But, he was so in love with the British authors and poets. He allowed us to feel the spirit through writing, especially when we studied Wordsworth. It is such a gift to write–a God-given gift of creation and beauty and that is what he showed us.
History 301: Late Middle Ages with Professor Pixton
Again, hated the professor. He kept talking about how he was going to retire. He was never available to students and read an essay he wrote the hour before for class. But, I love this time period and the books he had us read were so interesting. I learned a lot about the medieval ages.
History 371: Revolutionary America with Professor Neil York
What an interesting time period, and he is such an animated lecturer. He made history come alive through primary documents. He showed how dynamic the Revolution was and focused on the ideas and ideals without  making it seem too philosophical.
English 378: Teaching Literature and Reading with Professor Sirpa Grierson
First of all, Prof Grierson is adorable–she is so cute and nice and elegant. She knows what she is teaching and taught us so many different methods and techniques on how to teach an English class. I learned the most out of all my education classes in this class. And, the best part is, most of the strategies she taught us can also be used for history classes! 
English 420: Literature for Adolescents with Professor Ostenson
Homework: Read 30 YA novels. How much better can this get? It is geared for library science majors and English Teaching students. We just discussed the novels we read–a few minor papers, but other than that, really no other homework or lecture except what you would expect in a Book Circle.
English 423: Teaching Composition in Secondary Schools with Professor Deborah Dean
This was a very informative class, especially because the Principal who hired me to teach history also wants me to help set up a Writing program. It was hard to get a good grade though because she is a tough grader. But, that is good because there are so many aspects to teach and pay attention to in writing. Very useful, very helpful, and although stressful, it was very enjoyable.
History 490: Capstone Research Seminar
Goal: Research a topic of your choice and write a 20-25 page research paper on it. The title of mine was: The Use of Medieval Welsh Prophetic Poetry as Propaganda During the 13th – 15th Century Rebellions. I spent all semester researching this topic, even looking at medieval poetry and archival manuscripts of ancient Welsh prophecies. It was very exciting and thus far, it is my opus. 
It is still surreal to me that I am done with college, that by the end of this semester I will be a married woman, that I will be teaching and guiding and molding young minds next year. Wish me luck in the real world!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.


  1. So I was missing you and just creeping on your old blog posts, and hey! Me! I was tickled pink, almost the same shade of that pink dress I'm wearing in that photo up there. Did you know you're magnificent? You are. Don't forget it!

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