I was nine when I decided to be an author, and writing was always more important to me than school. However, being the daughter of a teacher, I was expected to graduate high school with honors, go to college, get a Bachelor's in something, and then find a job. I, however, didn't want to follow my sister and brother in what was expected of me. I wanted to be an author, and I didn't need a college degree to do that.
I graduated high school with honors and continued onto a Junior College. It was while in Jr. College when I rebelled, dropped school, and lied to everyone I knew about it. After three semesters of anger that later turned into self-loathing, my parents and I came to an agreement that I would get an Associate's Degree, find a job with my own benefits, and I could then focus on my writing without my parents pressuring me to finish my Bachelor's Degree. It was through this journey that I found Lisa Shapiro's Novel Writing class, and I graduated with a General Education Associate's Degree in the Arts in June 2011. I continued taking Lisa's class after I finished my Associate's Degree, since it was a class that was extremely valuable to me as a writer.
During Fall 2013, I decided to finish my school and get a Bachelor's Degree in English from San Diego State University so I could become an editor. I took two classes in Fall 2013, applied for SDSU, and took the final class I needed in Spring 2014. However, in January 2014, I got hired by the San Diego County Library System as a Library Technician I, and everything I really wanted to do as an editor, I could someday do in the library. I finished my last class, to prove to myself that I could finish a class I hated, and I continued to work as a Library Technician I. My Branch Manager and supervisor both realized I worked well with children, was a hard worker, and loved working in the library. They started suggesting that I finish my Bachelor's and pursue my Master's in Library Science so I could be a librarian.
For about a year, I didn't take their advice, and I would always tell them that I was a writer. That was my passion. Then Amanda, my Branch Manager, said, "You know what would be a great platform for a Young Adult Writer? Being a Youth Services Librarian." And she was right! She also showed me the website for Clarion University, a college in Clarion, Pennsylvania. They had an online program for Bachelor's in Library Science, as well as Master's in Library Science. My mom asked me if finishing my Bachelor's was really what I wanted to do, and I told her it was.
I thought it would take me about three years to finish my Bachelor's, since I would not be going full-time, and I applied for Clarion University. I started with three classes in Fall 2015, and I loved all of my classes. Amanda asked me if I was going to go full-time and go fast, just passing the classes. I told her that I didn't want to just pass the classes. I wanted to excel in my classes. From Fall 2015-Fall 2016, I took seventeen classes (my last semester, I took 11 units). I graduated December 17, 2016 with my Bachelor's of Science degree in Liberal Studies with a Concentration in Library Science, and I graduated Summa Cum Laude!
I decided to take a semester off before I started Graduate school and pursuing my Masters in Information and Library Science. During that time off, I did very little editing, helped open a new library, and vacationed with my mom and then my husband (celebrating five-years of marriage with my husband). I began Graduate school in June 2017, and I took eight classes in 2017. I graduated May 12, 2018 from Clarion University, and my parents, husband, and I went to Clarion, Pennsylvania so I could walk for my degree in person. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA, and I was pregnant. Through the generosity of my family, I graduated debt free.
I will also add that when I graduated with my Bachelor's in Library Science, I had eight published novels.