Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Road Trip 2015: Graduation!

For the past eight years, I have slowly, slowly been working on finishing my bachelor's degree through BYU independent study. And I finally made it! Woo hoo! Yippee! Hooray! After all that work, I really wanted to participate in the graduation ceremony. Luckily, we spend time in Utah every summer! Graduation wasn't until Aug 14th, thus the SUPER LONG road trip. But it was SO worth it.

We left Roosevelt and drove through Provo Canyon. We made a super quick stop at Bridal Veil Falls.

So pretty!

Then we were off to campus for me to pick up my cap and gown...
And for Brandon to take his first official prospective-student tour of campus!
Two birds, one stone.

We had a super cute golf cart tour guide.
Her biggest advice for B:
Do well in seminary!

The next day, we had a graduation luncheon sponsored by the
Bachelor's of General Studies program.

It was fun meeting other moms like me who have
been working hard at home to finish their degrees.

They took professional photos for us.

So grateful for Andrew's support and encouragement
throughout this LENGTHY process!

We took a couple photos of our own by the BYU sign

There are two graduation events.
We participated in both.
First, we had commencement.
 We all marched through the tunnels to the Marriott Center together.

When all the graduates were taking their seats
and before the program started,
I was texting Andrew to figure out where 
they were sitting. He told me which direction
to look and I stood up to wave to them.
Didn't realize I was accidentally photobombing the jumbo tron!

It was a wonderful program.

We got to hear from both Elder Dallin H. Oaks
and Elder Russell M. Nelson.
LOVE opportunities to listen to apostles in person!

Look at all the awesome people who shared
my big day with me.
My awesome sister, Destiny, who was
younger than Whitney when I started at BYU.
And now has two cute girls of her own...
with a third on the way!

Grandma Cuca,
who has traveled all over the country with us.
LOVE that she is still up for it!

My family, who shared lots of dinner table
conversations about Sports Psych and
LDS Perspectives on Psych.

My parents, who first dropped me off
at BYU twenty years ago.

We enjoyed a SCRUMPTIOUS dinner at Cafe Rio afterward.
I was too busy stuffing my face to take any pics. :/

The next morning, we woke up bright and early to head
back down to campus for Convocation.
We were greeted by a BEAUTIFUL mountain sunrise.

This was the part of the ceremony where I got to actually
walk across the stage and get my diploma. Exciting!
Can you see the excitement in my face?
Yes! Feels so good!

Andrew's parents came down to watch me walk, too.
So grateful for all the Sunday dinners we shared with
them during our time at BYU!

Woo hoo!

Officially done! Wow, it feels so good. Seriously. Now that I've finished my bachelor's degree I've had lots of people ask me if I'm going back to work. That was not my goal in finishing this degree. In fact, if I was looking to go back to work, my associate's degree in dental hygiene would pay much more than this bachelor's. As of right now, I plan to continue focusing my time and energy on taking care of my home and family. 

But I am a big believer that my education will bless my life whether or not I use it in the workplace. There's a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that says, "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." (130:18-19) That is true! Knowledge is never a waste. I will be a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and citizen because of the things I learned while finishing this degree. So grateful I had this opportunity.

And I have not ruled out the possibility of grad school.

In the future.



  1. Congrats on the degree! I bet Brandon is feeling pretty comfortable around that campus and could give me a tour. The silly face professional photo is my favorite.

  2. You are amazing! Loved watching you go through this journey and discussing your classes with you over the years. And I'm totally on board for grad school....

  3. Way to go Andrea! So excited for you! What's next!?!?

  4. I second the grad school motion! Loved your jumbotron moment! Way to go!
    So glad we were able to share some of the graduation with you while you were in Utah!