When I was just wasting my time and money at community college, I did consider being a pre-school teacher. I always wanted to teach and inspire the future leaders of the world! Instead I just watched a lot of Disney princess movies and tried to keep my cool when I couldn’t get through to a small child…So when I started at Capitol I pretty much had buried my dreams of teaching in favor of my love of cosmetology. I guess it never occurred to me that someone has to teach the cosmetologists too! I was on Capitol Elite, and some of the girls in the newer levels would ask me quick questions and when I could answer them and see a new light in their eyes, I knew something else had been awakened in me as well.
Prior to graduating the cosmetology program, I went to Scott McCaig and shared what I was feeling. I told him I would be honored to be able to partake in the Student Instructor program and, after some thought, I was enrolled to begin in the summer.
I graduated from the cosmetology program and went to work full time in a local salon. I loved being with my clients and being independent. I was confident in my work and I enjoyed being in the salon atmosphere, but I knew something was still missing. When I returned to Capitol to begin the Student Instructor program I finally felt complete! I was working with my clients and doing hair on my own time, as well as teaching and working with clients on the salon floor at Capitol. Unfortunately, that feeling couldn’t be perfect forever. While in the program, I struggled to find where I fit in. No longer a student, but not quite an instructor. I can honestly say I really struggled with this. Being a new graduate as well, I could sense some of the students didn’t trust what I said and some even seemed to act as if I wasn’t even there. The Student Instructor program was so much harder than I ever thought it would be, not so much because of the coursework, but because of all the feelings.(I realize how fluffy and dumb that sounds but I can’t find a better word to use.) One day I would feel on top of the world, the next day I would be back at the bottom of the totem pole. When I was in the cosmetology program, I always looked forward to coming to school and learning and I knew I would be successful. While in the instructor program, I struggled to walk in the door. I doubted myself every day and this led to not feeling confident in the way I looked, the way I taught, or even the way I spoke. I don’t say all this to make anyone feel sorry for me, but it is so important to know that sometimes the darkest nights bring the brightest sunrise.
There was a day I’ll never forget. I was in the break room having a particularly bad morning. Close to tears, I struggled to choose which lipstick to put on and wondered if it even mattered. Skylar McCaig walked in and said “Hey! Morning! What’s up!”, and the walls just came tumbling down. I shared with Skylar how I had been feeling, and I told him I believed I didn’t belong in this program and I should withdraw and go back to just working behind the chair.(You should know I am generally a VERY happy person, so Skylar was quite taken aback.) We talked for quite awhile and I decided to continue in the program. Skylar told me he believed in me and I had his support. I had to finish what I started for myself. I realized if one person could make that much of a change in my life, what can I do for my students’ lives? I made a point to wake up earlier, to take more time on my makeup, to start taking care of myself. I focused on bettering myself to better my students. I accepted that not all the students would like me and I focused on inspiring or helping even just ONE person a day. With about 3 weeks left in my instructor program, I had a skip back in my step. There was bounce back in my hair and sparkle back in my eye.
The day I graduated, three different groups of students brought me flowers and a card. I sat in the break room and looked at these items and for the second time in that same spot, my eyes filled up with tears. I had changed the memories someone would have of beauty school, for the better. I cannot even express how much all my students mean to me! Graduation day meant a whole new chapter for me, I was offered a job at Capitol working as an instructor and an admissions representative. A whole different challenge to conquer. I felt defeated and uncomfortable and just plain sad for a pretty good chunk of my Student Instructor program, I ate a lot of donuts and drank too much diet Coke. But here I sit, after being a fulltime employee of Capitol School of Hairstyling and Esthetics for over 4 months, and I could not be happier. I never thought Capitol would play such a huge role in my life. Sometimes I think back to my first visit and my journey through school and I wish I could tell myself what I would be in for! Who knows what might have been, all I know is I’m where I’m supposed to be and I’m so happy to be doing what I truly love.