Getting into the Y.

I decided I wanted a few of my stories down for posterity.  I don’t know how many I will write, but this is the first one.

LOVE the purple eye shadow! 😜

My senior year in high school, my parent sat us down in April to let us know that they would be getting a divorce.  I was just devastated.  I knew my parents had problems and fought sometimes, but I had no idea things were rough enough to consider divorce.  My dad sat us all down and said, “Your mother loves someone else and she is leaving us.”  The truth was that my dad was kicking her out. 

Anyway, you already know I am the oldest of six.  I knew with my mother leaving, and the fact that I would soon graduate from high school, my dad was going to want me to step into her role and keep things functioning.  I did not feel up to the task and I had plans for my life.  I was just getting to the point where I could fly and I was terrified that I was going to get stuck cleaning up a mess that wasn’t my responsibility.  Inside, I recognized that I was not responsible for the position my parents had put themselves and their children in.  But at almost 18, I also had no idea what to do or where to go.

So I did what you do when you don’t know what to do—I asked a trusted adult.  My band director, Mr. Elkington, was a member of our Stake High Council.  He knew my parents.  He knew me.  I had worked with him in band for the last three years. We were both trumpet players and I knew he cared about me. 

The day after my parents told us, I didn’t feel up to attending school.  I was too sad.  I knew I would just cry and cry and cry the entire day.  I was the happy girl at school.  I helped other people change their attitudes and see the brighter side of life.  But I was not in a place to do that on that day.  So I stayed home and sobbed all day.  The only problem was it was the day before a band concert.  I was the first chair trumpet player in the top band.  Missing rehearsal the day before a concert was death.  Never a good choice.

After school was over and I was sure I wouldn’t run into any of my friends, I went to find Mr. Elkington to tell him why I wasn’t in rehearsal.  I found him in the teacher’s lounge and asked if I could speak with him.  We went out to his truck and I sat in the front seat and poured my heart out to him.  I expressed all of my sorrow and my fears and told him that I didn’t have any idea what I should do or how I should handle the situation.  He listened to me cry for two hours.

Then he asked me some questions.

Do you want to go to college?       Yes.
Do you know where you are going?   No clue.
What kind of grades do you have?      Great ones.
Have you taken the SAT or ACT?      No, what is that?
Do you have any money?      Some, but not a lot.
You need to go to BYU.  Great, where is that?
Utah.  Utah??!

OK, Carin, I need you to do a few things.  Are you willing to do them?  I will do whatever you tell me to.

First, sign up to take the ACT.  Then go to counseling center and ask about a FAFSA application and start filling that out.  Call BYU and have them send you an application for enrollment.  You will need three people to write you letters of recommendation.  I will write one and then you need to find two other people to do that for you.  Can you do that?

And then I did it.

By May I had received my acceptance letter to the University.  Mr. Elkington had connections at the University.  He called one of them and told him that I was coming and that I had to have a job in order to be there.  Would he please save a spot for me so that I could pay for my expenses.  He would.

Once I was accepted, I applied for housing.  I had always wanted to be in a sorority.  The dorms were the next best thing.  I had a friend from church who was also attending BYU.  She wanted me to room with her in an apartment building because it would be so much cheaper.  I appreciated her logic, but I just wanted to live in the dorms so badly that I decided I would do it for a year and then reevaluate.  I wanted to live in Heritage Halls, but they were full.  There was room in Helaman Halls, however.  At this point, I didn’t care too much.  I just needed somewhere to live.  I got in!!  And I had enough money saved to pay for my initial deposits and rent. 

I was super excited!!!  I had housing!  I was admitted to the University!!  Now I just had to get there.

Once again, a miracle occurred.  An older friend, who had graduated from the University, was returning to get her teaching credential.  She would drive me out there with her.  I didn’t even pay her for gas.

My father was not happy.  He begged me to stay home and attend U of O.  He would pay for my expenses.  I could live at home.  He would pay for tuition…….just stay home!

I knew from past experiences that my father would start out with the intentions he promised.  Then, over time, sometimes not even very much time, he would find other reasons why he just couldn’t keep his promises.  Then I would be stuck, with no options. 

I decided that the chance for freedom outweighed the promises that would not be kept.  Once I had decided I was going, I just kept plowing forward. 

I will forever be eternally grateful for Mr. Elkington and his counsel.   Literally, he affected my eternity.  I met Drew at BYU in the dorms.  We now have ten beautiful children.  I recognize that getting into the Y in May of my senior year for the fall was a miracle!!  With my children who have attended the Y, applications are due December 1st the year prior to enrollment.  Decisions are made by March!  I didn’t even apply until April!!  I LOVE my education and I use it every day!!  I wanted to document this story in my life to remind myself and others, that God can do His own work!  He doesn’t need us.  But He allows us to participate in the process for our growth and development.  If I had known the process for enrollment and how competitive it was at BYU, I may never have applied.  But I was completely naive.  I just did what I was told, and because I acted in faith, the Lord did the rest.

One Comment on “Getting into the Y.

  1. Carin! Hi! I was going through some old boxes in the garage and came across a Girls Camp journal that you had signed. And then I thought, where in the heck is Carin? I haven’t seen you in forever. Thank goodness for google. =) Anyway, I’m glad I found your blog and I love reading all about your family. Email me sometime.
    Rach-Babe aka Rachel Sullivan =)


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