Dropping out of hygiene school was a difficult decision, but that’s life—sometimes it pitches nasty curveballs. Just after the very first semester of the program, an unexpected incident occurred in my personal life. My fiancé and I were involved in serious and tragic car accident, and unfortunately he was partially at fault.
Things had been great up until that point. I had just been elected vice president of my class and had excelled in my first two classes. I remained in the program until the fall before graduation. The accident had left a mark of uncertainty for my fiancé and me, and we lived in constant fear of the near future. It had been quiet for a little while, almost like the calm before the storm. But as more information rolled in and we began to get a clearer picture of what was ahead, I became more and more overwhelmed and had to make a decision.
At the time, my family was my top priority, and I was at a point where I felt it was impossible to give my full and focused attention to school. I was just past the halfway mark (peak intensity), but the time I had left with my fiancé was ticking before we would be separated for years. Even one mistake has harsh consequences, and the reality was that he was going to serve time for his. He was going to prison, and every kind of preparation was in order. I withdrew from the dental hygiene class of 2017. I remember telling myself and others around me that I was not going back.
But then the year I spent out of school really placed things in perspective. My fiancé’s departure was my breaking point, or in my mind, my “waking” point. I became so focused. Never had I expected that I would be filled with so much drive and determination. I was going back to hygiene school, finishing my degree, and getting my license. It was like I sat alongside while a different person took the wheel. A part of me came out that I didn’t know was there. I had to do it for myself—I had to do it for us.