Jessica FickettHello, ladies! My name is Jessica and I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this blog. I only wish that there had been something similar when I was in high school (or even college).

The first piece of advice I have is to enjoy what you do. The second piece of advice I have reiterates Becky’s initial blog post: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

School matters. Having employment matters. Waking up every day to go do something you enjoy doing matters. But, there are so many ways to get to those points in life. When I was in my Junior year of high school, I had grand plans of going far out of state for college. Imagine my disappointment when I didn’t get accepted to any of those schools because my math grades were less than stellar. I cried, yelled, and buried my tear-stained face into my pillow when I had to ‘settle’ for going to school at the University of Maine at Machias.

Does it matter that I was (and still am) horrible at math? Does it matter that I didn’t receive my scholarships because I didn’t have the ‘right’ grades my first semester of college? Does it matter that I went to a school only a half hour’s drive from home instead of a day’s flight? Ladies, probably not.

My experiences with schooling, career paths, jobs and stress have all led me to being a 32 year old preschool teacher. And I truly love what I have chosen to put my job focus on. Working with children was always something I enjoyed, so I put my focus on that when I was setting off for college. Every day is so different from the day before, and that’s something I really enjoy. In my field, I am never bored. That word just simply does not exist in the early childhood education world! I put so much of myself into my career every single day, and knowing that I have helped a child learn on those days is something that cannot be taken away.

I only wish I’d had someone telling me not to sweat the small stuff when I was stressing over grades, college applications, student loans, and job applications. Ladies, you learn to find your strengths, and to focus on those. Weaknesses are a part of life, but in no way keep us from pursuing what we’re great at.

Bottom line is this: I have my Associate’s degree in a field I adore, I do what I love, and although I may have gotten there in a non-traditional way, I am still myself. All of the paths that I took that led me to where am I right now just made me become more of who I really am.

There is so much more to my story of schooling and jobs, but let’s just see how this first blog of mine goes first!

Until next time, beYOUtiful.