Sometimes being a sheep is not a bad thing. When I was in sixth grade our teacher had us write a letter to ourselves to be read in 6 years. I realized that I would be graduating from high school in six years and decided that maybe I should write about what I would be doing after graduation. I wrote—

Dear Me,

I will be attending Brigham Young University.



I am not sure why I wrote BYU. I didn’t know anyone who went there. My mother had attended the University of Utah for a short time, but no one else that I knew went to college.

My friends all decided to go to Utah State in Logan, Utah. I thought that was a great plan because I wanted to be with my friends. I started filling out that application. Baaaaa! I was definitely a follower.

Then just before applications were due, they changed their plans and were all applying to BYU! Yikes, this required more work!

I had never met with my assigned school counselor, Maree Rees, until I approached her because I needed a transcript. She was surprised and said that she never imagined that I would want to attend college, let alone BYU. I found out that she had been meeting with my wealthier, more intelligent friends all along. Hmmmm! I got the transcript.

The next stop was meeting with my Bishop. He too was surprised that I was planning to go to BYU. I hadn’t been too active in his ward. I went to church all of the time, but it was usually in another ward with a friend. Since my family didn’t attend church and none of my closest friends were in my ward, I just went to their young women activities and my ward on Sunday.

I would love to see the letter that he wrote for my application. I think it must have gone something like this—

Dear Admissions,

Please accept Vanalee to BYU. She comes from a dysfunctional family. Accepting her will be her salvation.



Surprise! I got accepted right away for fall semester. I had arranged housing and was ready to go. It was part of the plan because I met Rick there and as a bonus I discovered that I actually loved learning!