…By the time I was ready to graduate from high school, I was interested in going to college to become an architect. The designer in me was my core being, and I appreciated art and history, having a special love of ancient architecture. I headed to the University of Colorado in Boulder to enter their Environmental Design program. This meant out-of-state tuition, but my parents blessed me with this opportunity, as the Kansas University architecture program held little interest for me because of its rural location, and because some fellow high school classmates that I wasn’t so fond of would be attending there. Besides, I loved the mountains and skiing, and I would be close to some of my favorite relatives.
I was a little fish in a big pond at CU. That year it was rated the #1 party school in the nation, which was not a good match for a naive Christian girl from the mid-west. I began to smoke cigarettes and developed a two-pack-a-day habit, and drank alcohol regularly to cope with the stress. Though socially I was succeeding (of course, not in a very good way), academically I was not. The Environmental Design program wasn’t what I thought it would be, and after a year and a half, my grades had tanked.
While at home on Christmas break from college during my second year at CU, my dad had a very patient talk with me on a long car ride to go fishing, or some such ruse. He could have been much harsher, but he wasn’t. Though I did not return to CU, I stayed in Colorado. My uncle took pity on me and helped me find a job as a receptionist for an accounting firm….