Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Cosmetology School Experience

As some of you know, and many of you do not know, I am coming to the end of my time as a cosmetology school student. I am graduating this coming Tuesday, August 3rd, and I have to say the thought is so, so sweet, I cannot wait to be done. My beauty school experience has been surprisingly influential and dare-I-say-it, life-changing. Those of you who know me personally would probably never have guessed in a million years I would end up in beauty school and not some university. I surprised even myself when I made the life-altering decision to go to beauty school.

It was funny seeing everyone's reaction when I told them I was dropping out of college, with my 4.0, and heading off to Marinello's. The majority of my family reacted the same; hesitating smiles that looked more like sneers and the same phrase, "but you're going to stay in school right?" It was slightly discouraging, seeing their less-than-pleased reactions. I mean, I was scared too! This was a complete one-eighty from my life-long plan to head off to some university and major in English Literature. Until this point I had always relied on my education, my photographic memory, and my GPA to get me through life. Deciding to veer away from the practicality of college and jump into the unknown, perhaps idealistic world, of creativity and art in the form of makeup and hair was quite the leap. But I am so proud of myself for making that venture!

What fun is practicality anyway? College degrees lead you to desk jobs at newspaper and magazine companies. That could be fun I guess, but my love for literature was the creation of it. I wanted to create stories; beautiful stories about dynamic individuals with dreams and ambitions and backgrounds. I realized the inspiration needed for my stories didn't lie on a desk, it resided in the people around me. I took up cosmetology because doing makeup and hair is something I love. It's fun for me. It's like playtime. And while I enhance the natural beauty of a client in my chair I am also encouraging the internal beauty within that unique person by giving them confidence in the way they look. And you can't imagine the stories you hear from those people in that chair. You hear the scandal, of course, but also the drive, the history, the fears, and the longings of these people. Everything that makes us the beautiful characters we are in this one huge story we all interact in.

As soon as I began school a year ago I knew I was in a place with more inspiration than I would ever need. Let me tell you something, the "beauty school" stereotype is kinda true; you meet some very interesting people in beauty school. I am not going to lie, I judged a lot of these girls when I walked through the doors of my school. I thought here I am, oh so smart, miss 4.0, and I am surrounded with all these girls who are, let's just say, much, much more wild then I have ever been.
I was thrown into a place full of people I had never really been around and where I was immediately labeled the "good virgin girl." Just to brief you, we had: girls from jail, girls who loved sex more than any man (and talked openly about it), girls with babies, girls without a high school diploma (**gasp**); but you know what I learned? These girls who I used to think were scandalous and taboo turned out to be the most interesting, smart, and driven girls I have ever met. These girls have taught me more about life than anyone in my AP classes ever did.

Never did I go into beauty school either and think I would leave with a best friend who is pretty much the polar opposite of me. I like to think of us as ying and yang, black and white, good and evil. She was everything I was never looking for in a friend and yet I ended up finding everything I was ever looking for in a friend. Does that make sense? Her honesty is something I just can't get over. Its kind of like sour candy, you don't really know why you like it because it's kind of shocking and it hurts a little, but after a while you realize how good it is. If you judge this girl too quickly you will truly miss out on meeting one of the most loyal and caring girls you could ever find. And that, I think is the most worthy thing I have ever learned.

Not only did I learn the art of hairstyling and the reward it brings when you make somebody feel good about themselves, but I learned what it means to have a story. We each have our own individual, unique, beautiful stories and if you can just take a moment to hear one another you can truly find the inspiration to do whatever it may be with your own life. For me it will be to capture stories and to help anyone who sits in my styling chair to feel confident to continue writing their own stories.


  1. Hi Kaitlyn,
    Your Dad just shared this with Mike and I.
    We are so proud of you for going to reach for your dreams! Continue the blog...it's very good.
    And good luck on your next ADVENTURE!!!
    Love Juls

  2. awww ... i am having the feels reading this.
    you are such a brave and beautiful soul.