Defining the Future

Future can be a scary word. A word that’s thrown around way too much between the years of 17 to about 22-years-old.

Every college student is always thinking about that one word.

The future.

So when questions and second thoughts arise, we as college students are quick to panic about our dangling future.

Kaci Johnson is all too familiar with that panic. Although she may be 22-years-old, Kaci’s considered a sophomore at Simpson College because of many defining moments in the past three years.

“I had my heart set on being a nurse since I was really little. My dream job was to work at St. Jude Children’s Hospital helping kids,” Kaci said.

So, that’s how she started, attending Mercy College as a nursing student in the fall of 2014… but not for long. After her first semester at Mercy, Kaci transferred to DMACC, where she studied nursing until the spring of 2016. She then took a break from school that next fall.

“During my semester off, I had started working at Methodist Hospital in downtown Des Moines as a patient care tech on the colon/rectal floor. I remember having 14 patients one night, and you’re expected to walk each of them three times and do vitals twice in an eight hour shift. It’s a really tiring job, and that’s when I realized that’s not what I wanted to do with my life.”


Struggling to find her niche, Kaci took a personal inventory of her qualities and interests.

“I have a real passion for kids, and I knew I needed to do something I was interested in. That’s when I started to look at what Simpson had to offer.”

Kaci started attending Simpson in the fall of 2017 pursuing a degree in elementary education. Since then, she’s joined Best Buddies and has become a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Through these groups, she has made friends and memories that will last her a lifetime.

“I was really looking forward to coming here, but also really nervous because I was completely changing my major and attending yet another different school. But it’s been really, really good.”

Kaci’s not the first, and surely won’t be the last, to feel stuck – whether that’s in a major or in a school. But how many students have the desire to change? How many want to put in the work to be happy? Kaci easily could have taken the easy way out, sticking with her nursing degree to make things a little less complicated.

But she knew she wouldn’t be happy there. She knew that wasn’t the future she wanted to make for herself.

So, she did something about it.

How many of us are willing to put in the work to MAKE our future? Our future doesn’t define us, we define it!

“It was tough, but I’m a lot happier than I was. I know I made the right change.”




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