Jamey Wilkins was a typical high school graduate. Living in Gibsonburg at the time, she looked at area four-year colleges and decided that Terra State would be a good starting point. “I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do,” recalls Wilkins. “I thought that if I got my first two years at Terra State, I would transfer to another university and finish up my four-year degree.” However, plans change.
Wilkins would earn her Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood from Terra State. That led to her getting a job in retail. “The original plan was to go a four-year college, but I got a pretty good job making good money.” She was managing several retail stores in the Fremont area. But, her plans changed. “I was working sixty hours a week and traveling a lot. I was also starting a family, so it was very hard to juggle those responsibilities.”
While her original intent was to get an education degree, Wilkins decided to return to Terra State and pursue a second degree. “I do use my first degree quite a bit,” Wilkins says. “I teach the Music Makers program for preschoolers at the Birchard Public Library Gibsonburg Branch on Mondays.” She earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science, but plans fell through again in her pursuit of an education degree.
One thing that happened through this process is Wilkins really took to working in the library setting. Yet, in order to move up in the library discipline, she needed that four-year degree. “I am now working for my degree online through Ohio University,” says Wilkins. “Everything from Terra State transferred seamlessly.”
When reflecting on her time at Terra State, Wilkins remembers her professors fondly. “They are caring and understand that not everyone is a traditional student. One professor even recommended me bringing my infant to my preschool class!” She also remembers some professors going beyond teaching in the classroom. “Steve Mohr would take time to talk with me about important life factors, like financial planning. Mike Shirtz was an incredible professor. He offered to teach subjects outside of the classroom, such as songwriting.”
From graduating high school without any idea what she wanted to do, Wilkins will pursue a full-time position in a library when she completes her four-year degree. “While everyone says it’s alright not knowing what you want to do after high school, I would encourage people to find an interest to follow,” Wilkins advises. “Remain focused and be prepared for the possible changes you may face.”