‘Just Keep Pushing Through’: Interview With Scholarship Winner Hailey Shaul

Most college students probably don’t think of moving to Hawaii in order to save money, but that’s exactly the plan for Hailey Shaul, winner of a $1K scholarship last month from Find Your Calling. Currently a nursing student, Hailey grew up in Minnesota before getting replanted as a young sixth grader on Oahu where the military had assigned her family. It took moving back to study in Minnesota for Hailey to realize that Hawaii had become her home—and that home was where she should study.

Hailey Shaul
Hailey Shaul

“I had originally chosen the University of Minnesota because I thought I would enjoy going back to my roots,” Hailey said, who has recently transferred to Hawaii Pacific University. “Spending two years there was a lot of fun, but it made me realize how much I had changed. Oahu is where my immediate family lives, so I decided I would be happier if I went back! It will not only help me save money on college, but also let me watch my little brothers grow up.”

Do you know—or think you know—where you want to go to college? Well, what do you want to study? What career are you planning for? What is your family situation? How much money do you want to save? Use Find Your Calling to get the answers and follow Hailey’s advice below on what to do when you just feel like giving up.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Has that changed?

When I was little, I had always wanted to be a teacher. My mom was an elementary school teacher and I loved visiting her classroom and pretending I was the teacher. But as I grew up, I became more interested in the medical field. Despite how different those two fields are, I think I found common ground in my love for working with kids and helping others.

Now my dream is to become a registered nurse. I hadn’t really considered nursing until senior year of high school when my mom’s friend, an ER Nurse, told me about her job. I did some research and decided it would be a really good match for me. My goal is to use my skills to step out of my comfort zone and go on a few medical missions trips. I’ve always wanted to travel and work on missions trips and I feel like being a certified nurse would give many opportunities for that!

What is the biggest obstacle to pursuing your career as a nurse? How do you plan to overcome it?

My biggest obstacle right now—like many college students—is the financial stress. I never realized how expensive college was until freshman year when I saw how much money I needed to take out in loans. Although it’s frustrating, it’s also been a good lesson to keep applying for scholarships throughout college! It’s also taught me a lot about being smart with money and not wasting it like I did in high school.

What are the top three things that scare you about life during or after college?

I’m nervous about how difficult some of the courses will be—especially the nursing courses. I know they’ll take a lot of time and hard work, but I also know they’ll be worth it in the end! I’m also nervous about the transition from student to “real adult” and having a full time job. The adjustment might be challenging.

What’s some personal advice for other students facing similar challenges?

Push through. There will always be times when you want to give up, but the frustrations and hardships will all be worth it in the end if you just keep pushing through. One thing that helped me get through my first two years was plugging myself into a student group or a really good group of friends that will be there for you when you are having a rough day!

Are you saving up for college? Win scholarships through Find Your Calling’s giveaway! Hit me up with any questions at gwen@findyourcalling.com

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