When it comes to our educational goals, sometimes life gets in the way, especially for young mothers. Take Nicole Blossey, for example. The wife and mother of five children – including one daughter with a congenital heart defect – started her family at a young age and couldn’t complete her undergraduate coursework. And while she wouldn’t trade her time with her family for the world, Blossey had always maintained a desire to go back to school one day to complete her degree. Fortunately for Blossey and other mothers like her, these educational goals are now within reach thanks to the ability to earn your degree online at major research universities like Arizona State University.
A born and raised Arizona native, Blossey had known about ASU and the quality of their degree programs her whole life, even taking an interest in the university’s culture and legacy, living vicariously through friends who went to school there. “I would go to the football games and pretend to be a graduate but then I would go home and be like ‘dang, I’m not really an alumnus, I’m not really a Sun Devil,'” Blossey says. “That was something that always stung a little.”
For Blossey, this hit even closer to home because of her husband, Adam. Not only was Adam an ASU alumni, but he would also go on to serve as Director of Operations for the ASU Sun Devils’ Division I Hockey team. Once Adam had attained his master’s degree and secured a stable job, both parents agreed that it was now Blossey’s turn to continue her education journey. “It was without question that I was going to go to ASU to finish my degree when the time was right,” says Blossey. “Seeing the culture and the Sun Devil alumni, my husband attending and working there, and then even my daughters – who attended a Pre-K program at ASU last year – it all made me know without a doubt that I was going to go to ASU. ”
While Blossey would feel confident beginning her ASU Online coursework in 2019, her sudden pandemic-adjacent layoff in 2020 would cement her decision even further. This past spring, Blossey graduated summa cum laude from ASU with a BA in Organizational Leadership and a concentration in Project Management. She now proudly works at a major national nonprofit that funds cardiovascular medical research. The organization and cause hit home for Blossey, who in addition to having a child born with a congenital heart defect also lost her grandfather to a sudden heart attack when she was just 13 years old. “We started volunteering just shy of (my eldest daughter’s) birthday, which is when her first open heart surgery was,” Blossey tells Scary Mommy. Now, with her daughter just past her 6th birthday, Blossey credits ASU in helping her to further her career in business at an institution which meant so much to her throughout her life.
“As cheesy as it sounds, I want to say, ‘you can do it. ”
Blossey is proud of the forward momentum she’s made in such a short period of time and knows firsthand that it is not easy balancing a college degree with a busy home life. She’s more than forthcoming about how 2021 was one of the hardest years she has yet to endure. With intensive coursework in addition to caring for her daughter’s constant medical needs, Blossey had to sharpen her focus during her downtime to make the most of each day.
“As cheesy as it sounds, I want to say,‘ you can do it, ’” Blossey says. “We moms… we put everybody else first, I had 10,000 reasons to bail, like, ‘I’m not going to finish my degree,’ or ‘I’m not going to finish it with the GPA that I sought out,'” ”Blossey admits. “But those are excuses, it can be done. It may not be easy, but many things in life that are not easy are often worth fighting for. I truly think that when you put your mind to something and you prioritize your time, that you can do anything, ”Blossey says. “Thankfully, our current times and technology makes school accessible wherever you are. It doesn’t have to be the perfect template where you walk onto campus every day – that’s old school. It works for some, and that’s amazing, but for those that it doesn’t work for: you have the opportunity, ”Blossey says. “You have the ability to do it from wherever you are.”