#Goals & Being a Student-Parent

A woman with long dark hair in professional attire against a soft-focus natural background
NU Scholar Karrie Yi shares her tips as a full-time parent, student, military veteran, and military spouse.

Karrie Yi

NU Scholars April 2019 Cohort

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education – San Diego. U.S. Navy Veteran

Every day as a mother of twin boys, a veteran, a wife to an Active Duty military service member, and a fulltime student, hard work seems to follow me like a shadow. Sometimes this shadow is friendly, and other it gets overwhelming. Hard work became a part of who I am years ago, and I have learned to embrace every challenge and view it as a self-improvement milestone. In doing so, I have learned to change my perception of this hard work from a daunting “shadow” to a softer “silhouette.” First, I start my mornings early and give myself the necessary time to fully wake up and enjoy my coffee.  This time to myself gives me the energy and focus to change my perspective on any shadows into silhouettes of opportunity. As I drink my coffee I ask myself some easy questions like “What can I do today? and “What tasks have a deadline today or coming up?” Then I ask myself my favorite question, “Was that coffee good enough to start the day?”  

Besides a decent cup of coffee in the early morning, my motivation to continue comes from my amazing family, which consists of my twin boys and my Active Duty husband (whom I met while I was also active duty). My husband and I see eye to eye on the importance of constant self-improvement and taking ownership of our lives and goals, supporting each other’s educational and career pursuits while also acting as active role models for our boys. As a family unit, we understand the level of commitment and time needed to achieve each and every family member’s individual goals and dreams. In teaching my boys at a young age, I can actively show them how the silhouettes of hard work aren’t meant to be feared, but are a natural part of life. The simple tasks that teach independence all require hard work, but also instill self-ownership in one’s actions, education, and professional life. These silhouettes push each of us to confront obstacles and to build our personal legacies. 

            I came to National University to complete a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, with a dream of building my own child learning center from the ground up. The NU Scholars Program offers me amazing leadership development opportunities, connecting me with community leaders whom I can learn from and who can help me achieve this dream. This program also connects me with equally dedicated, talented, and likeminded peers who support me in maintaining and pushing my high standards and accomplishments. Finally, this program continually connects me with mentors who help guide me through my educational experience. I am so appreciative of National University and of the NU Scholars Program for giving me the tools that I need to start my journey as a professional and as a leader.