Nicole Job, 21, joined the Rocky Mountain College community this year after a long journey of boarding schools, trips abroad, and four colleges.
She is a senior and is working to complete a degree in creative writing by December of next year.
“People here have different experiences than I’m used to,” she said. “My coworkers in the Dean of Students Office always tell me I’ve had crazy experiences, but they seem normal to me.”
Job grew up in Santa Barbara, California, where her family owns horses and 10 acres of property.
At 13 Job decided to attend High Mowing School, an independent boarding school in Wilton, New Hampshire.
“That was the first time I ran away from school,” she said, leaning back in her chair and laughing afterward.
High Mowing is the only Waldorf boarding school in the United States and the oldest in Canada and the U.S. Waldorf boarding schools are centered on arts, music, and dance. Job knew her mother would not agree to send her to boarding school, so Job hatched a plan to get her mother to agree.
Her mother, a very polite woman, as Job described her, would not refuse something like a large scholarship if the school offered it. So, Job had her mother sign the application papers when she was distracted so she wouldn’t know what she was signing.
From there Job got eight separate letters of recommendation, one for each individual study the school provided and applied for everything she could. This tactic worked and Job attended the boarding school through middle school and got her high school diploma there. Job’s smile got large and pleasant as she described her time at High Mowing and the two-week trips the school provided across the country or abroad.
Job went on one such trip to England and after this experience developed a taste for travel and Europe, which she explored further in college. The first college Job attended was Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. She completed three semesters there.
She had many health problems while attending this school, and these complicated her relationships with her roommates. So in her third semester Job applied for a single apartment through the college.
However, this did not provide any solace as the apartment had been owned previously by a smoker, leaving the flooring and walls so saturated the room was deemed toxic by campus authorities.
Job then asked to be placed in a medical single—a single living space set aside for medical reasons. The school denied her this and instead placed her into a sorority while asking her to pay more for her living space.
“I didn’t like the parties and the girls didn’t like me either,” she said. “It was overall just not ideal for me personally.”
Job decided to take some semester hours in Prague to escape this situation. Unfortunately, though she made friends and had good experiences on this trip to Europe, Job’s health only got worse. She began to have problems with severe sleep paralysis, which left her stuck in bed for hours, unable to move while in and out of consciousness. Once she was even frozen in this state for two and a half days.
It only got worse from here. Job failed one class while in Prague. Washington College then failed her for all the credits she took while abroad. Exasperated with the college’s lack of cooperation, Job separated her transcripts to keep her Washington credits separate from those she earned in Prague.
Then she left Maryland and went to Los Angeles to attend AMDA College and Conservatory of Performing Arts. Here she hoped to study acting. She stayed only one semester.
“They, the freshman of age 17 and above, didn’t care about what they were learning or the teachers who were trying to teach them,” Job said. She said she takes her studies seriously, and it frustrates her when others throw away what they’re learning.
Utterly exasperated and exhausted, Job took her partially completed theater major and minor in creative writing back home to Santa Barbara City College for two summer semesters and completed an associate degree in liberal arts and humanities.
She said, “I just settled there to raise my GPA and catch up.”
Finally ready to get back into the game, Job began her search for a school that met the criteria she had developed from past experience.
She needed a school that would provide a small community without being totally separated from a larger community—a smaller school in a bigger city, unlike Washington College, which had been small and many miles from the nearest town.
She needed a school that would allow her to finish her degree fast, a school with a good writing program as she had decided to pursue a writing degree and a school that was still in person during the current COVID 19 pandemic.
Rocky was the perfect choice. Job said she has had a wonderful time at Rocky. She lives off-campus with her aunt and uncle and really enjoys the writing program.
“I wanted somewhere to be my last college, my last stop,” she said. “I believe Rocky is that for me.”