Inspirational Stories

How Asking For What You Want Can Open Doors You Didn’t Know Existed

Who am I  to get what I want?

I’m just an average girl from Idaho.

In high school I really wanted to attend Utah State University when I graduated.  But I talked myself out of it before it even began.

Utah State seemed so big and out of my league PLUS (this was the biggie)… I couldn’t afford the out of state tuition. I did have some money coming to me from a scholarship but it wouldn’t have helped all that much.

So, without telling anyone, I just reconciled with myself that I would go to Ricks College (Now BYU-I) in Rexburg, ID, just 20 minutes from home. My Mom went to Ricks, my older sister went to Ricks, it was close to home, and I knew I would be accepted without a doubt.

It was a safe bet.

However, this year (1996) admission to Ricks College was changing. And it wasn’t in my favor.

But I didn’t know that until I had already put all my eggs in one basket and didn’t apply to any other colleges… except for Ricks.

You see, that year, Ricks College set out to make the men to women ratio of the student body a little more even. (There were normally way more women than men.) They also wanted to give members of our church (it’s a church school) who lived away from the church hub (outside of Idaho and Utah) the opportunity to go to a church school.

So that meant that a woman from Idaho was having a heck of a time being accepting into Ricks college that year.

SO guess who DIDN’T make it into Ricks?

This sad lady right here.

I can remember when the letter came letting me know that I didn’t get in.

I was shocked. Heart broken. Angry. Confused.

What in the world was I going to do now?

My best friend also didn’t get accepted and I have to admit, if felt good to not be the only one. But we were still left with the burning question…now what?

After a week or so when I had some time to let it sink in I started making plans to move forward. I took this as a sign that I should just go to the school that I REALLY wanted to go to.

So I began planning for Utah State.

I should have been ecstatic, however, my joy was clouded with the realization that instead of starting college in the Fall like everyone else, I would need to move to Utah and work for a year to gain residency and then start school the next Fall.

It wasn’t hopeless but it wasn’t great either.

In the meantime, after hearing that I wasn’t accepted to Ricks College, a close friend of the family (she was like a grandma to me) wrote a strongly worded letter to them letting them know that they turned down a “very exceptional student and was appalled at their lack of judgement”. Haha!

The next thing I knew I received a phone call from Ricks College letting me know that they had reconsidered my application and I had now been accepted! (Everyone needs a kind hearted, strong-willed grandma in their corner.)

You would think my prayers were answered but after I got off the phone with them I just didn’t feel right about going to Ricks now. I REALLY didn’t want to wait a year to start school, however I felt like I would be settling if I went to Ricks now.

So I didn’t.

I declined the offer from Ricks and moved forward with my plan to attend Utah State.

I moved to Logan, UT almost immediately after I graduated from high school.

My friends that were going there weren’t moving until the Fall so luckily I got to live with my sister, Heather, and her husband, Kelly, for the summer. I quickly found a job and was settling in quite nicely.

That is, until Heather and Kelly went back home to Idaho for the weekend and I had to stay and work.

I can remember sitting in their apartment that Saturday, all alone. I didn’t know a single person within 150 miles of me. I felt so isolated and miserable. Why did I decide to do this?? The more I thought about waiting for a year to start school the more anxious I got.

So I kneeled down to say a prayer. I can’t remember what I said exactly but I’m sure there was a little bit of begging mixed with a tiny bit of pleading. I honestly didn’t know how God could really change anything but I got up from my knees and had the thought to walk up to campus and talk to someone in the registration office.

The whole walk there I was trying to figure out what to even say…”Um, hi. I, um didn’t apply to school here and I can’t afford to go even if I got in but I really want to go to school here. Please and thank you.” ???

Yeah, I’m sure this is going to go really well.

I got to the registration office, slowly walked up to the first person I saw behind the counter, and just started talking. I can’t tell you what I even said. I don’t remember this part of the story. The only thing I can remember is after I stopped talking the lady looked at me like I was out of my mind.

Her reaction didn’t give me much hope that anything might change. But as an afterthought she said, “Well, you could go talk to Mr. So-and-So across campus. I’m not sure he can do anything but it’s worth a try.”

She gave me his information and I headed for his office.

I had no idea what to expect. Mainly because I really didn’t even know what I was asking for. But I decided to tell him my story. What did I have to lose?

My heart was pounding by the time I walked into his office and took a seat. I still had no clue who this guy even was. He could have been the president of the university for all I knew. But nonetheless I told him my story.

I told him how my first choice was to come to Utah State but I talked myself out of it because I didn’t think I could afford it. And so I only applied to Ricks College because I knew I would get in but in fact I didn’t get in. And then they reconsidered but I had already decided to come work here in Utah for a year to gain residency so I could go this school next Fall. But now that I’m here, I’m frustrated because I really want to start THIS Fall. And I don’t know what to do.


After my sad story of run-on sentences and misery he paused for what seemed like a really long time. Then he reached down in one of his desk drawers and pulled out a single sheet of paper. He handed it to me across the desk and said, “Fill this out and bring it back to me after lunch.”

He wrote down a little info from me like my name and where I went to high school and then sent me on my way.

I left his office with a teeny tiny glimmer of hope. I had no idea what our little meeting would lead to but I was going to hold on to any hope I had. I walked back down the hill to our apartment and filled out the form he gave me.

It was incredibly simple. It basically asked my name, address, high school, and “Why do you want to go to Utah State?” The more I thought about it the more doubtful I became.

What could a tiny little form like this really do?

As promised, I returned to his office after lunch. I went and sat in the same chair across from him and handed him my form. He looked it over much quicker than I thought he should have and set it down on his desk.

He then looked up at me and said,

Katie, we would like to offer you a scholarship.

I think I blacked out for a second.

A scholarship? What in the world? Can you even DO that? Who are you anyway?

He said he got my high school transcripts during lunch and spoke to a few people and they all agreed that I would be awarded a one year, out-of-state tuition scholarship that would basically be like I was receiving in-state tuition. I would continue to work and gain residency that year so that next year I would be a Utah resident and receive the normal in-state tuition.

I was speechless.

The only thing I could say was, “Thank you. Thank you. Oh my goodness, thank you so much.”

God cares about what we care about.

He sent down a miracle to me that day. There’s no other explanation.

Nothing miraculous happened over the next 4 years while I attended Utah State. It wasn’t like I needed to be there to meet my future husband or save someone’s life.

But God knew I really wanted to go there and for this experience, He made sure I got what I wanted.