Skip to content

Jeff Johnson

Jeff JohnsonSeveral years ago, I found myself stuck at the ultimate crossroads of my life. I was a 27-year old college junior, and felt that I was headed down the wrong path. I was confused, lost, depressed, and frustrated. After a steady decline in academic performance, I knew I could not continue down that path, nor did I want to. I battled in my head over what to do, but eventually made the difficult decision to drop out of school. I felt immediate relief, but it didn’t last. I soon found myself wondering what I would do for a career.

There was always a slightly entrepreneurial spirit within me, so I decided I would try my hand at making it on my own. This proved to be much more stressful and difficult than I had anticipated. I bounced from one idea to the next and hit a dead end with each one. After about 18 months I realized that I had not made any progress, and still felt lost and confused. My wife and I had always talked about moving to Seattle, Washington, so I decided I would begin looking for jobs there. Searching for a job when you don’t know what you want to do is extremely challenging. I must have sifted through thousands of jobs over several months before my real interest started to emerge. I began to make mental connections through key words, which helped me hone in on what really interested me.

Finally, I found the perfect career! Discovering my passion provided a huge burst of energy and excitement. In fact, I was so excited that I convinced my wife that we should sell our house. Much to our surprise, our home went under contract in less than 48 hours. Everything seemed to be falling into place. It was the end of October, and I set a goal to have a job lined up in Seattle by January 1. But there was one major problem, I needed a college degree to even get my foot in the door for the jobs I liked. I searched for loop holes around going back to school, but to no avail. I decided to talk to my academic advisor about finishing school, but it seemed a lost cause. I wasn’t ready to put myself through that kind of pain again. But he put me in touch with the advisor for the Health, Society & Policy major, and hope began to shine through my cloud of uncertainty. I entered my first meeting with the advisor feeling very skeptical, and resistant toward returning to school, but 20 minutes into our conversation I found myself feeling optimistic and excited about returning. A month later I was enrolled in summer classes, and it was an incredible semester. I was ecstatic to learn that I made the dean’s list for the first time in my life!

Finding my passion and purpose was up to me to discover, but the HSP major has given me the tools and resources to press forward toward turning that passion into reality. In hind sight, I wish I would have known about the HSP major sooner. Because of the interdisciplinary format, I feel like I have been able to tailor my education to match what I want and need for the future. I am so very glad that I decided to become and HSP student. It’s a decision that has changed my life. 

Last Updated: 3/31/21