Adults going back to college in Tennessee should take this advice

Elizabeth Hydzik’s entire family attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville – except her.

The 38-year-old Knoxville native got her cosmetology license from the Tennessee School of Beauty right after high school. She has been styling hair for almost 17 years, working her way up from minimum wage. For more than 12 years, she’s been the sole provider for her three kids.

It was a good job. Hydzik could support her kids and live in her definition of comfortable. She could afford new clothes for her kids, but a vacation wasn’t on the table.

But when the coronavirus pandemic temporarily closed the salon in March 2020, Hydzik’s job became less reliable.

Unemployment and stimulus checks carried Hydzik’s family through the first few months before her salon could reopen, but Hydzik knew in her heart something needed to change.

Elizabeth Hydzik, who's been a hairstylist for most of her life, decided to go and get her college degree after the pandemic upended her career.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” Hydzik said. “I actually had to go on anxiety medicine because I was so terrified about what was going to happen.”

For subscribers:Will that Tennessee college degree pay off? It really depends on which school you choose

In other news:Like it or not, Knox County will grow. Your input could shape where homes are built

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