Monday, January 19, 2015

Nail School: Taking the Leap

Nail School: Taking the Leap by @chalkboardnails
Friday marked the end of my second official week of nail school. I know I was curious about the process of becoming licensed before I started out, so I wanted to start up a series about what I'm experiencing and learning at my school. I hope this helps make the process a little less mysterious for some of you!

Today I want to talk a little bit about the process of deciding to go and some questions you may have about attending. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!

Before we start
Know that not all nail schools will do things exactly like mine does, but the general process should be similar. Note the requirements in your particular state; in Arizona, getting your license requires a 600 hour program, though other states may require less.

Another thing to know: not all beauty schools offer nail-only programs. Many of them instead focus on cosmetology, which will include some nail education, but also covers hair, skin, makeup, and more. Cosmetology programs take longer to complete and cost more. For me, a nail-only school was the way to go.

Getting funded, and how you can too
Last year when I attended Cosmoprof, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Jan Arnold, the Style Director at CND. We got to talking about how I wanted to go to nail school to become licensed. She suggested I check out the CND & Tippi Hedren scholarship through Beauty Changes Lives, which covers 100% of the tuition costs for nail school (up to $5,000).

Jan and the rest of the team at CND are very passionate about supporting and advocating for professional techs, and I took her suggestion very seriously. I applied for the next round of scholarships, and ended up being selected as one of the ten recipients by the panel of independent judges. I plan to do a whole post about BCL and the application process very soon, but in the meantime, you can read more about the scholarship on their website.

There are other scholarship and financial aid programs out there too, so do your research! Most nail-only programs have an average cost of $3,000-$5,000, which can be made even more manageable with assistance.

Nail School: Taking the Leap by @chalkboardnails

Making the decision
Once I learned that I had been selected as a scholarship recipient, I was faced with a decision: do I attend school part time and continue at my job, or do I quit to focus on nails? It was truly a difficult decision, but I ended up making the choice to go full time. At my school, full time means 9:00am-5:00pm, Tuesday through Friday. Part timers come in the evenings plus all day on Saturdays.

For me, it came down to wanting to focus on the experience and get as much out of it as I could. I wanted to fully embrace the opportunity, and thankfully had the capability to do so.

Starting a new chapter
Making the choice to quit my job and go to nail school full time was pretty intimidating. But I felt like it was time to take the chance! It's something I'm really passionate about, and this is the next stepping stone in my journey. I don't know what I want to do after I graduate, but I look forward to finding out what it is.

If this is something you've wanted to do as well, I encourage you to pursue it. Don't listen to the voice that says you can't or you shouldn't. You can and you should.

Stay tuned for my recap of weeks one and two tomorrow!

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