Making Up Her Mind

Doing her eyebrows with an Elf eyebrow pencil in taupe, Aurora Hesser, gets ready for her meeting at HSJI. Hesser reflects on when she first got into make-up. “It was a journey to get to the point where I am now where I don’t look like trash,” Hesser said. photo by Peyton Eber

Aurora Hesser debates her future in cosmetology

Sitting on neon green bed sheets in her IU dorm room, Aurora Hesser, laughed as she plucked her friend, Chloe’s, eyebrows for the umpteenth time that year. They joked about the times Aurora had plucked her eyebrows in yearbook, and Chloe’s sensitivity to the eyebrow plucking while they ate Chipotle and fruit snacks. Throughout the night other girls from Crown Point wandered into the classroom to plan their own eyebrow “appointment” with Aurora.

Like many preteens in middle school Aurora Hesser watched her older sisters experiment with makeup and developed her own interest in it. In seventh grade she put her makeup skills to the test and tried wearing black eyeliner to the mall with her mom. Despite her mother’s original hesitancy, something sparked that day for Aurora, who would spend the next four years experimenting with all kinds of hair and makeup.

Her experimenting started with putting makeup on her sisters at night and gradually grew into Aurora doing friends and family’s makeup for small events or holidays. She even experimented a little on herself when she started dying and cutting her hair in styles ranging from blonde bobs to long scarlett colored hair.

In her freshman year of high school, Aurora started to think about a career in cosmetology. However, the closer she got to graduating, the more she questioned the stability of a job in cosmetology. “Realistically the salary is pretty low for cosmetologists, and I need a job where I have a stable income that doesn’t depend on the amount of customers,” said Aurora. She also had to think about the 21st Century Scholarship, a full ride scholarship she had received for any in-state school. Afraid of wasting the scholarship by going to cosmetology school, Aurora talked to other cosmetologists about pursuing a career in cosmetology, and they all said that it was difficult at times and she had to have a passion for it. Her counselor warned her that if she went to cosmetology school, she should also get a business degree somewhere so that she had a stable job to rely on.

Despite not knowing what she will be doing in college or which career she will pursue, Aurora will be interning for a salon next school year for almost half of her school day. She is hoping to get a better grasp on all the different sides to being a cosmetologist and is hopeful that the internship will help her choose the right path for herself.