For UT graduate Trillia Newbell, life post-degree may not have gone in the direction her college-aged self envisioned, but it certainly keeps her busy.
"I always thought I'd be in Washington," Newbell, a political science graduate, recalled. "I saw myself being crazy active on Capital Hill. I was a part of student government while in school and I really thought that was something I wanted to progress with."
But according to Newbell, who graduated in 2001, God had other plans for her.
"The Lord changed my heart," she said. "I got involved with UT's youth ministry, Volunteers for Christ, and it was then that I realized I really felt called to be a mom."
These days, Newbell considers her two children, son Weston, aged 6, and daughter Sydney, aged 2, to be her "real priority."
"My children are my success," she said. "I view my true job as being 'Mom'."
While motherhood may be her self-proclaimed most important profession, it is by no means her only one. Once out of college, Newbell directed her efforts at opening her own fitness firm, Trill Fitness — a deceptively disjointed choice for a political science major. According to Newbell, however, the move to fitness made sense.
"I have always been extremely active. I ran track in high school and was a cheerleader. For me, it was a very natural progression into the fitness industry," she said.
Initially, Newbell owned a studio where she did consulting and taught classes.
"It was something I enjoyed doing because health and fitness are vital for life," she said. "I believe that my body is a temple, and therefore I want to take care of it. It's important to have a healthy focus on health and fitness- you can become obsessed."
UT kineseology graduate, Christie Stilwill said Newbell exemplifies her beliefs.
"She's an amazing woman who uses Gods giftings on her life to their full potential," Stilwill said. "She seems to do such a wonderful job of balancing her career while maintaining a steadfast joy to love and serve her family. Her smile and laughter for life permeate the room when one is around her."
Trill Fitness was eventually closed after Newbell decided that being a leader in the fitness industry was demanding "way too much" of her time and forcing her away from her motherly duties. Today, Newbell keeps her interest in fitness satisfied by writing for various fitness publications, including American Fitness magazine.
Newbell's writing resume doesn't end there. Working as a freelance writer from home in order to be near her kids, she frequently pens pieces for religious periodicals, including Christianity Today and the Gospel Coalition. She is also involved with the production of the online magazine for females, Women of God.