- What are you considering writing about for your speech?
I noticed that many classmates share my feelings of self-doubt, fear, and stress while being a student, working, and taking care of a family. I waited so many years to go back to school because I never thought I could. I struggle with anxiety and even the smallest assignments caused me to stress out. I had a difficult time getting schoolwork done without overthinking each assignment. I doubted myself so much that redid so many assignments in fear that they were not good enough. I struggled with the workload and never thought I would be able to get it all done. Throughout the whole process, I managed to not only complete everything, but I made the President’s list repeatedly. I feel this subject is really important to discuss because so many people are afraid to talk about it. This is very real and many people struggle with the same issues. We can be our worst critic at times, as I was to myself but it is important to know that you will get through it and it does get easier.
- What are some of your most memorable highlights from your experience at Post?
The most memorable highlights I would say would be overcoming the struggles I had with my anxiety. Each time a new course opened up, I stressed about the workload and wondered how I would do it and each week I managed to get it done. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. Realizing how many other people in my classes had similar experiences was a memorable experience. There are people who attended my classes from all over the country and we were all going through the same things. I thought that was so eye-opening to see that. The last memorable highlight for me was being chosen as valedictorian. I have never accomplished anything like this, as I was not a great student in high school. I was not expecting to do anything other than complete my courses and obtain my degree. Receiving this accomplishment was incredibly surprising.
- What advice would you give to current or future students?
Of all of the advice I could give to students, the biggest thing I have learned is to not overthink what you are doing. I spent so many hours stressing over my assignments because I was overthinking my work. I never thought it was good enough and I ended up redoing quite a bit of papers, lesson plans, and projects. I had to learn to step back and try to embrace and enjoy what I am doing. The added stress was not necessary. Other helpful advice is to always take notes and read all of the required material. Lastly, reach out if you need help. I managed to get through most of my courses and never asked for assistance. When it came time for me to take Statistics, I was not comprehending what I needed to. I waited because I was afraid and thought I could handle it. It became so overwhelming that I finally reached out to a tutor. He was able to sit down and explain everything to me and I managed to finish with an A. If I had done this earlier, I would have had a much better experience with this class. We need to take a step back sometimes and realize how difficult it is to comprehend information while learning online. For that, we need to know that it is ok to ask for help.
- Who has had the biggest impact on your life during your college career? In your life?
The person who had the biggest impact on my education is my husband. He was the one who encouraged me to go back to school because he saw something in me that I couldn’t. He knew that my dream was to be a teacher and helped me get started on my degree. Without him, I never would have been able to finish. He was my partner, and when I needed to study or write a paper, he picked up the slack at home. He cooked, cleaned, and took our children where they needed to go. He supported me through the years and was there when I wanted to give up. He taught me things about myself I would have never known otherwise and I really owe a lot to him. Other people who influenced my education and life are my children, family members, friends, and the people I work with. My father who is so proud of what I have accomplished. My teacher friends who have inspired me to keep going. Finally, my academic success counselor who reached out constantly to make sure I was ok and to see if I needed anything. It really was a team effort and I could not have done this without the support from everyone.
- What’s next!?
What is next for me? Well, at this point, I do not want to stop. I want to go to grad school to receive my master’s degree and certification so I can start teaching. I am hoping to begin in the fall so once I am finished with the application process, I plan to enjoy the summer with my family. I have four children and these last years have been difficult with my schoolwork being so time-consuming. I plan to enjoy every minute with them before I start back up again.