Graduating in 2020

Stephanie Medrano

Let me start by saying that this has been a hard year for everyone and I’m very lucky for the way things were able to work out in my favor and I get to get my associates this year and transfer to UH.

I’ve had my ups and downs with college. I graduated highschool pretty young I was 16 years old which I was definitely not mature enough to handle classes and working almost full time at that age. I went to Wharto Jr. College; took 8 am classes which was not a good idea… AT ALL. I was often tardy and would rarely study for my tests and after two semesters I kinda burned out and had to withdraw from classes which caused me to lose my financial aid. That’s when I took a semester off.

I knew I had to get off financial aid probation so I took two online courses at HCC as my previous college didn’t have many online options and I would make sure I would pass my courses. I had to pay out of pocket for these classes so hopefully, that gave me the push I needed I was also about to turn 18 so I had better time management skills. I passed those two classes but unfortunately, I was not able to register for next semester as I had a stressful job and life was just not great at the time. This ended up in me taking another semester off as I didn’t want to go and risk losing my financial aid again.

Fast forward to the semester after that and I had gotten a new job and I felt certain I would manage school better and pass. I did this for 2 semesters doing really well when COVID-19 hit. As someone who is a homebody and doesn’t ever really go out much COVID still had a big impact on me. My normal going out to a restaurant or even just my workout at the gym weren’t things that we were able to do anymore. I was lucky enough to not lose my job but many people did and the constant stress of how close to home COVID was getting after hearing of coworkers or family members who got the virus. It really triggered my anxiety and completing homework became such a hard task and sometimes seemed unimportant to the things around me.

The light at the end of the rainbow for me was that some classes I needed to graduate had to be done in person and I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage that working a 9-5 office job but due to the pandemic classes we’re going to be all online which helped me out so much. I took that as my sign that I needed to keep going and while I may lose motivation at times I must keep going and with the great teachers, I had this year who really understood that this was a change that affected everyone. I get to say I graduated with my associates in communications during a pandemic!

Life will always throw obstacles at us and it’s about how we get through them that makes us who we really are. I’m just really proud of HCC for how they treated us during these hard times and also proud of anyone whos made it through this year as this year was unlike any other.