Looking back at what college has done for me

by May 8, 2013 1:27 pm Tags: , , ,

Lauren Hailey is a Spartan daily staff writer.

Lauren Hailey is a Spartan daily staff writer.

I never thought I would make it to this point.

I've been going to school, working hard the entire time and now it's time to graduate.

It's hard to express how I feel about it because it still doesn't feel like I'm about to graduate.

Even after I bought my cap and gown, got a new tassel and sent out all the invitations, it still feels like I'm going to be back here in the fall.

Like a lot of students, I transferred to San Jose State. Although I've only been here for two years, I've learned so much about myself here.

Community college does a good job of holding your hand through the education process, but transferring to a four-year university really puts a person in a position to fend for themselves.

I remember sitting in the orientation meeting with Bob Rucker and a few of my new transfer classmates and listening to him tell us, "We will help you, but you're all on your own." I had never been more scared, or excited.

SJSU is where I learned how to grow up and learn to solve my own problems.

It was hard to get used to the differences. I applaud people that start at universities their freshman year because it isn't easy by any means.

Being here really boosted my confidence. As I look back on everything that I was able to accomplish here, it baffles me because I'm surprised I was able to do all that on my own.

Sure, my professors and counselors were there every step of the way to answer every question I had (and I had a lot), but everything I've ever done was on my own initiative.

I admit my time here was slightly rushed because I packed on enormous workloads in order to rush out.

Last semester I took 18 units. Don't ever do that to yourself.

I learned to have an effective system of time management, but a workload like that can send anyone over the edge.

On top of my school life with homework and group projects, I had a life at home, a daughter to take care of and a job to go to, so you could say it was hard to have any kind of social life.

Fortunately for me, I've made many friends, not only in my department but campus-wide, and I cherish the connections I've made and hope to keep them for life.

Friends make it bearable to be at school because they make it easier. There were times when I'd go to class simply because I knew a friend of mine was going to be there and it just made it more fun.

Some people don't have a family and it is hard, but friends are also a valuable source of support.

It's important to realize that none of this would have been possible without a support system.

From last-minute babysitters, to being subjects in some of my projects, my family has been by my side every step of the way, helping me whenever I needed it and never denying even my most ridiculous requests.

The things I've learned in the school of journalism and mass communications excite me for my future because I really feel like I've learned valuable information here.

I've already taken some of the things I've learned and applied them. I've used them in articles I've written for other publications outside of the Spartan Daily and people have commended me for my work.

Now I'm a contributing writer at a local online lifestyle magazine, TYTEMedia.com. It's an up-and-coming publication and I'm proud to have my name on something in the outside world of publication. None of that would have happened without the connections I made here at the school of journalism and mass communications.

More than anything, I feel in my heart of hearts that I picked the right career and all the sacrifices I made to get to this point were totally worth it.

Finding what you want to do in life is one of the best feelings because it makes every struggle worth it.

Every day I go to sleep happy with the choices I've made and it makes me proud to be a good role model for my daughter.

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