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My study journey – The egalitarian

My study journey – The egalitarian

My study journey – The egalitarian

My name is Jennifer Mendez. I am 23 years old. I have been studying since 2019 at the age of 18 and my time in college was very rocky.

I first enrolled at the University of Houston-Downtown, majoring in psychology. I had just graduated from high school in May 2019 and had no idea what I was doing with my life. I knew I had the goal of going to college and graduating with a bachelor’s degree. But during this time I felt lost and confused, and was going through a difficult time in my personal life. My first semester it was a huge adjustment from high school to college. All my friends went their separate ways. No one I knew went to associate professor, so I felt alone. I was intimidated by the size of the university, the number of students there, the atmosphere of college which felt very different from high school, etc. and majoring in Psychology was my second choice. My first choice was to major in English because I always dreamed of becoming a writer and becoming an author or writing scripts for TV and movies. I had a passion for creative writing. But as someone with immigrant parents, they weren’t very helpful in my dream. My mother didn’t want me to study English because ‘you don’t make any money with that.’ I understood my mother’s concern about my life. She wanted me to be secure and prepared for life so I wouldn’t have to struggle like she did. But hearing her unsupportive words hurt me, I felt like I was being kicked while I was already on the ground. There were other factors too, but in the end I took the safe route and opted for something that looked practical. Although a bachelor’s degree in psychology was also useless and would require more training. Anyway, I was drowning in a sea of ​​confusion. I had no direction, no clear path, nothing.

Then…COVID happened. Midway through my second semester of college, the global pandemic happened. We were forced to continue online education until further notice. That lasted a year and a half, maybe two. I failed my classes because my mental health wasn’t at its best, because I couldn’t learn well in a purely online class, and because of the general situation in the world. I failed English 1 three times, and on the third time I had to transfer to HCC and retake it one more time to get the honors. I failed because I struggled really hard with my mental health and essays. But the teacher I had for English 1 at HCC was really great. She made sure to give her students as much encouragement and time as they needed to succeed in her class. Through my own doubts and loss of confidence in my ability to write college essays, or anything for that matter, she was there to encourage me on our zoom calls and tell me that I was writing at a high college level. Shout out to Professor Kreig!

I eventually passed English 1, but that meant I was pushed back by a lot. I felt very discouraged because I was not at the same pace as everyone else in my class. I was supposed to be the class of 2023, but at the pace I was going, it looked like that wouldn’t be the case. I ended up on academic probation for a year because I continued to struggle with staying on top of my work. After I passed English, I transferred back to associate professor for a semester, but because I failed I didn’t qualify for FAFSA and couldn’t afford my tuition there, so I moved back to HCC and stayed here for the rest of my time .

In 2022, I finally started to see light at the end of the tunnel. Little by little, I had a group of people in my corner encouraging me, my mental health got better, I did better in my classes and came out of academic probation, and in 2023 I chose a major that was still ongoing. the practical side, but also closely linked to what I wanted to do, which was communication. It includes many of the things I am interested in and skilled in, such as social media, writing and digital design. I felt good about myself because life started to gain momentum.

And now here I am, in my last semester of community college, about to graduate and complete my degree in communications. Even though I didn’t graduate from a 4-year college and earn a bachelor’s degree as I originally planned, this is still a very good achievement to be proud of. It took me 5 years, but we did it. I still have plans to go back to college, but this time I want to spend some time focusing on life and keep figuring things out in the meantime before I get there.