From Traditional School to Online School in Less than a Year: My Story (With a little more added.)

I was so excited to go to a traditional college. I was ready for the whole nine; the dorm rooms, the roommates, the social life, the parties, the chance to broaden my knowledge as a student. The major that I had chosen was Nursing which was a two year program held by the school. I knew that if I had graduated with that degree, I would have made enough money to help all of my loved ones out, as well to feed my sudden material desires. I got a part-time job for that summer just to be able to pay for dorm room and class supplies. I counted down the days until it was time to pack up all of my belongings and go. I never knew that in the course of 7 months that I would end up back home, going to school online.

The move-in day had come and I was so excited. My father and brother packed up the rental car at 4AM with all the belongings my mother and I had packed the day before, and My mother, father and I were on our way to go; four hours on the road before finally making it to Morrisville State College. When we had finally reached my dorm building, there were men who offered to help us move my things to my room. I was so happy they offered since I didn’t know how we would’ve gotten my refrigerator up to the second floor. I went downstairs to get my room key and found out that they had switched my original room and roommate as well. I wasn’t that stunned though; I tried reaching out to my old roommate throughout the whole summer and had no reply. I had went back upstairs and opened the door to my new room; Room 241. My new roommate had not moved in yet, so arranging all my things wasn’t too hectic or stressful. We finished my room at around 3pm, and I had said my sappy, tearful goodbyes to my parents before they were back on the road to go home. I had been in a brand new space and I loved it. That night, the second floor Resident Assistants had held a meeting for the whole second floor. Alongside the loud and eccentric people on my floor, I met some pretty funny and cool people who actually happened to be my neighbors. I felt super lucky.

Around the first couple weeks of college, getting used to daily life at MSC felt very invigorating. Waking up at 6:45 to get ready and get to Biology class by 8, then being in that lecture class until 9AM and going to grab an iced coffee before walking over to Math class. After my morning classes were over, I would reward myself with a handmade chicken and egg salad wrap with red onion and lettuce with a small amount  of chipotle sauce and grab myself a cup of cold, refreshing cranberry juice. After finishing, I would then use my meal points to buy some microwaveable snacks at the small grocery store that the school had. I had become very fond of most of the people working there; they always did their job with purpose and meaning; to have everyone leaving the store feel like home. I then would go back to my room and nap before my favorite psychology class at 6pm. I would get some dinner and then go back to my room to do homework, socialize with my neighbors, and finally get ready to go in bed.

November came around, and my social life was plummeting. My neighbors had stop coming by so often and the texts that asked if I can go with them to a party or to even go out to eat had become smaller and smaller. Most of my high school friends that I thought I would have no problem with keeping in contact had also stopped talking to me as well. I had felt like I was in “Grade 13” in which everyone had their own little groups that they’d stick to; not wanting to broaden their horizons anymore. I had a job as a student temp. in the school library on the weekends, and with the money that I had received, I would get on the school shuttle bus to the mall that they had the next town over and buy food, clothes for my significant other and I, and try new things. Both there and my room were the only places in which I could feel any solace. My significant other had always been the one to hear me complain and cry about my social life, and he actually took two buses for a total of 7 hours to come and stay for a couple days. Those couple days were the highlight of my traditional college memories. I had taken him to work with me at the library and all of my co-workers loved him. I even took him to go eat at the Copper Turret; a restaurant that accepts meal points as well. We had such a great time. When he had left to go home, I then realized that I had no consistent friends around me. I began to feel that it was a mistake going to traditional school in general; I had felt so alone and even blamed myself for my numerous failed friendships. My financial aid wasn’t able to pay for my classes for the spring semester, and so I had moved everything back home that January. I was devastated, yet relieved. I’d finally be around those whom I loved.

Now that I was back home so abruptly, I had searched high and low for a job to keep me occupied. I also went to numerous CUNY schools to see if they still accepted applications for the spring semester; but to no avail. I felt so stuck. I knew that if I stayed too long without going to college, I would get comfortable where I was. I knew I had to continue; I had dreamed of getting a college degree and providing for my loved ones and I. My significant other had suggested that I go to school online; but I strayed away from that idea. “Online schooling won’t teach me time management; I wouldn’t benefit from that.” I thought to myself. In the meantime, I had worked as a Traveling Sales Representative for a company that had made a deal with Verizon to sell their services. It was a job that paid only for commission, and I had made absolutely no sales. I would also get home at 12AM sometimes. I don’t like to be out late at night, so I knew this job wasn’t for me. I then quit that job and received a call to become a Canvasser. This job had paid me $13 an hour, but required me to be outside in different areas in the city and on my feet most of the time. Every potential canvasser had to have a total of about $180 in donations to have a stable job there, and I wasn’t able to make it. All of these dead end jobs made me feel so weak. I knew that I wanted to end my struggle with a reward. That day I was denied the job, I had began researching online schools to attend.

Most Online Schools were too expensive; even more than it was to pay for a SUNY school. Confused and anxiety ridden, I knew I had to keep searching. I was running on an inch of hope when I had finally found a school about a week after that let me learn whenever I wanted to , as long as I gave in my homework on the day it was due. The school was also about as pricey as Morrisville State College, and so I figured it was worth it. I enrolled into Southern New Hampshire University online, and I haven’t felt more determined since. I can be a student whenever I would like to be as long as I give in my homework at the appointed time; making my time completely flexible. I now have a part-time job selling designer sunglasses that pays about $13/hr and also gives me the chance to receive money from commission as well. My major is now Business Administration, and I will be in the graduating class of 2021. My advice to anyone on their way to college: Make sure you have a passion in the major that you are choosing. Don’t just choose it because it will make you a lot of money. If you are unsure about what field you want to pursue, consider going for a liberal arts major. It allows you to find your niche and get your thoughts of the careers you can see yourself in the future flowing. Don’t be afraid to pick yourself up when you are down. Whether it is in a course of a day or a year, it’s the will that counts. See, I knew all of the struggle was for a reason. I hope you are able to find the reason for all your struggle as well, school related and even non-school related. Have a great day and/or night and think positive always.

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Author: Leylany Martinez

A beautiful mind powered by the strength of community and "The Office", with my cat in my lap. Pleased to meet you.

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