It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been a student at Lorain County Community College for the past two-and-a-half years. When I enrolled in the fall of 2014, I was unsure of what this journey would entail.
At that point, I was at a bit of a crossroads of sorts. I barely completed three years of college at OSU, before leaving school. And while I have some amazing, crazy memories of my life as a Buckeye, I don’t think I ever found my niche.
For me, it wasn’t so much a question of what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. As a sophomore in high school, I helped my older brother with his college-level writing classes (although, he probably wouldn’t admit it). No, I’ve always known what direction I was facing. It was just a question of how I would apply myself and what career path my writing would lead me down. At the time, I never could have guessed that path would take me to journalism. Equally unforeseen were the insane number of detours I’ve taken to reach this point in my education.
A couple of years before I left OSU, I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression and mild social anxiety – a moment that would go on to affect basically every major decision in regards to my education. Like most mental illnesses, depression affects every aspect of life; relationships, motivation (or lack of), work, school grades, etc. For this reason, I kept myself out of school for nearly four years, too afraid to fail.
Just to add to the mess, my transcripts from my first institution were stuck in bureaucratic purgatory. I couldn’t transfer, and certainly couldn’t graduate, without this single piece of paper. And there was a point last fall when I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to enroll in classes because of this issue. So all I could do is try to guess which classes I still needed to take in order to get my associate’s. Trying to be successful in classes without knowing whether or not it would mean anything in the long run felt a bit like repeating my junior year of college again. “Frustrating” would not even begin to cover it.
My first semester back in school was nerve wracking, I admit. My first class on the first day of the semester was a communication class. I lucked out. To this date, that was the most fun I’d ever had in a classroom. Our instructor would go on to become my mentor at LCCC. When I thought I might not be able to stay at LCCC, she wrote the most glowing recommendation letter to the administration on my behalf. She has always been supportive and encouraging and I doubt she’ll ever know how grateful I am for that.
I’m also grateful for my time at The Collegian. Without realizing it, I walked into an office that would inspire, frustrate, motivate, annoy, and humor me (among many other things) for the next two years. There are things I’ll miss: the challenge, the learning, the staff, the sarcasm. There are things I certainly won’t miss: a staff that doesn’t adhere to deadlines, the deadlines themselves, sources who never call or email back, writing headlines. And I’m thankful for those who realized my potential before I was ever sure of it myself.
So, this is the last time I’ll publish a paper at LCCC. I finally have my transcripts. I’m actually less than a year away from my bachelor’s degree. I never thought I’d get to this point. It’s been a long journey that’s taken me in a direction I never thought possible. But, as I’ve learned here, that’s just life – it may not take you where you intend to go, but it certainly takes you where you need to go.