Trauma and My Higher Educational Journey

Art ©Crowgirlpictures
What I am listening to: Novella by Jordan Critz
What I am reading: Be Yourself and Happier by Will Young

What I am learning: Stressing about my Dissertation 

Current Hyperfixation: Spongebob Squarepants

I wanted to share my educational journey to inspire students who might not have a perfect 4.0 GPA or who might not be finishing at the same pace as their peers. My undergraduate journey began in 2011, a year marked by my marriage and my pregnancy's discovery. However, life took unexpected turns, and I had to pause my studies significantly for nearly a year. During that time, I faced the challenges of divorce, became a mother to my son, and battled with PTSD. I encountered failures, dropped classes, and barely passed some courses throughout this period. It wasn't until late 2015 that I finally completed my undergraduate degree.

In 2016, I gained admission to Arizona State University against the odds presented by my academic transcripts. Just six months into an 18-month program, tragedy struck when my roommate was murdered in our own home. This devastating event turned my entire life upside down. The impact was so profound that I forgot to submit a final assignment for my last course. However, I chose to be transparent about my ongoing struggles with depression and PTSD, and as a result, I was granted an extension to submit the assignment. This extension allowed me to graduate.

I am on the verge of pursuing a PhD, with comprehensive exams scheduled for next month. I share my journey not to suggest that it has been easy but rather to emphasize that life's challenges and setbacks do not define our potential. A perfect 4.0 GPA was not the determining factor in my success. Instead, my story embodies the qualities of grit and unwavering determination. The university that welcomed me into its fold recognized that my journey reflected these qualities, and they believed in my capacity to overcome obstacles and complete the rigorous Ph.D. program.

We must remember that each of us possesses a powerful and unique story. Admission counselors consistently echo the sentiment that your story matters. My journey underscores the significance of embracing and sharing our narratives. Despite the seemingly average timeline and a GPA that fell short of my aspirations, I refused to be discouraged. I chose to advocate for myself, to believe in my capabilities, and to pursue my academic goals relentlessly.

So, to all those who may be grappling with setbacks, disappointments, or challenges, don't be disheartened by conventional expectations or a less-than-ideal GPA. Your resilience and determination matter far more than arbitrary metrics. Believe in the power of your narrative, and let it propel you forward. Your journey may be uniquely yours, but its impact can be immeasurable.

Form for Contact Page (Do not remove)