As I think about getting ready to leave for school, I often find myself reminiscing about my time spent at Sauk Valley community college. I still remember how nervous I was knowing that all my friends were preparing to leave Sterling, while I was staying in the same place and starting a new journey on my own. However, despite the nerves, it wasn't long until I met a lot of welcoming, resourceful people and got involved in some amazing programs making my experience over the next two years one to enjoy. As I finished my last class at Sauk this summer there was this huge sense of nostalgia that came over me, as I realized everything I have accomplished and all the ways I have grown thanks to SVCC. Not only did I make some great and unexpected friends, but I also made many new connections with the staff members. My professors, advisors, and club leaders were always positive, willing to help, and pushing me to do more which was the structure I definitely needed to work harder and come out of my shell. Other than the people I met, I'm also grateful for the organizations I was heavily involved in like TRIO and AmeriCorps. Without TRIO I 100% believe my experience would not have been as great and without their help, I'm not sure I would be transferring to UIUC this fall (I wish I could take them with me!). AmeriCorps is another program I am glad I got involved in, here I also met many new and welcoming people who wanted you to succeed. Thanks to this program I was able to make new friends, volunteer in the community, and take on a summer job at the YMCA where I met a lot of great kids who I've grown to love. Lastly, I owe my change of mindset and work ethic to Sauk. In high school, I wasn't a bad student, I got average grades by doing the bare minimum but Sauk really helped turn me around and realize how important my education is. I found myself studying more than I ever had before, asking for help when I needed it, and actually caring about every single grade I got - big and small -because of this not only was I able to boost my GPA, but I was also able to end my last semester on the President's List! With all this said, there were still some low points I had at Sauk, but those too helped shape me into the person I am now, and I am just as grateful to those experiences as the high ones. All of which has made me realize that not only was attending Sauk the best decision for me personally but now more than ever I know I am ready to transfer to U of I and continue to succeed both in and outside of the classroom.
Thank you for reading, and if you're someone I've met through Sauk thank you especially for being apart of my journey!