VC changed student mentally, socially and financially

May 27, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.

The Victoria Advocate will be publishing student essays from Victoria College's "What's Your Story?" scholarship competition during the next few weeks. Students were asked to write an essay answering the question, "How has Victoria College changed your life?" Winners of the contest, received a $1,000 scholarship funded by the Victoria College Foundation. We welcome letters and columns from all students.

How to discover how Victoria College has changed my life?

I have to explain what my life was before entering the world of a college student. Through this journey, one will see how my life now differs from my life before.

Attending Victoria College has changed my life through mental, social and financial aspects.

I was a stay-at-home mother who didn't realize change was needed in those aspects; I was a mother who had accepted her fate and the way things were.

I place emphasis on the changes in my mental aspects of my life because the changes in this category are the most drastic. I use to live with sadness all the time. I chose to use the word "live with" because I chose to do nothing about it. I went so far with that mind frame that I gave up, in a sense, by letting my husband have all the responsibility and to take care of our daughter and myself. I have had the wool over my eyes for so long; I didn't realize I needed help. Once I started attending my "On Course" class, I learned being productive and having goals will help with my sadness. As college has helped me become productive, my mental stability improved. In psychology, I learned about the "Esteem Needs" in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I never admitted to my esteem needs I was ignoring until now. There are other needs in this hierarchy that have improved through attending Victoria College as well.

These other needs I have ignored are my "belonging needs." The social aspects in my life can touch many things, including belonging. I never even knew I had social needs that weren't being fulfilled. I was content with staying at home, where the only two people I socialized with were my husband and my 3-year-old daughter. It wasn't until I was in classes and given the chance to communicate with my peers that I realize I truly missed it. Facebook is another channel that has helped me socialize. How does Facebook have anything to do with the school? If it wasn't for the college giving me an opportunity to use the Internet, this would have never happened. I have always lived in a poor financial environment, hardly able to pay bills, let alone a computer with Internet access. I'm not complaining; I have enjoyed the simple life. I am just being honest. This leads me to the last aspect of my life that has changed by attending Victoria College.

Lastly, my financial aspects in my life have been changed. Along with Maslow's hierarchy, how can you achieve fulfilling the most basic needs without any money? When I enrolled in college in June 2010, my family had the means to survive - the means to fulfill the basic needs. This gave me the chance to climb my own needs. July came along and hard times hit my family. We found ourselves not being able to provide food, water and rent. These are the basic needs one must accomplish before ascending up one's hierarchy. I could have dropped out of college, but by this time, I didn't want to. I have enjoyed meeting my mental and social needs. I didn't want to start over, in fear that all the good work I have accomplished with myself, with the help from Victoria College, would be undone.

Because of Pell grants, I am able to attend college. Because of student loans through Victoria College, I have been able to continue to provide for my family while my husband searched for another job. I fully understand this isn't the best financial grounds to base my college degree on, but Victoria College has helped me keep faith that my family wouldn't be kicked out on the street.

There are other forces that played a part with Victoria College changing my life, but we all know what this essay is about. I am not lying when I state that Victoria College has helped me mentally, socially and financially.

The next thing for me to do is keep up with Victoria College's requirements and above all else, not give up on my goals in life.

I know as long as I continue my plan, Victoria College will help me become the responsible, financially independent woman I want to be.

Amanda Horner was one of several Victoria College students who entered the "What's Your Story" essay contest.



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