Cruz Walden

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The Pathway

Alternatively, how a team of advisors and faculty helped me become a good student again.

When I initially decided to go back to school back in the summer of 2020, I was beyond nervous. It had been three years since I'd graduated high school and subsequently dropped out of community college, and I didn't know if I would ever be good enough to succeed at college. I didn't have a lot of money, so I knew I'd have to rely on student loans to pay for my classes, and I didn't want that money to be spent for nothing -  I was still paying off student loans from my first try. This time around, I knew I had to try my absolute best to make good grades. 

I chose the mass communications major and officially started my classes in January 2021. Before classes began, I met with my advisor Professor Marshall, who told me about a program called Pathways to VCU. The Pathways program, she explained, was made for students in the arts and humanities who wanted to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University and be enrolled in those majors. I had to apply to get into the program, and at first I was certain I'd be rejected with my history of dropping out and not having the best grades in high school. I quickly found out that the people at Pathways don't care about that - they just want you to succeed and learn, all while gaining helpful information about how to be a good student, intern, and employee in your chosen field.

During my time in Pathways, I made friends and acquaintances, received guidance, and created e-Portfolios that showcased my skills and allowed me to reflect on my life and things I've done. The weekly events helped me become the student I'd always wanted to be, with information and thought-provoking discussions tat I will never forget. The entire team of Pathways coordinators helped me succeed beyond what I thought I could. I felt seen and heard by people with slews of initials after their names, people who'd worked tirelessly to get to where they were. They believed in me, and in turn I believed in myself.

Author: Cruz Walden
Last modified: 3/28/2023 6:06 PM (EST)