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Dealing with Personal Issues While in College | #WeBelongInCollege Stories

Last updated June 8, 2020

In these stories, students discuss how they found the support that they needed when issues in their personal lives made it nearly impossible to focus on their studies. Hear from these students about how they learned to deal with stress while attending school at the same time. 

Teonna’s #WeBelongInCollege Story 

Three years into college, a fire left Teonna and her family homeless. She became depressed and had to withdraw from school. Eventually she figured out how to stay focused on her educational goals, even while dealing with personal struggles. 

Paul's #WeBelongInCollege Story

Paul had to deal with the unimaginable while in college. It was only when he needed it most that he realized how much community support was there for him. In his story, Paul shares insights on how he pushed to overcome these difficulties. 

Brendan’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

An alarmingly high number of students experience hunger and homelessness while in college. With no home to sleep in at night, Brendan found himself falling asleep in every class. He knew something had to change if he was going to be able to make it through college.

Andrew’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

Andrew shares about when his student account ran out of meal credits and he was unable to eat at the dining hall. After experiencing this extreme hardship, Andrew came to realize that he has the strength to overcome any difficult situation that comes his way. 

           

Camila's #WeBelongInCollege Story

As a first generation student, I had no idea what I needed to apply to college, how to select the colleges I was interested in, and if I could even afford it. Fortunately, with the support of my family and friends, and the help from my high school teachers, I was able to attend a community college near me. I completed my associates degree and decided to transfer to the state college that was closest to me because I did not want to put the burden on my parents of paying for my tuition. During my time there, I was living at home and my parents had to move due to financial instability. I had to make a decision: 1) stop my studies and help my family or 2) find somewhere to live with short notice and find a full-time job that would allow me to pay for an apartment. Fortunately, my grandparents gave me the option to move in with them. Fast forward to today, I have graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and I am halfway through my master’s program! A couple of months back, I once again was hit with a dilemma. My grandparents were deciding to move and I couldn’t go with them since I was still in school. This was really hard for me. I had just begun my new program and was unsure of the next steps to take. I didn’t know if these signs were telling me that I needed to stop going to school and work on my personal life.. I managed to save enough money from my job and was able to move just in the nick of time. I now am balancing a full-time job and I’m a full-time student. I knew I needed to keep pushing and learning from these challenges that I felt wanted to keep pushing me down. I knew that I owed it to myself since I had already achieved so much. And I also knew I owed it to my family that had moved to the U.S. so I could do better. I hope that this short story allows others to understand that at times events will occur that will make you feel defeated and it is okay to reach out to others when you are in need. Sometimes there are people that have gone through similar experiences like us and they can be a helping hand. I hope that everyone that is thinking of pursuing college asks questions and seeks assistance from others, that they believe in themselves because we all belong in college!

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