Whittney WrightWhittney's Story

One thing that is important to me is to always believe in yourself and never give up on nothing. After ten years I finally finished college. This journey was not easy, but I did it. I thought I would never see the day I would graduate from college. I wanted to give up so many times, but something in my heart kept telling me I could do it. Another reason I kept going is because graduating from college was always one of my goals and I don’t start nothing I can’t finish. I also kept going because I didn’t want to become a person who is bitter and miserable because I didn’t go after my goals and dreams. I also didn’t want to regret not going after my goals and dreams. I met people who are literally bitter and angry because they didn’t go after their goals and dreams. After meeting people like that, I always told myself that would never be me. I first started college in the fall of 2012, after I graduated from highschool. The first college I attended was Harold Washington. I was trying to get my Associates Degree at the time. They told me it only took two years and I would finish in 2014, but it didn’t happen that way. I didn’t have a good experience at Harold Washington because my advisors kept giving me classes I didn’t need instead of giving me the classes I did need. I didn’t know the advisors were giving me classes I didn’t need at first. I was basically taking those classes for nothing. Another problem I had was I kept failing Math. Math has always been my weakest subject. I have a learning disability, it kicks in when I’m doing Math. I don’t learn certain things as fast as others. I kept getting bad teachers for Math. They were either moving too fast or I didn’t understand them. I failed Math 98 three times. Every time I thought it would get better, it got worse. I explained to all my Math teachers that I have a learning disability and it happens when I’m trying to learn Math. But they didn’t care. My Math teachers weren't very supportive. I went to Harold Washington for three and a half years and I was not getting closer to graduating. My advisor made it seem like I needed to take so many classes  in order to graduate and I didn’t need half of those classes. I left Harold Washinton after the spring semester in 2016. I took a break from school.

I went to Malcolm X in the winter of 2017. I didn’t have a good experience there either. I kept failing Math. The teachers at Malcolm X weren't supportive either. I also kept failing Biology and Physical Science. I went back in the fall of 2017. I took Math 98 for the fourth time and I decided to take Nutrition Biology since other students told me that was easier than the regular Biology, so I did, but that was an online class. I thought I was going to finally pass Math 98 and Biology. But I didn’t. My Math teacher got mad at me one day and acted like he wanted to fight me all because I asked him for help. I tried to report to the person that was in charge of the Math department, but she sided with him. She made it seem like I expected teachers to pass me because of my learning disability and that was not the case. I never tried to use my learning disability to get the easy way out, I just wanted teachers to understand I don’t learn fast when it comes to Math, but she didn’t care, so I dropped the class. I also dropped the Biology class: that teacher was also a bad teacher. I took another break from college.

In the spring of 2018, I went to Kennedy King. That was the best city college I went to. The teachers were more supportive. I finally passed Math, Biology, and Physical Science. I received my Associates degree in the fall of 2019. I was so happy because I had finally accomplished something I had been trying to accomplish for a long time.

After I received my Associates degree, I came to East-West University in the spring of 2021. I had a wonderful experience at East-West. The teachers were more helpful and supportive. I didn’t fail any classes at East-West. All the teachers I had were great. They weren't just supportive when it came to school. They were supportive in other ways too. For example, one of my  criminal justice teachers Dr. Haynes  helped me get through my last semester. I lost my nephew in March of this year, due to gun violence. She was so supportive. If it wasn’t for her, I would have not got through my last semester. Another teacher that supported me was Dr. Polski. Any time I was struggling with school work, she always made time to help me. She would even stay after school with me at times to help me with homework. She is also the reason I graduated. They were saying I didn’t have enough credits to graduate. She found out that wasn’t true and I was able to graduate. She also gave me an internship so I can get all my credits. She is one of my favorite teachers at East-West. She is like my fairy godmother. She solved all my problems I had at East-West. I went to three schools before I came to East-West. East-West is the best college I went to. It’s only been three days since I graduated and I already miss being at school and I miss Dr. Polski.

If I could go back in time I would have gone to East-West when I first started college. Even though it took me ten years to graduate from college, the journey was definitely worth it. With that being said: always believe in yourself and never give up. If I can do it, anybody can do it.