By Sorayda Rivera 

Student Life Editor

It’s astonishing to believe how this year is almost over. 2020 for most has seemed like a never-ending nightmare. The good news is we are just weeks away from saying goodbye to all of the torment and craziness this year has brought.

I remember how hard of a time I had at the beginning of spring 2020. I was a returning non-traditional aged student, and I felt like I was way in over my head. I was already stressed out way before this whole COVID-19 thing made its debut. 

There came a point during that time when I thought maybe school isn’t for me. This was my fourth attempt at college and it felt like it would be my last. However, there was something inside of me that wouldn’t let me give up, so I kept going. 

Then the pandemic struck, then came more stress. I had to figure out how to do the whole online school thing (which is not my favorite), but also there was the ominous feeling that if we go out we could get sick and possibly die!

Honestly, my stress tank felt like it was filled to the max, but somehow I managed to be able to keep going. I know this is a played out cliche, but I believe it now more than ever. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 

I am a true testament to that cheesy cliche. I restarted my journey for my associate degree in January 2020, and it is now November and I am still here in one piece.

There are still days when I wake up and just the thought of getting out of bed makes me cringe, but I do it anyway. I know if I don’t keep going, the only one who that decision will affect is me. 

I do it for me. I have my goals set out, and I am determined to accomplish them. I have come way too far to give up now.  

This year I have overcome academic barriers and hurdles like never before. Once 2020 is over and done with, I will have one more semester to go, and I will finally be able to say that I, Sorayda Rivera, will finally be a college graduate.

Those are words I never even imagined myself saying, but I now believe more than ever that I will make it happen. I will graduate with my associate degree in public relations from TJC, and I will move on to work on my bachelor’s degree.

I know there are great things in store for my future. Even though I don’t know what those things are yet, I will keep making myself better, and I will be prepared for when my moment comes. I will continue to strive, and I will make great things happen. Not depression, not COVID-19, and not even my Spinal Muscular Atrophy will stop me. 

One of my favorite motivational speakers, Les Brown says, “If you take responsibility for yourself, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dream.” I am starving!

There is a fire burning inside of me full of determination and strength to finish school, and I will not let it burn out.


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