A Chance at My Dream College

Written by
Published on May 1, 2015

Waking up to find your picture on the front page of the newspaper isn’t something that happens every day. Nor is it common to become a star overnight. No, I didn’t become the next American Idol, nor did I win Dancing With the Stars, but I did win the lottery. I played the game like everyone else did, and it was a one-time shot, but I was a winner.

Who was I going to tell first? Should I tell a small group of close friends? Maybe I shouldn’t tell anyone at all. No, I wasn’t about to spend my winnings on cars, shopping for Louis Vuitton, or on expensive jewelry; in fact, my lottery was much more unique and this will give me the opportunity to continue my college education.

I had just left work for the day, another low-end job that paid just enough to pay the rent, when I received an email alert on my phone about my award. I’ve never been so happy for technology! Finally it had become more useful than just sending me links to coupons.

I rushed home to think of a plan. I thought maybe I should start packing now and get out of here, start fresh in another state. I was still in shock , the tears came. There I was walking back and forth from my living room and bedroom, praying, “thank you Jehovah God,” as if I was worshiping in a church.
I did keep the good news as quiet as I could. However, before I knew it I soon received calls and emails and even social media contacts from my former professors and peers at HCC, all congratulating me on my award. I even got interviewed by the Connecticut Post. The article mentioned that 4 of the 25 students who won this scholarship nationwide were Housatonic students.  The Housatonic Facebook page gave it more press  The news got out faster than I could even process it myself.

Here I was 26 years old and not sure what my next step was, and it was made easy when someone gave me the opportunity to start thinking of my future.

The front entrance to Mount Holyoke.  Photo by Sarah McNamara

The front entrance to Mount Holyoke. Photo by Sarah McNamara

My unique lottery may not have given me the opportunity to just sit home and roll around in my riches and retire at such an early age, but my award would be more fulfilling. I had won a full-tuition scholarship to Mount Holyoke,  an Ivy League women’s college located in Massachusetts.   Until a few months ago I’d never even heard of it. Yet, it was one of my professors, Hamish Lutris, who encouraged me to apply. Apparently he had more faith in me than I did, and apparently Mount Holyoke did too.

I’ve never seen such a beautiful campus, and its surrounding area was perfection, with a lake view and a golf course nearby, plus a shopping area and lots of entertainment across the street.

At Mount Holyoke I’m able to create my own major, and that will be a mix of English, Creative Writing and Journalism. How awesome is that!  I’ll also be going to a school that the famous poet Emily Dickinson once attended.

I plan on writing a book one day and to publish many more, along with a series of articles on various topics such as relationships, fantasies and adventures. And I might even have my own TV show.  However, it all begins with graduating from Mount Holyoke College.

Who knew you could send someone a brighter future by hitting “send?”

For those who hesitate to begin at a community college, I hope that judgment will subside, because I not only saved a significant amount of money earning  my associate degree here, but it was Housatonic that provided me with a great education that allowed me to excel and receive a transfer scholarship.

I had excellent teachers, and they taught inspiring classes. From Shakespeare class, I learned how to be more creative and somewhat dramatic within stories I had to write. My journalism classes all provided me with the tools I needed to create short but informative articles and broadcast stories, as well as lengthier stories with more descriptive details to capture my readers’ attention.

My professors not only worked with me within the classrooms but on a one-on-one basis to help me to improve my writing, grammar, and punctuation.  In addition, they have taught me all that I needed to know about the AP formats that are used within the newsrooms, and also trained me in areas that I needed in order to successfully find sources for my articles and to how to interview them.

Also,  if it not were for my Western  Civilization classes, the knowledge of earlier society along with events that took place and the inventions created leading up to what we see today would have been a blur.

Besides having great professors who cared about educating their students, I was also involved with the school newspaper, Horizons, writing articles to inform the student body, as well as topics they can relate to. I also held a student job where I helped my fellow students and provide tours for incoming students.

It was my hard work and commitment towards my education that was recognized by Mount Holyoke College.  I am now preparing for my new adventure with them, as I look forward to learning new things and gaining experiences that will prepare me for my career. I never thought in a million years that someone would recognize me enough to give me a chance, and I have never been more ready to accept it and work hard to succeed.