Waubonsee Voices: Moving on

My name is Priscila Vargas, Waubonsee Student Trustee. I am currently into my second semester working on my Associate of Science degree with a concentration in nursing. I would first like to thank everyone who voted for me to become the 2021-22 Student Trustee. My goal is to make everyone at Waubonsee proud of what we will accomplish together this upcoming academic year.

In spring 2020, I graduated from West Aurora High School, but as many of you can relate, it did not turn out the way I expected. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 restrictions, we were unable to share in many traditional events that high school seniors have come to expect. This was my first big disappointment. Later, as class co-president, I learned that we would not be able to showcase all that we had accomplished. I was heartbroken.

That deep, unsettling feeling of discouragement followed me into my freshman year at Waubonsee. I lost my motivation to get involved like I had previously been involved at West Aurora. I played on the volleyball, softball and soccer teams. I also had a lead role in student government, participated in an empowerment program called Girls Run the World and was on the board of directors for the Illinois Health Occupations Students of America.

During Thanksgiving break, I had an aha moment and realized that I am the only person who can pull myself up from my negative emotions. I quickly decided to change my perspective and turn things around. I began to motivate myself by remembering all the challenges I had overcome in high school. I then decided to finish the semester strong academically.

My second semester is going well, and I am out of the ditch of self-despair. Motivation and determination are key aspects that helped me move forward.

I have since joined the soccer team at Waubonsee as a goalie. Being on a team has helped me learn how to prioritize my studies, increase my focus on the tasks I need to accomplish to be successful and learn how to balance my academics and personal life.

All of these experiences have shaped me into who I am today. Many challenges will come your way but it is up to you to seek out the help you need to change the outcome. I am forever grateful for my mentors, coaches, and teammates who have helped me along the way. If you don’t have a mentor or a support group, I encourage you to get one.

• Priscila Vargas is student trustee at Waubonsee Community College.