Trust and Patience: Introvert finds community with AlamoONLINE
August 9, 2021
Erika Perez tried college twice, first in Lubbock and again in Amarillo, but it never felt right. Despite her determination to earn a degree, neither the environment nor the timing worked for her. Erika’s first attempts made her think twice about college.
“For me, as an introvert, it wasn’t the college experience I was hoping for, so I put college on hold.”
Instead, Erika entered the workforce, becoming a pharmacy technician. She became a mother shortly after and still retained a desire to finish college. Erika had planned to return to college once her kids started school, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Rather than put her dreams on hold, Erika decided to try online classes at San Antonio College.
“I thought I would take a couple of classes online during the summer to get familiar with college classes, and after those classes went well, I continued taking more classes, and now I’m almost graduating!”
Erika, like many students, learned to balance the demands of motherhood with her career aspirations. Through online learning at San Antonio College, she found a college experience that suited her.
“What I enjoy most about online learning is the scheduling. I can just work at my own pace or at my own time, even if it’s very odd hours of the night.”
This flexibility works well for her, like so many online students. Although online learning has enabled Erika to be a mother and student without compromising one or the other, she mostly enjoys the sense of community.
As someone more reserved, Erika has gained confidence in communicating with others. She shares, “the teachers are so accessible, and I can communicate with the students. I’m very shy, and I have a lot of anxiety when talking to people. Online learning has helped me a lot. It hasn’t deterred me from reaching out to students or my professors for help.”
This sense of community extends beyond feeling empowered in an online classroom to the AlamoONLINE community at large.
“No question is a dumb question, and that’s how it feels at Alamo Colleges. There is always someone there to help me. I’ve learned how to be a student.”
Erika has been accepted to UTSA, where she will continue her studies in Sociology, and has earned a scholarship to help fund her tuition. She is on her path, something which would not have been possible had she not followed her instinct, ultimately finding a college experience that felt right to her in timing, pace, and location. Some things are worth waiting for.
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