Sharonda Buck

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Minor in Child Development and Family Relations)
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

“After the birth of my oldest child, it became difficult to manage school, work and caring for a young child. I also ran out of financial aid and could not afford to pay for courses on my own. I was very close to graduating, maybe two or three courses shy. It was not an easy decision; it felt like giving up and failing.

It was always my intention to complete my degree if I could. At the time, I was the only person in my immediate family to ever attend college, so I really wanted that accomplishment. I also wanted to be a role model for my children to show them hard work and determination pay off in the end.

I took courses both online and on campus. The online courses were especially helpful because they provided the flexibility to balance work, college and home. My academic advisor and professors were phenomenal. They worked with me, offered great feedback and kept me on track. Being older and returning to school, I related to them on a different level than the average student, and I know that helped a lot.

My classmates, without knowing it, pushed and motivated me. Being one of the oldest people in the class is interesting and kind of scary. Your life experiences are so different than most students. But the common ground is that we’re all taking this course together, and if they’re in the same major as you, they become friendly, familiar faces, someone you can borrow notes from, or call or email to ask about an assignment.

My degrees gave me a sense of achievement. I went from thinking I may never finish college to thinking wow, I did this. Me! I had a mission, and I accomplished it.”