Scott Wright Student Essay Contest

Mental Health and College, Recipe for Disaster?

Written by Autumn Ragus, Treasure Valley Community College

One of the first classes I took at TVCC was Freshman Seminar. Honestly, I was not looking forward to this class at all. I am definitely not a morning person, and this was my earliest class. Waking up at 8am as a freshman seemed like torture. Adding to my short lived hatred of this class, Freshman Seminar was a one credit class. I felt as though this class was a waste of time. I later found I had judged it all too soon.
This gutting feeling I had quickly subsided upon meeting the teacher. Even though we were stuck in a global pandemic, and all of our faces were covered by masks, Theigha’s smile and passion for teaching was evident in her eyes. Our first assignment in Freshman Seminar was a campus scavenger hunt. This was a major relief for me, I had no idea where anything was on campus. After this assignment I was familiar with the campus, and finally found where my science class later that day was going to be.
In Theigha’s class, I not only received helpful resources to get me through these next two years of my life, but I also learned a lot about myself. One of the most important things I gained from this class was something that Theigha said. With Theigha being the disabilities director, she told us to always let our teachers know if we are struggling. While I don’t have a 504 plan, I suffer from ADHD, anxiety, and depression. When I’m not on my ADHD medication, I am easily distracted and unmotivated. This in turn triggers my depression. I fell into a slum, and even thought about not going back to college at all. Feeling trapped by all of my missing assignments, I remembered Theigha’s advice. I emailed my teachers letting them know my situation. My anxiety would have never allowed me to take this step alone. To my surprise, my teachers allowed me extra time to catch up. I passed all of my classes that term, and I owe it all to Theigha.
Now back on my medication, I am speeding through my degree. Just recently, I decided to retake my Accuplacer math test which I previously scored low on. This time I received a significantly higher score. After the test I chatted with Theigha, who had administered the test. She showed me that my score could put me into a Math 100 class. She encouraged me to speak with an advisor about this. I was ecstatic, the possibility of knocking out another class lifted a massive weight off my shoulders.
Theigha’s encouragement has helped me multiple times, without her even knowing. Her helpful personality is effortless, and puts her high up on the list of people I'm thankful for meeting here at TVCC. Theigha is an extraordinary advocate for her students. I will forever be grateful for her. I am so glad that I stuck through that early morning, one credit, Freshman Seminar class.

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