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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Coping with stress and change at MATC

Coping with stress and change at MATC

This is a story about my personal growth and how I’ve changed in many ways since attending MATC. Throughout my two years in college so far, I have faced many challenges ranging from poor grades, struggling with my mental health, and dealing with the stress of a new environment. To say the least, my first year at MATC could be identified as nothing but pure stress and change. 

I was originally enrolled in an IT STEM course, as part of my decision to pursue the STEM Pathway. Before enrolling, I understood how difficult and challenging this course would be, but I only took into account the long-term end result. I thought that if I just simply willed myself to the finish line, I could be in the running for a career that pays very well. However, before I knew it, I was soon faced with the reality of the course and my mental woes started to untangle. 

I began thinking about dropping out of the course entirely, but it was too late to do so because I missed the deadline. I didn’t know if college was the proper decision for me, and my self doubt started to unravel. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. The self doubt got so worrisome that at one point it started affecting my life outside of school and my ability to do certain tasks like clean, work and even talk to others. At some point during my journey, my family began to take notice of my behavior and decided to console me. 

I told family members about my college struggles and how I felt about leaving school in order to refocus and tend to my mental battles. During the conversation, I mentioned how I was suffering from panic and anxiety attacks, and that’s when my two older brothers told me that having mental breakdowns and anxiety attacks were normal. They said that although no one ever wants to experience such things and have self-doubt, they are the norm in college because it’s a new scenery compared to high school, where school life was much more easygoing and stress-free on a day-to-day basis.

My brother Emmanuel told me that he once had suffered from numerous panic attacks while finishing papers and projects due to the tediousness of deadlines and having multiple assignments thrown at him every week, but he decided to stay the course and complete his major because he wanted his degree and he wanted to see the pure joy on our mother’s face. Hearing those words from someone I looked up to set a whole new world inside of me and helped me understand that there’s no need to be scared and worried of failure because everyone has had their share of it. So I decided to stay and continue, but in the process I ended up switching my major because I felt that the stress and the anxiety that came with STEM just wasn’t my cup of tea. In March 2023, I switched from STEM to Marketing because of how I used marketing in my day-to-day life, and I discovered a late passion for it. I have my own personal business that I want to grow beyond leaps and bounds, so I felt like this was the best course of action for me and what I wanted to use my degree for. 

And so far so good. I’m currently in my second year here at MATC, and I’ve been having fun and am enjoying the major very much. The course I’m enrolled in came with some rough patches but I expected it and planned for it ahead of time so it wouldn’t have any sort of negative impact on me. It has been nothing but pure bliss to me. I plan on getting my masters in Marketing and pursuing a career that involves the mixing of Marketing and Data Analytics because those are the two most important factors in any aspect of a business, and I believe I could immediately come into a company or business and provide change and stability. I truly think that I can take my passion far with the right mindset and proper attitude. 

I hope my story helps and inspires other students who are fighting with mental battles, confidence issues, and  anxiety and stress from school. Trust me, you are not alone in this. Surround yourself with the right people that you can trust to help you, and soon you will realize how important they are and how they can help you in continuing your pursuit and the passion you feel. Not only for college, but in all aspects of life. 

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or stressed from the pressure you feel from class and you’re not entirely sure you can talk to your loved ones about it, you can always talk to a counselor at MATC. You can find information about CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) here to schedule an appointment with a Licensed Professional Counselor via email or phone.

Email: [email protected] or call an LPC:

414-297-7376 for Carlos Aranda

414-297-8389 for Kate Cunningham

414-571-4566 for Nicole Gustafson

262-238-2469 for  Nicole Wheatley 

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