In 2010 I became a high school graduate one year earlier than my peers. At the time, graduating high school felt like breaking free from a constrictive mold made from the expectations of others. I was never the girl who dreamt of what school she would apply to after graduation, and in truth, I had a minimal grasp of who I was or what I wanted out of life. I did not have a plush college fund or strong SAT scores to support a four-year degree path. Instead, I decided to leave the country and invest in building my knowledge of the world through hands-on experience. By the time I felt ready to re-approach higher education, technical programs, and community colleges were among my only choices.
After enrolling at Motlow, I felt somewhat embarrassed belonging to a community college and not a university like so many of my peers. I believed the stigmatic message that only “subpar” students enroll in community college and therefore felt like a subpar underachiever making a subpar choice.
I could not have been more wrong.
When I came to Motlow, I realized I was able to really connect with my professors and work closely with them. I discovered for myself, through their encouragement, that I did have what it takes to perform at a collegiate level as an adult. I was able to build up confidence and discover who I am. Motlow played an instrumental part in my adult development.
I attribute my gained confidence to the numerous positive deposits my professors at Motlow made in me through their time, support, and instruction while a student
I loved the fact that Motlow allowed me to go and live my life as I chose, which was to leave school and go travel and live abroad, then come back and resume my education when it suited my life. I received a lot of support from my professors for the educational path I was taking.
Motlow allowed me to earn my degree at my own pace over seven years, earn and save money, and clarify my life goals. Today I have every confidence in my ability to succeed, not only as a student but also as a valuable contributor in my community.
My educational journey brought me in and out of Motlow’s admissions office many times. When I first enrolled as a student on the Smyrna campus, the campus had one building. Motlow has expanded not only its grounds but also its vision. Growing into two new state-of-the-art buildings on the Smyrna campus, Motlow’s legacy–offering an excellent and affordable education to students whose life-path may verge on unconventional–continues.
Flash forward to 2019, where I am finishing my undergraduate degree and pursuing a path to postgraduate work in School Psychology at MTSU. The kicker? I graduated, saving more than $45,000!
Motlow has been serving the community for 50 years, and it is my honor and privilege to be a part of the alumni that continue to write its history. Motlow’s impressive growth emphasizes the vital roles community colleges play in bridging gaps and making the pursuit of opportunity and academic success accessible to all.
Whenever we choose a courageous path – to take a road less traveled – we subject ourselves to what seems like unrelenting criticism and ridicule. While facing the ever-rising cost of college, all high schoolers and adult learners should have the courage to be different and give community college a second look.
I would highly recommend Motlow to anyone searching to grow personally, be academically challenged, and achieve no matter their circumstances. I am full of excitement for what Motlow has to offer the next generation of life-learners.
Abigail Robertson enrolled at Motlow in 2012 and received her associate degree in psychology in 2019. She is employed as an Educational Assistant at Seigel High School and is pursuing her postgraduate degrees in psychology at MTSU.