I have been a student at HACC’s Lancaster Campus for about five years and the 2016 spring semester is my last one here. In my time here, I have had multiple ups and downs, and have realized that I was mathematically challenged. This is one of the many obstacles I have overcome, but the greatest was myself. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a part of the autistic spectrum. I experience daily panic attacks and anxiety spikes. I have an extreme fear of large crowds and dealing with daily challenges is difficult. Yet, through this, I am proud to say that I have persevered.
A large part of this success stems from being a part of two organizations at HACC Lancaster campus, Live Wire and Voices literary magazine. These publications broke my shell of anxiety that I had before attending HACC.
Voices taught me leadership qualities and I am proud to say that 15 minute staff meetings from when I first took over Voices now go over time weekly. I enjoyed being Editor-in-Chief (EIC) for as long as I have held the position. During my time with Voices, I had one magazine published and one is on the way with my name as EIC. I not only edited literary works submitted by students, but I did the layout on both magazines. I take pride putting my name on this magazine. Being with the magazine gave me a chance to use my knowledge of literature. Before Voices, I read just about anything I could get my hands on, ranging from classics such as Dante’s Divine Comedy to newer books such as Patrick Rothfuss’s King Killer Chronicles; I have quite an extensive library to say the least. I would like to thank Professor Eberhart and Professor Ihlenfeldt for being the advisors of Voices. I would also like to thank my fellow student Andrew Spangler, managing editor of Voices. We were a two-man army and we never let that get in our way to providing students with literature.
In Live Wire, I held three positions. Most of the time I was a contributing writer. I was layout manager when I first started and also spent time as deputy editor. I learned a lot in all three positions and being a part of Live Wire gave me focus on what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to not only entertain people with my writing, but I wanted them to think critically. There is a plethora of people that deserve credit for pushing me in this direction. Emilie Stoltzfus, Travis Arment, and Robert Beiler are at the top of that list. All three pushed me to succeed and I would like to thank them for all the support they gave me. Without them I would have never been able to write “How Asperger’s Works Socially,” a story about going to college with Asperger’s Syndrome. They accepted me for who I was, disability and all, but never pushed me too hard. With all of that support I like to think that I am a better person and I think that it will serve me well in my future endeavors.
I have been accepted by Millersville University for the fall semester as a transfer student and I will be pursuing a degree in digital journalism. I am looking forward to being at Millersville, but I will not discount all that I have learned at HACC. I conquered Autism and I consider my time at HACC to be a success.
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