GCC student overcomes struggles to succeed in college

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Some people say college wasn’t for them or a waste of time. While others say it was an important time in their life, and the reason they have become successful today. For Glendale Community College student Brianna Jacobsen, it’s a promising journey in the works.

Jacobsen is originally from Washington and has been living in Arizona for about four years. She currently takes online courses at Glendale Community College and has been attending for about a year and a half. She is working towards a degree in photojournalism.

Jacobson said she has had to fight to overcome several challenges this semester.

“I have had a few great challenges this semester. My whole life, it has been difficult for me to open up to people, talk to others without the difficulty of dealing with anxiety. Plus, as weird as it may sound, I want to be a motivational speaker, and that serves quite a challenge when you struggle with socializing and getting out there and I want to be a photojournalist on top of it, which requires you to talk to people, conduct interviews and so on,” Jacobsen said.

She decided, what better way to conquer her fears head-on than to take a public speaking class. Jacobsen said she was determined to “find her voice” and help other students realize how to be strong and accomplish their dreams.

“What motivates me to stay focused in college is reminding myself of the goals I want to achieve, that to become the person I need to be I must constantly go out of my comfort zone and delve in with all I’ve got,” she said.

Jacobsen said she likes to listen to motivational speech playlists on Spotify every morning to also give that extra reminder and push to keep focused and work hard on the things she wants to achieve. Knowing that she must keep her grades up in order to stay on her Veteran’s benefits through college also motivates her, she said.

While community college has its pros and cons, Jacobsen has accomplished keeping a positive mindset.

“I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder early on this year, so my mind is very colorfully bright in one way, and all the darker colors in another way,” she said. “There is a bad stigma about bipolar disorder that people get most of the time. But it’s not what’s wrong with me, it’s what is strong with me.”

Jacobsen said it has taught her to deal with things in a different way. She keeps a positive outlook on life and people, but sometimes also has to balance a negative side.

After obtaining her degree, Jacobsen knows what she’d like to work as.

“I want to work for National Geographic, traveling the world and doing photojournalism for them,” she said.