Student Spotlight 2023: Shtina Love, U.S. Army
Tell us about yourself.
I am from Norfolk, VA, and I retired from the United States Army, where I worked in Human Resources and as an intel analyst. I decided to join the Army to fund my college education but stayed to protect and provide for my family. A fun fact about me is that I relax by watching anime on Crunchyroll.
Why did you decide to participate in WSP this summer, and was there a shift in your confidence level from the first day of the course to the last day?
Throughout my career, I have taken a few college courses at each of my duty stations, but not enough to earn a degree. I tried online courses but felt disconnected from the instructors and my classmates. I thrive when I’m physically able to interact with others. Recently, I was blessed to be selected as a Posse scholar and will attend Texas A&M in the fall.
This honor was bittersweet as I had concerns about returning to school. Several applicants raved about their experiences with WSP and how it provided a unique opportunity to embody the life of a college student at no cost. They described how they improved their study habits and believed it would help them be successful. I did some research and immediately submitted my application for the humanities course at Georgetown University.
On the first day of the course, I wasn’t too confident. I hoped I didn’t have to write any papers, but my excitement didn’t let that discourage me. Surprisingly, on the last day of the course, I had an elevated sense of confidence because of the writing skills I obtained. Learning the academic writing process was intense but encouraged me to slow down. I tend to outthink my pen and miss key elements to keep a reader’s attention. The professors and writing tutors knew their craft and genuinely wanted me to grow. They were instrumental in boosting my confidence, and my classmates made this session memorable. Overall, this was an invaluable combination.
What were some key insights you gained during your course, and what is your biggest takeaway?
Some key insights I gained from WSP were to “run your own race,” I am not alone, and tips on the academic writing process. However, my biggest takeaways were time management and the importance of scheduled breaks. Although it felt like we were working deployment hours, it reminded me how much time I waste or am unproductive. There were at least four hours each day of the course they found for studying 🤯 that I overlook on any given day.
How would you describe your overall experience?
Kismet. I felt a void in my spirit that wasn’t satisfied with the path I was on and was purposely disconnecting from things that no longer gave me joy. After retirement, I was fortunate to start another profession, but I enjoyed my volunteer work more. I needed to find a way to combine my passion with my livelihood, and a formal education was the way forward. This opportunity was another fortunate step in that direction, and I’m so grateful.