Students of MI: Valerie

“As someone interested in studying photography, a lot of my college options were private art schools, but I chose to attend Grand Valley State because of the social experiences that come with attending a public university.

I wasn’t always sure if I wanted to go to college, and there were even times while I was here that I questioned my decision. When I was in high school, all my teachers pushed toward going to college. It was difficult for me, because I saw a lot of people in the job that I wanted to do, photography, get there in a different way — and for a long time, I tried to find a different way.

However, I ended up coming to Grand Valley and I’m so happy I did. I learned so many skills because of my college education. I might have been a successful photographer without coming here, but I would not have become the well-rounded person I am today. I’m more educated in other aspects of my life that make me better in my career and as a person.

I had a lot of great mentors here at Grand Valley who advised me to get my degree, not only because of the things that I would do in the classroom, but also the people I would meet. One of the things I got involved with on campus is Humans of Grand Valley, a photojournalism club based off Humans in New York social media account. I’ve gotten more involved each year, and I am now the president of the organization. It’s been really helpful to have extra-curriculars to go along with the academic aspects of school. Even though I will be paying back those loans, it was an investment in my career that I’ll never regret.”

(Valerie, Photography, Grand Valley State University)



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