Graduating student gives insight to college experience after military

by SERGIO MADRID//Editorial Assistant


College is a whole other beast than the military, but one I needed to switch my brain back to normal as I was in a state of constant worry in the military.

Seriously, it seemed anytime I was relaxed in the Navy, I would get in trouble.

I started my time here at South Plains College in the Commercial Music Building where I studied music. The more I learned about music, the deeper I wanted to explore it.

Some of the instructors, such as Sonny Borba and Ed Marsh, had some very interesting classes, which I attributed mostly to the way they deliver the information.

Though, after a certain amount of time, music theory and the way some of the instructors taught was causing me to become disenfranchised with music.

There are so many rules and regulations some have in regard to music and how it’s meant to be played. Also, most of the students there are worried about learning music rather than making music, which was my end goal.

I didn’t want to move around the “structure” of music, but rather let it move around me, the way I write and the way I play. I came to this conclusion a few weeks into my second semester, and decided to drop a few classes and look for another major to pursue.

Knowing that becoming a song writer was my goal, I looked toward literature and contemplated becoming an English major, as I wanted to do more than just read and write.

During this time of changing majors, I formed a band with a few old friends from high school who were jamming a lot while I was in the Navy.

We were hanging out one night and I told them how I picked up the guitar in the Navy and would write songs from time to time. I played a song for them, and we haven’t looked back since.

In my search for a new major, someone told me about the journalism program they offer at SPC and how good it was. I looked into it and decided to give it a shot.

After a rough first semester, I decided I could really get into journalism if I applied myself a bit more. Though most of the people who are pursuing journalism are not what I consider my kind of people.

I found some comfort in my final two semesters at SPC in the Newsroom, talked with some pretty cool people, and acquired some new skills to help me through the rest of my college career and possibly in my professional career as well.

The paper allowed for me to write about concerts, festivals, bands, dogs (mainly my dog) and other things I took an interest in. But it also allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and explore other aspects of media.

Other than music and journalism, I came across a few other classes I enjoyed, such as Geology. I became a member of the “Rock Whisperers,” the geology club led by professor Aaron Greene. There is also sociology, studying people, society, and doing interactive projects, taught by Brant Farrar.

Some classes took a lot out of me and were focal points of some of my semesters. Chemistry and college algebra were two among those classes. I’m good with math, but sometimes juggling everything I do outside of SPC and my class loads were a bit much. But it showed me that I am the type of person who can handle a multitude of tasks, though sometimes with help.

Being older, more mature and having many grown-up priorities, it is hard to connect with younger students whose biggest worry is whether their parents are going to buy them something. You want to hang out or meet up at a party or bar, but something always seems to come up.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy myself or vacation, but there is a culture change I want to install within my family. Most people in my family are uneducated and lack motivation to change their hardships. They don’t want to do more than they need to get through the work week.

I grew up differently, not wanting to be like them. I didn’t want to follow in their path of early-unwanted pregnancies and low-income jobs.

Leaving Lubbock to join the military was the first step. Finishing college was my second, and now I look toward continuing education, making a name for myself to honor my late grandfather, and setting a positive example for my younger cousins, my niece and nephew, and someday kids of my own.

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