Written By Brendan Kapfer
I didn’t think about going to Montgomery College until December of 2020. I was at the lowest point I had ever been in my entire life up until that point during that month. I had never felt so lonely. I got into Towson the prior week, but I made up my mind to go to Montgomery College because I felt, I was not ready for a four-year school. It was moments before I went to Montgomery College that I hit what felt like rock bottom. I didn’t really believe in myself at the time. It was a possibility I wasn’t even going to continue my education because of my poor performance in school.
In January of 2021, I applied for a scholarship at Montgomery College, and I found out in April, I had received it. I was in one of my favorite teacher’s ever class, Mr. Loftus when I found out and was the only one in the class. I jumped up and down, I was so happy because I finally saw myself as a smart student. A capable student. I decided on going. I told everyone I was going to Montgomery College with the utmost confidence in the fact that I was going to graduate two years later.
In the summer of 2021, a lot happened fast. I had to start going back to my roots to get right mentally but I was certainly ready to get to work in the fall. I started at Montgomery College, but all my classes were online, so I didn’t have that face-to-face connection that many kids who have ADHD like me so desperately need. I struggled to say the least, having a bad gpa to start my college journey and somehow found myself in need of help academically and mentally. I had the opportunity thanks to Mr. Wade, my old teacher at White Oak, to go back to Blake and help be a manager at my old high school again to be around people that I love and love me.
It helped so much mentally but it most certainly did not do wonders academically. I felt a lot better until the season was over and I was back to my old habit of missing class because I was up late and watching shows all day to feel alright. In March I was told that if I didn’t get my act together, I would not be able to attend Montgomery College in the fall and if I did not pull my grades up which would be a 1.0 gpa at the time I would not retain my scholarship which is the biggest reason I am still in school. I got my act together despite the procrastination and pulled off a miracle to get my gpa to a 3.0 on the semester. I retained my scholarship and was eager to finally be on campus and make some friends.
In the fall, because I hadn’t made new friends in a long time it was a challenge for me, but I put myself out there and I can say I now have the best friends in the entire world. I started off slow because I struggled with time management, but I did a lot of new things such as write for the newspaper in Rockville and Germantown and help with a play in Rockville. I had a ton of fun and really felt like I was finally living my best life at Montgomery College because I was on campus surrounded by good people. I finished with a 3.46 gpa on the semester and pulled my cumulative gpa up enough to be able to retain my scholarship for my final semester at Montgomery College.
In the winter mini-mester I got myself a job working at basketball games while getting some much-needed rest from all the hard work I had put in. I was stressed out though about whether I would be able to graduate and I had to change my schedule three times before I was finally good. This is why I recommend to all my friends still at Montgomery College to make sure you meet with your counselors and figure out what your path is to graduation and what steps you can take after MC. It is thanks to them, really, I am in the place I am academically.
This semester started off slow, with me not being alright mentally. I was dealing with a lot and thanks to some good people I met here, I eventually felt better. There were a lot of learning experiences this semester, places where I messed up and had to lose to the chin. That phrase means you must grow after a loss and not let it consume you. I have fallen many times this semester but thanks to the good folks at Montgomery College I have found a way to get back up on my feet and keep on going.
Academically I was overwhelmed to start the semester. I am taking sixteen credits to make sure I graduate, so it was and still is a lot on my plate. I struggled in some classes, but I took the necessary steps unlike last spring to make sure I got the help I needed mentally and got the help I needed academically. It was friends of mine that told me I needed to get help at the beginning of this month because of how far I had fallen and thanks to them I did get the help I needed. The biggest step was going to the Disability Support Services to address my ADHD which has plagued me my entire life but is just something that I had to grow with and take with me not become me. When I finally started being open about it and reaching out for help is when I finally started to find peace mentally and academically.
Right now, I am finishing up at MC and getting my associate degree next month. I am attending Towson starting in the fall and planning on majoring in journalism in Mass Communication. I am proud of where I am, and I am proud of the fact that I can say I am a raptor. I am proud of this because I met a lot of different people from different walks of life, and they have given me many new perspectives on life. I feel lucky to have been able to experience all the ups and downs over the past two years because they all made me stronger.
I hope me telling my story can tell somebody else who might not believe they are where they need to be or can get there, that they most certainly can. If you are at Montgomery College, you are in the right place. The last piece of advice I will leave you with is to use the people around you and the services at your behest to your benefit because if you do that you will make it through. Believe you can do it and I promise you will.