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Alison Guthrie

Monday, July 15, 2024

Graduate Alison Guthrie shares inspirational message

2021 UA-PTC graduate Alison Guthrie shared the following message with college faculty and staff. Because it speaks to an inspiring triumph over that little voice that sometimes tells us "you can't do it," we thought it deserved a bigger audience. It's also a good reminder that help and support is often available for the asking. Thank you and congratulations Alison!

Alison GuthrieI dropped out of high school in 2007 with a 0.0 GPA and a belief that I lacked the ability to be a good student. I got my GED in 2013 after years of trying to find the confidence to do so. After that, I applied to UA-PTC numerous times in the years that followed. When I applied the last time for the Spring 2020 semester, every fiber of my being told me I couldn't do it. In the months leading up to school, I journaled about how every action I had to take towards starting school left me depressed and emotionally exhausted. It was because the voice in my head kept telling me "you can't" but I kept taking the action anyway.

My first semester at UA-PTC was filled with tears, anxiety, and emotional breakdowns at every turn. Many of you were there for that and I will never forget it. I was able to slowly build upon each small success (showing up to class, completing assignments, etc) until I started to believe in myself. Each and every one of you is part of the reason that I was able to push through, despite my subconscious screaming that I couldn't.

I finished my last semester in December with a 4.0 career GPA. I made the chancellor's list every semester, started the Psychology Club, won student of the year in 3 subjects, was published in the Milestones journal, actively participated in Phi Theta Kappa, Student Government Association, Rainbow Alliance Club, and as the student voting representative for the Planning and Budgeting Committee. I was also accepted to every 4-year college that I applied for, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Central Florida, University of Utah, and more.

I never thought any of these things were possible. For so long, I believed there was a "success" gene that everyone had that skipped me. But through your encouragement and support, I was able to see that I was capable of more than I had ever dreamed. Even with the diagnosis of a devastating chronic illness, you all supported me and paved the way for what I have achieved. I attended class and studied from pre-operating rooms, doctor's offices, on the road to travel for medical tests and procedures, and from my bed on days I couldn't move. It was hard, but because I began to believe in myself, it was possible. Whether you were an instructor, supported or helped with the Psychology club or other organizations, or were someone I was able to lean on, YOU were an integral part of my journey, and I couldn't have done it without you.

On Jan. 10, 2022, I began my first semester at Arizona State University online, in pursuit of my BS in Psychology with the goal of obtaining a master's and Ph.D. in the field of psychology.

My time at UA-PTC is something I will forever cherish and already miss tremendously. I doubt you receive many emails like this one, but you should know that the work that you do MATTERS and impacts students in ways you may not realize. Thank you for doing what you do and for being a part of my journey.