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Finding Certainty in Uncertain Times

Patricia Lute
First Place
2021 Future Alumni Essay Contest

2020 came to all of us like any new year, fresh and full of promise. However, just a mere three months into the blossoming year a swiftly circulating pandemic swept through every corner of the globe, collectively pausing our lives, and leaving distant memories of life without constraint. Days began melting into nights effortlessly, time became inconsequential and amid this pause; death would come in rapid succession with profound numbers. Within these moments of panic and chaos, the choice to continue my education and the desire to help create a positive impact in the lives of those whose health was declining was formed.

As a stay-at-home mom of two daughters, time isn’t easily afforded. When brick and mortar schools shuttered their doors; the world of online education opened theirs. I knew who I wanted to become; I’ve honestly known it since I was a small child. I was destined to become a nurse. It was with this dream; albeit a few decades past of achieving this goal initially; that I resolved to finally make into a reality. After researching countless options and weighing campus learning versus online based learning and the ease of acceptance, I decided on Trident Technical College to help me achieve a strong foundation on which I would build my future career. With the numerous online courses to choose from along with self-guided studies, TTC struck a chord within me and allowed the opportunity for me to continue caring for my growing family and receive my education on my own terms.

Even though 2021 arrived with the same agenda in which 2020 left us with, I looked back on the lessons that this ongoing global setback has granted. I saw my husband of nearly twenty years struggling to hold our family afloat as his job was terminated due to the onset of the pandemic. I knew that with me joining the workforce again after so many years of being able to raise our daughters from home, I could alleviate the burdens that he was experiencing. I knew that not only did I want to help our community, but I also wanted to help my family financially while having the opportunity of doing what I love. In placing my personal ambitions more into perspective, one of the biggest supporters in my life; my father, passed away in October of this year. While he was a patient in the Intensive Care Unit at a hospital near my hometown in Florida, I watched as the nurses not only cared for him but cared for my family as well in our time of so much uncertainty. I knew that I wanted to be the nurse that comforted families who were going through trials, and I knew that I also wanted to be the nurse who would celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments with my patients. So, in the stillness of his hospital room and at his bedside while holding his hand, I asked my father the day before he passed if he was proud of me for continuing my education and becoming everything that I dreamt of as a small child. Through the haze of medication, his tracheal intubation, and the beeping machinery, he strongly nodded yes. I cannot begin to explain how much that simple gesture meant, and it is my driving force behind my education here at TTC.

The pandemic has still retained relevance in our daily lives and caused controversies in the ideals of vaccinations, mask wearing and school closures; but the dedication of the faculty and students at Trident Technical College remains constant and unfaltering. Each student enrolled here at TTC has a dream, a goal, a brilliant spark of ingenuity that will catapult them into the stratosphere and allow every realization of theirs come to fruition. TTC has the educational steppingstones to guide them there and for me personally, it has been an enriching experience thus far. Even if you’re just starting out on your journey in life after high school, or you’re middle aged and beyond and want to realize your dream or learn a new trade or hobby, TTC stands ready to accept you as you are. United collectively in our achievements and goals, we are the difference this world longs for in these times of uncertainty.


  1. "..., TTC stands to accept you as you are." I'm sorry for your loss, but so happy for your gains. Keep pushing!!!


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