Darin Aldridge

My success story at Mitchell Community College (MCC) began after a decade-long hiatus from learning. I returned to the college as a nontraditional student with reservations about continuing my education amongst students who were younger and seemingly more intelligent, but with the support of college faculty, my work-study supervisor, and other students, I quickly realized my potential and unique place in the student body. My real-world experience became relevant in most every facet of my education, and my age was an asset while discussing issues which affected my demographic differently than that of traditional students.

My success at Mitchell Community College hinged on three key factors: the constant encouragement from educators, a motivating and manageable amount of academic competiveness, and the close-knit, inspirational student body on campus. Upon returning to college, I inadvertently searched for a reason to shrink from my collegiate challenges, but the glorious faculty, staff, and students of Mitchell Community College refused to allow me to fail. My educators encouraged me daily with kind words while my student counterparts used subtle competiveness to tease out my inner academic. Finally, the student body that I so feared at the beginning of my educational journey became my greatest strength. Through clubs, organizations, service learning, and volunteerism, I came to rely on the student body for all my pep-talks and daily words of wisdom. In short, my success is owed to Mitchell Community College for being the perfect amalgamation of academia, humanitarianism, and competitiveness.