A transfer student’s academic journey: from hardship to relief

AnnaMany students dream of receiving their bachelors in four years from one college. The path to a degree should be easy, straightforward and rewarding, but that’s not always the case. Obtaining a degree often involves roadblocks and frustration, even if the end goal is worth the struggle.

For one student, the road to academic success has been lined with obstacles. Anna Masrud, a Metropolitan State University junior, started her journey toward a degree while she was still in high school. “I was off to a good start with PSEO,” she said. “I took classes during my senior year of high school, paced myself, worked hard, and graduated with 31 college credits.” After her high school graduation, though, she found herself facing several challenges. Her first semester as a college sophomore, she took online classes but felt something was missing. She wanted the real college experience—to make friends, join student organizations and build connections with faculty and classmates.

She enrolled for a second semester at a private college. While it was a great experience, Masrud struggled to pay the money necessary to continue a private education. “It turned out,” she said, “that my funds fell through. My parents couldn’t afford to help me, and I wasn’t offered enough loans or scholarship opportunities to make it through more than one semester. I had a job, but it paid only enough to buy my groceries and pay my car bills. The whole experience soured for me. I found myself struggling to make ends meet while maintaining good grades. It was frustrating.”

While she wanted to continue her education and receive a bachelor in English, Masrud dropped out of college upon the completion of her sophomore year, broke and unsure where to turn. She spent the next two years finding an apartment, obtaining a good job and building a life for herself. Eventually, she reached a point where she could live without a degree, “but it didn’t feel right,” she said. “I wanted a degree. I wanted to finish college. I just didn’t know how to make it possible.”

When asked how she discovered Metropolitan State, she shared that she’d been browsing online for public colleges located around Minneapolis and Saint Paul. She’d hit a point in her life where she decided she was going to finish her education, no matter how long it took her. When she came across Metropolitan State, she couldn’t believe her eyes. “They had the major I wanted, the flexibility of scheduling to work around my current job and they were affordable,” she said. “I thought it was too good to be true—but it was real! So I applied! And now I look forward to graduating, thanks to the help of the wonderful faculty who support and encourage me!”

Professor Brian Nerney, Communication, Writing and the Arts Department, and a faculty member who has supported Masrud in her academic journey, said, “In the best way possible, Anna Masrud is typical of Metro State’s students. She is highly motivated, enjoys learning, works hard and turns in high quality projects. I’m confident that she will earn a degree and be successful in her career.”

Masrud is working hard toward a bachelor’s degree in technical communication and professional writing. Her expected graduation date is May 2016. Afterward, she hopes to pursue a career in writing, advertising and design. She currently works part time in the University Advancement and Communications Division.