Perspective Online

Alumna Looks Back

by Jennifer Bartlett

Planning for life after college is stressful. Where will I live? What will I do? Where will I work? Will there even be a job for me? In the clouds of economic uncertainty, finding answers to these post-graduation questions is work in and of itself. Except, of course, there is no pay and there are zero benefits.

Jennifer BartlettAnswerless questions like this plagued my mind at university. So frequent were my panic-driven mental odysseys, even the excitement for my approaching graduation was often shrouded with thoughts of self-doubt and anxiety. Should nothing work out, I decided that I would make a lovely West Georgia gypsy. Yet, despite the ambiguity of the future, I soon came to realize that I was more than prepared for whatever came my way.

As a recent graduate, I could not be more proud to have my Bachelor of Arts degree beautifully embossed with “University of West Georgia.” My experiences at UWG, specifically those afforded by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, have been cornerstone to my new career as a foreign language teacher.

The University of West Georgia was actually not my first-choice in higher education, but it came to be my top-choice as I saw immediate benefits to being an undergraduate in a department replete with passionate professors and advisors. Transferring from an out-of-state private university to UWG was a decision that I made tearfully as I was fearful to start again in a completely new environment – I knew no one at the university; I had never even had an official campus visit. I was skeptical, to the say the least.

Yet within the first weeks of fall semester 2011, I felt fully integrated into the College of Arts and Humanities’ Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (DFLL). My seamless transfer to UWG was so rewarding that just months later, with the support of the DFLL, I began planning my own summer study-abroad experience - an opportunity that I did not have at my former university.

Looking back, every moment that I had within the DFLL, molded me into the stronger, more knowledgeable individual that I am today. Now, after having secured a full-time job as a French teacher to hundreds of high school students, I know that I am more than capable of succeeding. Every day I wake up and go to work feeling highly-qualified to teach, encourage and be a positive enabler to others, much like my professors in the DFLL were to me. I have a love for the foreign language that I teach but, perhaps more importantly, I feel that I am achieving my dreams as everyday passes.

The Department of Foreign Language and Literatures at the University of West Georgia pushed me, encouraged me and through its selfless dedication, really got to know me. When I walked into my teaching interview this past year, I felt like I had an army on my side. And despite my contemplations of vagrant living, I am a proud, successful UWG graduate.

Jennifer Bartlett works at New Manchester High School as a world languages teacher and varsity football cheerleading coach.

Share this story!

FacebooktwitterLinkedInYouTubePinterestInstagram Give WestUniversity of West Georgia