The conversion of classes to online formats in the wake of COVID-19 measures may have disrupted normal routines and curtailed study groups for some but not for Joey and Annastasia Weitzel, psychology majors at Stan State’s Stockton campus.
The mother-daughter pair, except for ending their trips from their Tracy home to Stockton, continue to buzz along as they always have.
The two transferred to Stan State from San Joaquin Delta College together in fall 2019, and have taken the same classes during their first two semesters as Warriors. Naturally, they’re their own study group.
When they graduate, hopefully in the spring of 2021, their paths will diverge. Joey wants to pursue a master’s degree in social work. Annastasia hopes to earn a doctorate with an eye toward becoming a marriage and family counselor.
It’s a dream that she’s held from the time she graduated from Delta Charter High School, an online program, in 2015.
“All through school I wanted to be a photojournalist for National Geographic,” the 23-year-old Annastasia said. “For my senior project I started looking into what jobs were available, I realized that wasn’t going to be feasible and started looking into other options. I took a psychology class my junior year of high school and I really enjoyed it and thought it was really interesting. I was really good at it. I always wanted to help people, so it felt like a good fit.”
Joey had always wanted to go to college, but she had her first child at 19 and spent 11 years homeschooling her children. After many moves with a husband in the military and raising four children, she found herself settled, and with time to commit to college, joined Annastasia at Delta College in fall 2015. She thought she wanted to become a teacher.
Mother and daughter, always close, were suddenly freshmen together.
“I felt welcome,” Joey said. “I sort of thought I’d feel out of place, that everyone would be so young, but at Delta there are a lot of non-traditional students.”
And Annastasia was fine sharing her college experience with her mom.
“It didn’t make that much of a difference to me,” Annastasia said. “We didn’t take too many classes together.”
But, after taking some classes, Joey “stopped feeling the draw toward education and I thought I could be more helpful in social work.”
She switched her major to psychology, and when the two completed their necessary units to transfer, easily moved onto Stan State’s Stockton Campus.
“The biggest reason we decided to go to Stanislaus from Delta is my youngest is still in high school, and we wanted to stay local,” Joey said. “And, I had a co-worker who graduated from Stan State, and she had a really good experience. She took most of her classes in Stockton and had a few in Turlock, which is a little bit more of a drive. The Stockton Campus works for us: the small campus and small classes.”
“All the classes we’ve been taking have been super interesting,” Annastasia said. “They’re helping me toward my goal of pursuing a doctorate. The classes often build on each other and material is reinforced. Each time it gets more in depth.”
The two have especially bonded with faculty member Garrick Garcia, whom they call an “exceptional educator and advisor.”
They’ve taken all their psychology classes in Stockton and supplemented them with some online courses in other disciplines, which Joey finds very helpful. Their college experience, admittedly, is not what one would think of as typical.
Pursing their college degrees in Stockton has been a good fit.
“Delta really helped me get situated and have a better understanding of what I wanted to take. Everybody there was super helpful,” Annastasia said. “It was such a smooth transition to Stan State from Delta. I’d recommend it for everyone.”
“My opinion is very similar,” Joey said. “I had a great experience at Delta and felt it’s a pretty smooth transition. A lot of what I learned in psychology classes at Delta laid a really good foundation for my classes at Stan State. I’m very happy at Stanislaus and would definitely recommend it.”