As she addresses her fellow Stanislaus State graduates during Friday’s 8 a.m. commencement ceremony for the College of Science, Nina Lydon has much to reflect upon.
The first-generation college graduate from Manteca can reminisce about remote learning, or the joy of returning to campus.
“I will never forget being in class for the first time after being only online,” Lydon said. “Spending time studying in the library or the Student Center surrounded by other scholars was the best feeling ever.”
Being on campus again enabled the recipient of a Bachelor of Arts in psychology to connect face-to-face with faculty, including Psychology Professor Deborah Forester, who offered invaluable support in and out of the classroom, and served as a mentor.
“She treats you like a real person,” Lydon said. “She gives you a lot of freedom to pursue what you are interested in researching and then supports you each step of the way. She truly cares for her students. You will often find her eating in the library with a table full of students.”
The library is often where Lydon went, working in a private study room.
“My biggest study help is playing music while studying, which helps me block out external noise and focus,” she said.
A member of the University Honors Program, Lydon also turned to fellow honors students to help her through her most challenging courses, specifically math or statistics classes.
Lydon found psychology as a major after taking an introductory course when she arrived on campus.
If she didn’t know when she got to Stan State what she might want to study, Lydon knew what she was going to do as a returning student, who had graduated from Sierra High School in 2009.
“One thing I really wanted to accomplish in my time at Stan State was to get involved,” Lydon said. “I have made the best friends by being a part of the different organizations that are offered here.
“The only advice I have for future students is that you will get so much more out of your educational journey if you get involved, strive to make connections and wear your Warrior spirit with pride.”
Lydon carries that pride with her into the next phase of her education.
She will begin a master’s program in August at Alliant University with a goal of becoming a licensed clinical counselor.