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This 2020 grad’s advice: ‘Take your time; it’s not a race’

Godwin Heights – Class of 2020 graduate Krysten Meyer considered it foreshadowing when last spring, her Kent Career Tech Center health instructors handed out the study material for her certified nurses association certification and said something like “Just in case we don’t come back in session at school.”

Mused Krysten: “It’s kind of funny, and sad, when I think back to that day.”

Krysten Meyer with her boyfriend, Jayden Stahle (courtesy)

The global coronavirus pandemic put a damper on Krysten achieving her CNA certification, but it did not stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse. She enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College and this summer is hoping to get that CNA certification.

The past year has been a rollercoaster ride as Krysten transitioned from high school to college, but she said she has learned a lot through those ups and downs and sees a brighter future.

How is this first year post-high school going for you? “Not very good. First, going from high school to college was not easy, and then having to be virtual was not something for me. I miss being in person. There is something about sitting in front of a teacher that you miss a lot of aspects when online. 

“Also, because of the online classes, the college experience was not there… Because I had some hybrid classes I did go on campus, but I think I only went four times in one semester, which makes it hard to meet other classmates and socialize with them.”

Your biggest concern going into this first-year post-high school and did that materialize?

“I guess my biggest concern was (online learning) …Toward the end of my senior year I had a little bit of it, but not like it was in college. So all my fears came true about school.  

2020 Godwin Heights graduate Krysten Meyer said she not let the pandemic derail her from her goal of becoming a nurse (courtesy)

How did or are you coping? “You have to learn how to balance your actual life with your virtual life. College is about learning to manage your time, which is what I am learning to do.”

Krysten found herself asking “‘Do I really want to watch a two-hour lecture video, or do I want to watch two hours of my favorite show?’ You have to learn to stay focused and make the time.”

Your advice for 2021 grads: “I guess I would say take your time; it’s not a race. There are going to be setbacks with school and not everything is going to fall into place, but if you trust in yourself and believe you can do it, you will make it. If you get stuck online, you get stuck online. It’s just going to happen.”

Krysten Meyer enjoys a fun moment with her family (courtesy)
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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma covers Kent ISD and Godwin Heights. She was born in the Detroit area but grew up in Brighton where she attended Hartland Public Schools. The salutatorian for the Class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism and minored in photography and German. She expanded her color palette to include orange and black as both her daughters graduated from Byron Center Public Schools; maroon and white for Aquinas College where her daughter studies nursing and also brought back blue and maize for Grand Rapids Community College where her youngest daughter currently is studying music. Read Joanne's full bio

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