Hanging Tough in the Rough

Many Northeastern students face big roadblocks as they journey down the road that leads to academic success. Armed with hope and tenacity, many persist on this journey toward graduation, which sometimes takes many years. Regardless of how long it takes, when the time comes to walk across the stage at graduation, these students are bursting with pride for accomplishing a goal that once seemed so distant.

 One recent graduate reflected on his journey through Northeastern. Joey Metler (B.A. '11 Psychology) rolled with the punches as he worked his way toward earning his bachelor's degree. In addition to working a full-time job, Metler dealt with the illnesses and deaths of two close family members, battled unemployment, suffered depression, and was stabbed by a lover. Despite these obstacles, Metler took everything in stride. He said, "I had a revolution in my own mind set. I take it with a cool head, stop and smell my coffee, and go on with my life."

 Metler credits his professors in the psychology and sociology programs for keeping him in school. "The faculty at Northeastern are amazing. I would not have finished without numerous faculty members and their support, and many were willing to listen and help guide and motivate me during difficult times in my life," he said.

In addition to supporting him as he worked toward his bachelor's degree, the faculty were instrumental in preparing Metler for the rigors of a research-heavy graduate program. He said, "Northeastern prepared me for graduate school by giving me a strong background. I'm a critical thinker and a good researcher. We lived in the library."

 Currently, Metler is a graduate student in the social work program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also works 55 hours a week at Fireside Grill as a general manager and nine hours a week interning at the Howard Brown Clinic, where he does community outreach and helps influence gay youth to be HIV tested. He said that his ultimate goal is to work within the LGBTQA community as a sexual health counselor.

 Metler said that his experience at Northeastern was life-changing and prepared him well for the next chapter of his life. "The faculty in my department believe it's their job to prepare students for grad school, and I'm very grateful for their support. We also had incredible diversity in the classroom. There were a lot of single parents and adult students in classes, and we were there for each other. We?re all trying to make it work."

April 2012