One Semester Down, A Peek at 2 Freshmen’s Suffolk Journeys

These students overcame different obstacles to pursue their goals


Anjali Sinha

Ashley Melanin, 20, of Mastic, an early childhood education major, flaunts a cheer pose at the Brookhaven Gymnasium on Feb. 9, 2023. She found love for cheerleading once she started attending in-person classes at Suffolk. (Compass News/Anjali Sinha)

Anjali Sinha, Staff Writer

For freshmen during any era, the transition into college life can be a difficult one. For Covid-era students, it’s particularly challenging.

We checked on two students to see how they were doing. One has found peace in cheerleading and another, who aims to be a registered nurse, has gone through some tough times holding tight to her dreams.

Ashley Melanin, 20, Mastic, early childhood education

‘‘Traveling to school was definitely something I struggled with. The battle of online classes also gave roots to anxiety in me and I had a hard time overcoming that,’’ Melanin said. 

She said the transition to in-person classes has been “blissful.” 

‘‘When I finally started taking in-person classes, I not only was able to come out of the pressure and anxiety I was experiencing but I also found my love for cheerleading.’’ 

Monee Byrams
Monee Byrams, 20, of Shirley, a nursing major, aims to be a registered nurse and suggests students stay strong regardless of the highs and lows. (Compas News/Anjali Sinha)

Monee Byrams, 20, Shirley, nursing

‘‘I struggled with managing time for college as I have to manage both – work as well as school,’’ Bryams said. ‘‘With that, I’d also like to ensure those students who are struggling to manage time that, commitment and dedication go a long way, and if you use your time wisely you will be able to manage it properly.’’  

She plans to become a registered nurse and advises everyone to pursue their dreams while going through the hurdles they will face with a smile. 

Melanin added: ‘‘Small steps each day raise big results.’’