In this interview series, we asked Antioch University Santa Barbara students on the eve of their graduation about their motivations and challenges on the way to the finish line. Damon Hickman, hailing from Sacramento originally, graduates with his BA in Liberal Studies, concentration in Communication & Media. He has been selected as a student speaker at AUSB’s 2017 Commencement ceremony.
What brought you to Antioch?
DH: My best friend attended Antioch, and I was so inspired by the growth she experienced that I wanted the same for myself. I was also very interested in Antioch’s mission and learning-style. I have been interested in journalism and media for years, so the Communication & Media concentration was a perfect fit. I was attracted to Antioch’s alternative approach to education–not many universities forego tests and grades!
What’s next for you?
DH: I am extremely excited about graduation because I’m looking forward to sharing my speech, and I’m looking forward to celebrating the end of such an important and rewarding chapter in my life. There are many steps post-graduation that I have planned, but first and foremost I want to take a vacation!
Did you face challenges in getting here? How did you grow?
DH: To say I experienced personal development at Antioch would be an understatement. At the risk of sounding cliche, I must be honest and say I truly found myself at Antioch. Not only did I find myself, but now I feel like I’m the person I was born to be. This development would not have been possible without facing many challenges along the way. The largest challenge for me was balancing school, work, and personal time.
What inspired you to complete your degree?
DH: The realization of education’s power and impact inspired me to complete my degree.
What’s your advice for incoming students?
DH: My advice to incoming students is: brush up on your writing skills, become comfortable with public speaking, and get ready to learn more about yourself, and the world.