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Student Spotlight: Kimmy Hughes

Kimmy Hughes

Kimmy Hughes
Major: English

Kimmy Hughes was hesitant about coming to College of DuPage.

"I didn't know much about it, but I knew all my friends were going to 'real' colleges," she said. "The main voice in my head that convinced me into going to COD was my dad's, telling me that it's better to save money so that I won't have to take out loans. After visiting COD for a field trip, I became increasingly excited to attend COD, and it became less about the money. I knew I would get a very good education and still be able to go away to college later, so I wasn't missing out."

Hughes is majoring in English because writing is her favorite form of communication.

"I've been shy all my life. However, when I write, it's easy to say exactly what I want to say without worrying about words coming out of my mouth correctly," she said. "I've realized that I could affect people with what I put down on paper. I could cheer people up, comfort them or even just show them that I understood that place they're in that no one else understands. Seeing the effect I could have on the lives of others really encouraged me to continue writing."

Hughes is a Presidential Scholar, which includes a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. It's an honor that is giving her an extra push to work her hardest in both her studies and helping others in need.

"If you are given a fantastic opportunity such as this, you are responsible for taking advantage of each and every bit of it," she said.

After earning her Associate in Arts degree, Hughes plans to transfer and complete both bachelor's and master's degrees. She then would like to create the storyline for video games to make them more meaningful and to write books for children, preteens and teens in order to help them cope with very difficult and rare occurrences, such as the loss of a parent or divorce.

She also believes in the small, random acts of kindness that can have a big impact on a person's life, such as the one she received while standing in line at Panda Express.

"There I was, standing alone in line, when an older couple walked up behind me. I wasn't in a rush, so I insisted they go ahead. They thanked me graciously and began to order," she said. "The man's wife was ahead, picking out which drink she wanted. Taking advantage of this, the man turned to me and told me that the lady ahead of us was his wife, and that they had been married for 40 or so years. 'I fall in love with her for the first time every morning,' he mentioned. I congratulated him, genuinely happy to be reminded how long love can last. He continued to tell me about their marriage and how they met, then thanked me for listening when he got to the cash register. He then added my order onto his, not giving me a chance to object to him paying for it. I was dumbfounded. I thanked him as he tipped his hat and walked off with his wife, not realizing just how much he had changed my life.

"I strive to be one of those people, the ones who can show kindness to strangers. My reasoning behind that is simply that it's truly the little things in life that can have the greatest impact."

Hughes is happy to have selected College of DuPage and sees it as an invaluable asset.

"COD is helping me to achieve my academic goals because of the wide selection of classes and wonderful teachers," she said. "Every teacher I've had has not only taught me what's in the book, but they've taught me about myself. My main personal goal was to be able to meet new people and be comfortable talking to anyone. The people in Phi Theta Kappa who I met have been so kind and welcoming. In short, they've restored my faith in humanity and made it easier for this introvert to love communicating with people again.

"I'd advise the students considering attending COD to start here. Even if you're like me, and you always had the vision of going to a four-year college, just start your journey here. Think about what you could do with the $40,000 or more you would save. You could have a bigger wedding, buy a bigger car, travel the country...the possibilities are endless. If you don't want to stay at home anymore, look at it this way: If you go to a four-year college now, you're probably going to wind up back at home and in debt. If you stay home for one or two years and attend COD, you're more likely to afford to live on your own or with whomever you chose after college. If you're still in doubt, come visit and talk to a counselor here. They're so helpful and they can answer any questions you have."

More about the English program