Student Spotlight: Lydia Whitten

Lydia Whitten

Lydia Whitten
Major: Associate in Arts

Lydia Whitten’s four older siblings attended College of DuPage, so she was familiar with the school before enrolling.

A graduate of the Willows Academy in Des Plaines, Whitten initially wanted to complete her studies at COD in less than two years and then transfer, but she realized there was no reason to rush. While pursuing an Associate in Arts degree, Whitten took a variety of classes and became involved in a range of activities to see what she likes.

She also was elected Student Trustee for the 2011-2012 school year. She follows in the footsteps of her older sister, Hope, who also served as Student Trustee.

“My sister had a great time with it, and people have said we are so alike, so that may be one reason I’ve enjoyed it,” she said. “At the beginning I was a little nervous, but I gained my ground. I wanted to know what it would be like to serve in this kind of leadership position."

Whitten turned to her older siblings for inspiration. After obtaining degrees at COD, two of her sisters worked abroad before transferring to earn bachelor's degrees.

As a result, Whitten explored the same options to maximize her experiences. After earning her degree, she moved to Madrid, Spain, and was a volunteer as an English conversationalist at Colegio Orgvalle. She now works at a new private, English-speaking, all-girls primary school that is a 15-minute walk from her home.

"Since I was having such a wonderful time and was privileged with this ‘too-good-to-be-true’ opportunity, I prolonged my stay in Europe,” she said.

Her plan is to return to the U.S. and transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree in fall 2014. While she’s not sure about the university or major, she is eager to finish her education and start on her career and is grateful for the opportunities that College of DuPage provided to her.

“I’m proof enough that COD is what you make of it, and I definitely made the best of it,” she said.

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