It’s safe to say Sabrina Baca has worked hard towards her degree. Baca is a theater major receiving a Bachelor of Arts that took five-and-a-half years, switching her major, and three different campuses to complete. 

Right out of high school in Belen, N.M., Baca wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. She was passionate about theater in high school, but she was told by her high school counselor that it was risky dedicating her life to something that didn’t necessarily promise a job. 

Baca decided to start community college studying communications for about two years. But studying communications made her feel even more lost than before. She then took a theater class just for the fun of it, and felt motivated and inspired from taking the course. Baca realized she wanted to take the risk and dedicate her life to theater.

Baca switched her major to theater and transferred to UNM, however, most of her credits didn’t end up transferring. This meant she basically had to start over.

“I was going to drop out,” said Baca. “Because switching my major and essentially starting over in credits was too overwhelming.”

In addition to switching her major, the amount of time that it has taken her to complete her degree has been one of her biggest obstacles. She also faced undiagnosed anxiety, which wasn’t diagnosed until August of this year. These obstacles made it difficult for Baca to complete her degree. 

However, she overcame these struggles with the help of her family. They helped pay for her education and pushed her to stay in school.

“I’m proud to say that I will be the first person in my family to graduate with a higher education. I’m 24, and at times I feel like I’ve taken way too long to get this degree but I think college is all about succeeding at your own pace. I’m very lucky to have a family that motivated me to follow my own path to success, even if it meant taking a risk.”

Baca finished her last semester this fall taking 18 credits. She empathizes, “Keep on going no matter how long it takes.”