Student Stories: Sara Acosta

Sara Acosta


Major: Business/Event Planning

After completing one semester at a university, Sara Acosta was confused about what she wanted to do with her life.

“Unlike most of my peers, I was not excited or motivated to go away to school,” she said. “For my first semester, I ate virtually nothing. This lack of nutrition was negatively affecting every aspect of my life, leaving me to feel lonelier than I had ever felt before. At that point, I wasn’t even sure if college was the right choice for me.”

Acosta returned home and took a semester off from school, which turned out to be an eye-opening opportunity. She discovered that she did want to go to college and recognized how vital a degree was to supporting herself.

Unsure of what her major should be, Acosta enrolled at College of DuPage in order to explore different options. It turned out to be the right choice for her.

“COD allowed me to grow as a person and learn more about myself,” she said. “I was able to take a variety of different classes and learn what really interested me. In addition, it provided me with the resources to become more prepared for furthering my education. The professors are very knowledgeable and want to help students succeed.”

Acosta became a member of Phi Theta Kappa and volunteered at the Fuel Pantry on campus. It was a continuation of her involvement in school activities, including student council from third grade through high school, sophomore class president, and Northeast District of Illinois Student Council Convention Chairperson.

She credited her Speech 1100 Honors class and being selected by her classmates to enter a speech contest as influential during her time at COD.

“I went into the class not feeling super capable of my public speaking skills and by the end of the semester felt very confident in myself and the information I had to share with my classmates,” she said.

In 2019, Acosta was one of the Outstanding Graduate finalists. Having earned her Associate in Arts degree, she is transferring to Elmhurst University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was accepted into their honors program.

Her ultimate goal is to open an event planning company.

“I have always had an interest in weddings,” she said. “Having changed my major about four or five different times, I finally decided on event planning after completing a summer internship as a special events intern with the Illinois Restaurant Association, where I helped with the Taste of Chicago and a golf outing.”

Acosta is thankful that she selected College of DuPage, which she considers a great place for students questioning what they want to do with their lives.  

“You meet many people who are in a similar place in their lives as you, and it can be really helpful to know that you are not alone,” she said. “There are so many people who go to four-year universities right away and are not prepared for all the responsibilities and added stress that comes with living away from their families and who can get caught up in partying. COD was a safe haven for me, and I am so glad I decided to transfer.

“My final piece of advice is to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. COD offers so many diverse classes, and I would take full advantage of that while you are there. In addition, get involved on campus and see everything COD has to offer. It can be a place where you come to class and leave and not talk to anyone if you so desire, but I would encourage you to make the most out of the time you have here. I met some of the most interesting, intelligent and cool people at COD and am so glad for all of the friendships I made.”

More about the Business program