A Journey to Graduation 

Desktop News | April 2023

December 2023 Devin Cain will walk across the stage in Coleman Coliseum and move his tassel from one side of his mortar board to the other as a graduate of The University of Alabama. Yet that swift, blink of an eye motion, symbolizes the close of a nine-year chapter in Cain’s life marked by difficult obstacles and perseverance. 

Cain’s story begins in his small hometown of Athens, Alabama, where he developed a love for The University of Alabama football team. This passion fueled his desire to attend the University, and in 2015, he began his freshman year. However, financial instability soon threatened to derail his plans, and Cain was forced to take a break from college and return home. 

Despite facing a setback, Cain refused to give up on his dreams of finishing his degree at The University of Alabama. With the support of his family and friends, Cain returned to campus in the Spring of 2018 to continue his academic journey. He aspired to become a writer, and this goal was within reach. Cain made the decision to switch his major from psychology and enroll in the English program with a Creative Writing minor. With a renewed sense of purpose, Cain was ready to take on the challenges that lay ahead and work towards achieving his goals. 

To overcome his financial obstacles, Cain took a job at a local gas station, working 8-12 hour overnight shifts, five days a week, while also attending full-time classes. This schedule would have been overwhelming for most people, but Cain’s work ethic and determination helped him to persevere. 

“When I was coming back in 2018 and trying to get back into school at UA, I knew I needed a job.” said Cain. “I went to the gas station every night asking the owner for one. It didn’t matter the shift just as long as I was able to work.” 

However, Cain would face yet another setback that would take him away from the University once again. Rather than giving up, Cain attended Shelton State for a year and a half, where he worked hard to improve his grades and prepare himself for a return to The University of Alabama in 2020. 

Once back on campus, Cain knew he needed support and guidance to achieve his goals of graduating. He found that support in his academic advisor, Matt Chenault, who provided him with study tips, organizational tools and bi-weekly check-ins. Chenault’s support and encouragement motivated Cain to stay on track and remain focused on his goals, even when the road ahead seemed daunting. 

“Devin and I have a mantra that we share with each other every time we meet for our routine check-ins,” said Chenault. “I will say to Devin ‘fail to plan’ and Devin responds, ‘plan to fail.’ It’s a routine that we use to emphasizes the importance of planning and time management.” 

Through his dedication and hard work, Cain is set to graduate in December 2024, a testament to his resilience and perseverance. His story serves as an encouragement to others who may be facing similar challenges and is a powerful reminder that anything is possible with the right mindset and fortitude. 

As Cain has said himself, “nothing is set in stone and all it takes is the dedication to do things for yourself.” These words embody Cain’s spirit and his journey to graduation, and they serve as an inspiration to anyone facing obstacles in their own lives.