At different times during the academic year students have the opportunity to draw or write on the windows that make up the fishbowl in Mawhinney Hall. Darian Barber always writes the phrase 'one day at a time.' "It speaks to me. It helped me get through what I was going through. When you are in that state where you need to hear it, it works."
Barber learned to lean on the 'one day at a time' phrase while struggling with mental health as a student at Oswego High School. Depression runs in his family. That fact, coupled with Covid and the isolation that accompanied it, made things worse. "I probably went through a month of every day, every minute having that feeling you get when you are about to take a big test and you know your not going to do well. At the end of that month I needed help and I got help." That help included learning the 'one day at a time" mantra.
After graduating from Oswego High School in 2021, Barber came to Onondaga Community College. Once he felt comfortable on campus he began getting involved by joining the Art Club, Chess Club, and Spectrum Club. He also became an officer in Student Government where he found a home with fellow student leaders. "This office is very important to me. We all get along. I want to build a community that's even stronger than it is. Here you can see all of the genuine communities where everyone enjoys what they do."
Barber will complete his General Studies degree next month. He plans to take a year off school and save money before he transfers and pursues a Business-related degree. As he reflects on his journey, he's proud of how far he has come. "I was such a different person. I wasn't as outgoing. I didn't let me be me. High school was a bad experience, but OCC has probably been the best two years of my life."