If you're reading this, you've probably mulled around in high school and didn't get the best grades or the highest accolades as some of your peers who are currently sitting in their dorm rooms sleeping till the last minute before class, which is a 2-minute walk from their room. Or maybe you're a student who just didn't have the finances to attend a 4-year college. Well I'm here to tell you everything you need to know about what to expect from your community college experience.
Now don't get me wrong some of you may enjoy being here and getting a second chance to prove to your parents or to yourself that you are more than what they think you are. For me, I didn't get as much money as my Valedictorian twin sister got from other schools, so unless I saw a rise in that "dough", I wasn't going anywhere besides my local community college. Now let me give you a little background about myself. I did slack off a bitin high school, especially when I first started. I would get to class and be with some friends and we would just sit in the back and talk to each other and make jokes or play games on our phones whenever we would get the chance, and of course the other factor was falling asleep almost every day. But when I got to my junior year, I realized I needed to step up my game, I had to take things more seriously. I tried my hardest and although I've been told I'm a pretty smart kid, I lacked in some areas and no matter how hard I would try to get a good grade, I got nothing. I ended junior year on a fairly good note though, I had a couple 90's and a few 80's as well as an 1100 on my SAT without ever taking the PSAT. My senior year started off with a bang, and I mean literally. I came out of the gate working my hardest and putting 110% into everything. I was determined to make this year count. I started off with an 85% overall average or in regulatory terms, a 3.0 GPA. As the year went on, I saw multiple 100's and high 90's, I even took my first ever AP class, AP Statistics, which I did surprisingly at. I was rarely involved in school activities over the years, limiting myself to one club every other year, if at all. So senior year I joined my schools musical, landing a dance heavy role which lead to me losing about 60 pounds, and through rehearsals and the show I still managed to keep myself in check and get all of my work done in time while still getting a respectable amount of sleep. I brought my GPA up to an 88 by the end of the year, but it wasn't enough to garnish me substantial scholarship money. So alas, here we are today, sitting in my car in the parking lot of Nassau Community College, telling you what you need to know.
Even at orientation, you're surrounded by people who may only be attending the school for a semester or a year or who knows, they may even drop out before the semester is over to pursue their career as a SoundCloud rapper. What they don't tell you is that during your whole orientation, your whole group is making side remarks about the school, and in the back of your head you're thinking, "Why am I here?". In my case, as we were entering a building, a student walked out angrily, saying "Don't go here. This is a f***ing waste of time." It really makes you rethink the idea of everyone telling you that this is one of the best community colleges. But after the long day of orientation you walk out of there will a little hope for yourself that it'll be a good year.
The beginning of the year begins and I'm excited to start class and see who my professors are and to learn new things about the career I'm going in to. Everything starts off great, I like my classes, I'm fine with waking up early and I'm adjusting to my schedule quite easily. As the weeks have gone on, I've grown a bit more tired. Between dealing with school and having to run to my part time job afterwards, there isn't much of a break to rest or get much work done, so by the time I get home at around 9:30, 10 o'clock, I still have to eat my first full meal of the day and do any work that I have to do so I don't fall behind. Now I know some of you may have to do the same thing and you may have a great job where you can balance work and school well and still have time to do work and get a good amount of sleep, I applaud you. But for those struggling I have some advice for you. Stay at least a week ahead for all of your assignment. You have a short little one-page assignment to hand in on Wednesday? Get it done the week before, have it ready in your backpack so you don't forget it. Constantly set reminders or fill out a to-do list on your phone and check off things as you move on with your day. Because once you fall behind even just a little bit, your whole world may start falling apart. You'll be up all-night doing work and then the next day you'll forget to bring something important with you to class, or you might forget some of the information you read in the textbook because you were half asleep while reading it. Make sure you're putting yourself first in everything. You came here for a second chance, to prove that you're better than what people think about you. Tell your manager at work that you need to have less hours in your work week because you need to focus more on school, when you're at home, get as much work done for all of your classes. Stay in the productive mind set, when you start doing a lot of work, find more work for you to do so the next day you can come home and play some video games, watch tv, hang with friends, and not have to worry about getting that pesky assignment done. If you follow that advice, I'm sure your life will be significantly better, and you'll feel happier and a load will be taken off your shoulders. You're a college student, people understand you're working your hardest, it's fine to put yourself first before everything else. Treat yourself to some time off, but not too much time.
Good luck to you all! Let me know if you can relate to any of this and if it helped you or not. I'd love your feedback and keep stopping by for more about the college life.