Yesterday, June 28th, was my last day as a community college student at Contra Costa College. A lot has happened to me since graduating from high school in 2013. It is 2016 now and I’m headed off to my university— San José State University, this fall. I truly had a great experience at my community college—especially while hustling my way to success as a transfer student. I graduated from CCC this spring of 2016, with a multitude of degrees, which I am proud about. I had spent an extra year at CCC due to the fact that I wanted to earn a certificate in something that I am incredibly passionate about— filmmaking. I give all credit to my mother because she suggested that I take one course to see if film was something I could see myself doing as future career. Once I took the course, everything hit off from there; I decided to take other film courses which were listed in the program, and successfully earned my Certificate of Digital Film Production in spring of 2015. After receiving my certificate, I finally knew what I wanted do and the career path that I want to continue on. I want to become a Director. At San José State this Fall I will be majoring in Advertising and minoring in Film Production. In the future, I have hopes of not only directing commercials, and commercials for high profile companies, such as Apple, Nissan, and Mc Donald’s to name a few, but to direct feature films, and my own films as well. The world of filmmaking is very beautiful to me: the way one or a group of individuals can think out an idea, and then finesse it to the point where it can be played on screen, and in front of a numerous amount of people.
Aside from discovering what career I wanted to pursue, I have discovered how much of a determined person I am. I have discovered that I have a fire and drive in me, so much so, that I will not give up on my dreams or goals. Yes, I am a tad bit nervous about what the future holds, or even setting foot onto my university campus in the next few weeks; but deep down I know I am not going to quit, and I know that with faith, drive, and hard work, I will be fine. Lastly, I would like to thank the EdFund for giving me the support I needed when starting off my journey as a college student at Contra Costa College. I am very thankful for the EdFund, and how being an EdFund Scholar, has made my years as a college student a little less troublesome. If you would like to view my film career journey, and my ventures onto my new campus, please feel free to visit my website at www.sakeemapayne.com, and my Instagram profile @spaynefilms. Thank you.
My second year in college has come to an end I am grateful that I had the Ed Fund Scholarship to provide me its support in funds I needed. It wouldn’t have been possible if the Ron Whittier Education Foundation did not fund the scholarship. I have meet Ron multiple times in events, classrooms, and graduation. I remember giving a speech in class about the ITA academy in school to the funders of the academy and seen Mr. Whittier. I was the representative of the academy at the time and remembered speaking with him after my speech and him being impressed, but was cut short by my fellow students eager to speak with him as well. The other time I spoke with him, I was with the winners of the scholarship. We were trying to convince some people to support EdFund and get to know us. I thank Whittier at that time for all he does to fund kids organizations and academies. Thinking back to my ITA graduation a lady thank Ron Whitter for all he does and spoke highly of him that, when he got to speak his first words were, “I didn’t tell her to say that and I am not that great.” Everyone laughed, but all thought he was a good man for investing in the future of their kids. Someday I would like to thank him and tell him that he is a good man that has inspired a young man like myself to do better and be better. The skills I learn in college are one’s I will apply as I have two more years in college and plan to go to grad school. Those that know my struggles will understand that I have fallen to the lowest point in my life and did not think I would be where I am today. The scholars who received the scholarships were seen as leaders and I did not know that until I asked one of the workers what did they see in each scholar. As I come to the end of this blog I only hope that this scholarship will be around for many years to come so that it will never fade away and those it funded to fund those next in line. This year will be my last time being apart of the Edfund family and I only have gratitude for those that have believed in me and watched me grown for these two years. Thank you for reading and hope the best for you.
The plans I set for the summer were to get a job, learn how to drive, and have an overall relaxing vacation. As of right now, I am currently acting on all of my plans which results in a pretty busy schedule. I’ve made sure to time to spend as much time with friends and family while home and am now receiving a steady income to pay for my rent as well as miscellaneous items and expenses while I’m home for the summer. My goal is to gain my driver’s license and hopefully save up enough money to go half with my family on my first car; something that would be extremely helpful when buying groceries in Merced.
One thing I’m worried about when going back is the fact that I can’t seem to choose a major. It seems like every course I take, I find some way to appreciate the material and how it affects the world. This in turn makes it difficult for me to decide what field I want to commit to in my future career. I know that in time I’ll find my way but I’m starting to believe that I’m the type to have multiple careers that’ll match my interests at the moment. I just desire to find that major that I’m so passionate about I research it in my free time, preferably one that transcends every field and touches on every subject because I like to learn new things. I don’t want a job, I want a career.
Some days I miss school and some days I wish summer wasn’t moving so fast. I’m so happy to have these months off of school completely letting my mind rest from endless exams and papers. However currently I’ve been missing college. I miss learning probably the most and I’m excited to get back in the classroom. I’ve never said that about school before I got to college.
This past year has flown by just as fast if not faster than my last semester of high school. I still cannot come to terms with the fact that my first year is already over and my second year is approaching. It is nerve wracking to think how quickly a year could pass by, let alone the next couple years of my undergraduate career. A lot has changed since my I graduated high school. Not only have I embarked on a journey towards self-discovery, but I am rapidly changing from just three quarters. As challenging as my first year at UCLA has been, I do not regret my decision in attending this university. It has taught me a lot about myself in such a short span of time that is both irreplaceable and valuable towards personal and professional growth.
College is meant to be challenging. There is no doubt about it. Students must be given the opportunity to grow and learn from their trials and tribulations. If not, my achievements and positive experiences would not be as meaningful without hardships to put things into perspective. The amount of mental, physical and emotional challenges seemed never ending at times. I have learned and grown stronger from each experience I have overcome. From my first midterm, to my first feeling of homesickness, to my first major illness, each experience has become invaluable for my undergraduate career and beyond. I have learned to be resilient and determined no matter how difficult it can be. Resilience and determination are two qualities essential for all students when put under constant stress and self-doubt in college. Thankfully, I always had the support of my friends on campus to work past the difficulties especially since we all underwent similar burdens as students.
I am ready to do my best this upcoming year, and to push myself even further than before. But before school begins in the fall, I am happy to be able to take a break from school this summer. Although I am not taking summer classes, I have been working with UC Berkeley’s Pre-College TRIO Talent Search Programs. As a Teaching Advisor for their Summer Bears program, I have been able to maintain a level of productivity. It is as if I were going to school. Not only am I gaining invaluable work experience, but I am also able to work with one of the programs that has contributed to my academic success since high school.
I would just like to thank the Ed Fund for all their support this past year. I am very grateful for the program’s hard work and dedication towards serving scholars of the West Contra Costa College Unified School District. I cannot thank you all enough.
Over this summer I have realized that this time of my life is the most crucial because what I’m doing now is going to affect how my life will be 5-10 years from now. If I don’t prepare, work hard, and exceed in what I am doing, I won’t be able to relax and just go to work when I get into my career. I’m not sure if many of my peers realize it, but if you don’t set yourself up for success during this time right now as a college student, then later down the line your going have to do what you are supposed to be doing right now. I personally rather persevere and do what I’m supposed to do RIGHT NOW while I’m young, rather than try to wait until I’m 30 to get my life and priorities right. Just thinking about all the things that I need to do can be very overwhelming. It seems as if there isn’t enough time to get everything that I want to accomplish this summer done. But there is time, I ( and you too) just have to find the time. The phrase “time is precious” has never in my life meant so much to me; until now. I now realize that I have to manage every single day (by using my planner) so that I can be productive and accomplish what I need to do for the day. Although this can all be a lot to handle, you have to take it day by day in order to accomplish what you want and need to do. I wish I would’ve realized all of this in the beginning of summer, but that’s OK because I realize now that time is very precious so now I’m making big changes in my lifestyle for the sake of the bright future that I am creating for myself and my family.
For any college student who is reading this and doesn’t feel the same way that I do, you probably haven’t thought about all the things you can be accomplishing over this summer break. Instead of sleeping in until 12:30pm you should wake up in a timely matter so you can start a productive day. If you haven’t realized that this time in our life is the most crucial then I challenge you to think about all your short term goals that you can achieve. Write them down on a big piece of construction paper so you can physically see everything that you need and want to do. Then start to work towards those goals right now while you are out of school. Trust me, preparing right now will definitely pay off in the future. Remember… manage your time wisely, persevere, work hard, and don’t ever give up.
I wish everyone success and happiness!
To begin with, I did it! I made it through my first year of college, I didn’t finish as strong as I would like but I did make it. Under the many circumstances that I faced, I did it. And let me explain why it’s so astonishing to me that I made it.
I was with thousands of people who’ve had their lives set up for them by their parents and even their parents had their lives set up for them by their parents. I really didn’t know what to do because I didn’t have what they did, a parent who went to college, a parent pushing them, expecting the best from them. What I did have was my peers from all over California, students who have faced similar struggles early in life.
Unfortunately, some didn’t make the best decisions while they were in college, some partied too much, drank, smoke, skipped class, and every time they were talked to by myself or my peers they refused to accept our help. Then there are the students who put in so much effort but are still not able to keep up. School beats them down, and puts them down because the stress becomes so much for them that they think they can’t do it anymore. I know many of these students who wished to become doctors or engineers but are constantly reminded that it is not possible, that they are too behind.
I have had many friends terminated, suspended, placed on academic probation, or who have chosen to withdraw altogether. And it’s not just at my college, it happens at other colleges. I feel accomplished but also a sense of guilt that I can’t pull everyone else with me. I am not the student that does nothing but party, I know better than that. I am also not the student who knows everything they are supposed to do, but I do have help.
There are many things I wish I knew before coming to college. The best I can do is share that knowledge with the upcoming college students. I have completed my first year, I hope to help others do the same.
It seems like the year has gone by a lot faster than my years in grade school. Maybe it’s because this is better? My first year at the California Jazz Conservatory ended very well. Of course, there were the “dreaded” finals that everyone talks about, but I think that I did pretty well in all of them, and in addition to that, I had one excellent end of the year concert with my trumpet teacher’s arranging ensemble (in which I was asked to sit in and play within short-notice). I couldn’t have been happier with the fact that I accepted this opportunity to play with this ensemble, as it turned out to be the closest thing to a Jazz Big Band that we can get at the time (which is what I want). I was very impressed with the arrangements that these students were able to compose, as before, I was a bit questionable about their experience in a big band versus their experience in a small ensemble/combo. These arrangements clearly showed that these students had a clear understanding of Jazz big band music and arrangements, and gave me confirmation that if we started an adult big band, we would NOT have to start from the bottom of the Jazz repetoire pot -also known as the terrible “Real Book” big band arrangements of simple/boring Jazz standards that we played so much of in middle school, and high school. The other concert, sadly, did not go too well in my opinion, but what can you do? Finals were “finals” -nothing much to say about them. The toughest one for me this time was Jazz Theory -a final that was a breeze last semester. The reason is because I just simply did not review ALL of the material beforehand. But because all of the knowledge I soaked in when it was being taught, and the notes I took, I was able to “wing it”.
Even though I would like to take summer classes that is not possible for me right now. I say this because I can not afford to go to school in the summer. One reason for this is due to the fact that I attend school across the San Rafael-Richmond bridge and bus transportation is very expensive. For instance, it costs me $10 roundtrip to go to school and come back home. Another reason why it is not possible for me to attend summer school is because I will not be granted any financial aid or scholarships to cover the cost of books and fees. This is why I must work. This summer is going to be a really busy summer for me, since I have three different jobs. It has been extremely difficult to manage this. At times it can be stressful, fun, and rewarding. This will help my future in so many ways. First, it will help me to become more financially stable in the upcoming semester of college. In my first year of college, I did not feel financially stable at all because in the beginning of the semester I received a lot of money, and then two months later it felt as if the money just disappeared. Thus, having these jobs will make me feel more at ease when I go back to school since I always worry about money. Another way working this summer will help my future is that I will gain more experience as an employee and become qualified for more jobs. I definitely know that next semester I will need to be able to manage my money and actually watch where it goes. This is very important to me because next year I would like to be able to attend summer school, in order to finish college faster.
As my first year of college reached its end, I realize that I have changed so much in just one year. It’s crazy to think for a moment and acknowledge how much I learned from myself this year. I got to see for myself what my weakness and strengths are, and how to manage my time properly to keep myself from falling behind. But also how to take some breaks to distress myself from the school environment, because there has been times when I felt like I was falling behind compared to the rest. But that is not true, everyone takes their paths in a different direction. Some chose to take the same steps as their fellows, for the fact that their majors are similar or the same. However, I chose to kept my own path at my own way, and I can say that it has been working out pretty efficient so far.
Comparing the experience I have now rewarding college compare to my experience at the beginning of the school year, I can see big changes in myself as a person and also as a college student. My college days in UC Santa Cruz have been amazing, I would not change it for anything else even though I do recognize that at the beginning I was falling a little behind because of economical and family problems. Fortunately, the psychological services along with my academic adviser, both helped me overcome the problems that were coming in between my educational performance. At first, I found it weird going with a psychologist, but I realize that they help you so much, plus you learn many strategies based upon the experience they had when they were in your position. Every individual has been in a situation where they think they reaches the end with no way out, but that is never correct. Success is not finding the perfect path, it’s about taking several paths to find where you belong.
A side from my academic performance, I have develop great friendships. Beginning with my roommate, her and I became close ever since the beginning and our friendship, as roommates and friends have gotten stronger that we even decided to get our own apartment for the upcoming school year. In my math class, I meet a group of friends whom I kept a close friendship throughout the entire year. At the end I can say that my first year of college was a year full of excitement and great memories that will last for a lifetime. I thank God and my family for giving me the strength I needed when I felt like giving up, and I also want to thank the EDFund for their hard work and desire to keep up with every EDFund scholar of 2014. I can now say that I closed the first chapter of my college journey with a happy ending, ready to continue with whatever comes along the way.
This school year my experiences taught me several things. I did not do so well in my first two quarters but I improved greatly on my third quarter in college which I am so proud of. I worked so hard in all of my classes and I learned that I should stop comparing myself to how others are doing academically because we all come from different places. I realize that I had to work double as hard as them because the level of education that I was offered was not as high as theirs. I have struggled but I continue to push through it strong. I have always been so thankful to have received this scholarship because honestly without it I would not be able to continue paying for college. I know that I will start next year stronger than ever because I now am aware of the high standards I need to meet. I am incredible thankful for this scholarship and I hope that my improvement allows me to continue being part of this great opportunity that you guys have give me. I am currently super happy to have finished my first year in college and at the moment I am taking summer classes at CCC to improve my overall GPA.