Everything that I have been working for in high school has truly paid off. I survived my first full year of college. All the challenges that came along with it was of course stressful. However, it was all worth it. I learned so much about myself and the goals that I am reaching for. I finalized my major (nursing), as well as the goals that I have decided t reach for after years of gained experience, which is to continue on with road to my education. I have made the decision to go to school to become a Physician Assistant. Something that is along the line of being a doctor, but not really. Other things that I have learned are my habits, such as studying and prioritizing my time. I challenged myself taking more units that the average units needed to be considered a full-time student. Of course this entailed countless hours of studying and sometimes crying. But, I loved every moment of it and every tear, because now I can name all 12 cranial nerves, along with their function and location. Shoutout to a year of struggle and the growing that I have done!

Fruit of My Labor

It has been 4 weeks now since the first day of college! And let me say, I LOVE and enjoy every moment of it. The environment is so different from high school. College is seriously a place where you can start fresh, and truly find yourself and what you want. I was instantly molded into a responsible individual. I had to plan out my schedule and the hours I would spend outside of class: Studying, reading, and doing homework. In addition to responsibilities I have, I now am in charge of all my expenses. Books are no joke and so are the online portals I need to do quizzes and homework. Thank God for scholarships!

The campus is very different as well; the lecture halls are filled with a bunch of individuals that want a better future for themselves. Attending a community college is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I am surrounded by people that went down the wrong path, and realized that they messed up. But turned their lives around and made the decision to go back to school and pursue their dreams. That alone is a testimony that it is NEVER to late to run after that dream. Dreams do not have expiration dates, as long as there is determination it will be achieved. In addition to the students the professors are so inspiring, my sociology teacher hit me with one of the best quotes ever, “Let the world teach you HOW to think not WHAT to think.”

There is so much to college, but you learn to love it!

First College Experience

I’ve started Contra Costa College On Monday. My main goal is to obtain an AA degree in Political Science or Psychology. So far, I like my classes. My professors are really nice. I think I will maintain good grades my first semester. I hope to continue to focus on school as my number one priority. With any classes I am struggling with I will then proceed to get help and go to tutoring. I am really excited about college learning new things really does interest me. I know that furthering my education is one of the decisions I will make in life that will not only help me in the future. But I am allowing myself to get a career of my choice. I am still interested in becoming a lawyer. I will hopefully transfer from CCC and hope to get accepted into U.C Berkeley. Eventually I will attend law school. I take my education very seriously and will let nothing distract me of that. School has always really been my number one priority and I plan to keep it that way. CCC is very diverse so I feel comfortable in my classes. I plan on joining the Community Organizing and Political Action Club, I think this will be a great experience for me to gain further knowledge and insight about Politics. I am feeling more positive knowing that I am doing something productive with my time. I will continue to stay patient and remember my purpose. I am at CCC for a reason, I am constantly giving myself positive reinforcement telling myself I can do it ! Even if something becomes difficult. I will not give up or quit, instead I will try harder. I have to say I am proud of myself for making it to college and following through with it, some days will be easier than others. But it’s not meant to be a walk in the park. In other words I need to be challenged ultimately that what’s going to keep me interested and disciplined. I will take initiative to do everything that needs to be done such as meeting homework deadlines, and any other requirements. One thing I hope I will not do is procrastination !!!!! I want to remain organized and prioritize my school life and home life at a realistic pace. In conclusion I am going into this semester enthusiastic and ready I mad a commitment to myself I will do my ultimate best and always give my 100% effort and ask questions if needed and get help if needed. Falling behind isn’t an option for me. To continue to have a positive and open mentality on things.

Managing time. New counseling

Managing time? that’s one tough word for a college student, at least from my current situation. Homework, study time, reading,meetings, friends etc.,it’s just hectic. Although its my second semester in college I still find it hard to leave “party time”, or “fun time” with friends for reading or study time. I have to admit I have put aside my school work to hang out, but I’ve had to deal with that choice the hard way when I got back my first statistics quiz this semester. It’s all about choices now, and I realized that all of them will either affect me or benefit me later on. All I have to do is think through what my next step will be and the consequences it will bring. Plus, there’s nothing better than putting your priorities first. I say this because I’ve experience not being able to enjoy time that’s supposed to be about fun and enjoyment all because your conscious keeps reminding you that you left something more important to do than what you’re doing at the moment.

This semester we had a major change of counselors and even president of the school. Being part of the EOPS program and having one specific counselor to visit every month affected me in the sense that the counselor I met with was one of those who left. However, I cannot complain at all, the new counselor I was assigned gave me really good advice and I was able to feel some kind of connection with her in terms of our mindset. She is a Latina woman with a Masters degree in Sociology which is what I’m interested in. The connection I felt with her was from our similar thoughts and goals. She helped me understand many things from social working as well as transferring. I’m now looking forward to my next EOPS appointments unlike back then

My College Life

College has not been easy. Although it is my second semester attending college, the fact that every 5-6 months your schedule, your professors, and classmates change is hard to handle. I was barely becoming used to my past professor’s way of grading, lecturing and rules when I am now in complete different classrooms with new set of rules and ways of grading. But I cannot complain, after all college has also been a blessing. Being the first generation to attend college is something that makes me feel proud and helps me pull through the obstacles to make my mother proud. I am obtaining the financial aid I was seeking by not having to pay those hundreds of dollars for my classes, those expensive books, and transportation. Thanks to the Ed Fund scholarship, I was also able to buy a new computer after having to struggle with a pretty old and slow one. Being in the second semester of my college experience is now a little easier than my first. I am more familiar with the campus, the people attending there, and its resources to make my education a little easier and successful. I know that having succeeded my first semester with decent grades, and a positive attitude will now make the rest of my upcoming semesters easier. I am now looking forward to figuring out what my career will actually be since I still do not have a clear path of what I am really striving for, but I am working hard while figuring out such tough decision. I am also starting to get involved with people from upper classes that are on their way to transfer to a four year college, which is helping me get prepared for when I finally transfer on. I believe that college is what you make it, and I am making it my main priority, a place where I can have fun, and learn all that I know will help me get through the rest of my life.

Keeping up with Aristondo

The scholarships I received helped me in a dramatic way, the only thing that was on my mind was to graduate high school. But, then I started receiving scholarships and was determined that I should take advantage of the opportunity I was receiving, therefore, I decided to go to college. It was a big accomplishment just to be officially enrolled in a college because I was going to be the first male going to college in my family. My first semester was a complete success, I passed all my classes and had a 3.5 GPA. But with my success there was a struggle, I had to be on top of everything. I needed help and a lot of it, I spent over 35 extra hours with tutors in my first fall semester so I can succeed. Failing wasn’t an option, I had to succeed because I wanted to take advantage of the resources I had plus the college itself, I wanted to explore new things. I also met a lot of classmates, I learned that communication is a big part of success. A lot of the requirements to succeed in college were acknowledge in the Information Technology Academy (ITA) when I was a high school student, the program gave me high expectations about myself which indeed motivated me, so I adapted quick to the expectations in Contra Costa College. Taking the college life was one of the best things that has ever happened to me for the fact that I am finding out who I really am and what I want to become.

What is College to a Student?

College? Most people know what college is. They know its a place people attend to after graduating high school where they obtain some sort of degree to specialize in a certain field, which will later extend their job opportunities, resume, and much more. However, what most people do not know is that college is much more than just a place to learn and extend one’s education. It is a place where one has to be independent if one is not already doing so. A place where one’s education can only continue if one is paying tuition, books, class materials, lunch, transportation and all other expenses. Maybe one can be lucky enough to say a scholarship paid tuition, or received a Pell/Cal Grant that paid for books. Whatever the case might be for someone attending college, we all know that college is no joke once our dreams of becoming a lawyer, nurse, doctor etc. are based on whether or not we pays our classes and tuition etc. To top it off, we also have to worry passing classes, and keeping up with all the homework’s given.

Procrastination in college might be the thing to do for the first few weeks. Almost everyone is used to procrastinating in high school anyways. A month later however, or even earlier, one starts realizing procrastination will not only affect your grade, but also ones conscious and health. Teachers might give you a 3 page packet with all types of math problems due within one week. You think the first days during that week it is all fun and games, until you reach the last day to turn in that packet and you’re up all night, stressing and feeling anxious to get it done because you cannot seem to understand how to do half of the packet. You start to think back to the days you wasted, which could have been used to look carefully at all your notes, textbook, online etc., and realize you made a big mistake. College has taught me that doing my work the same day that was assigned, it’s much better than waiting. In cases of big essays and other projects when teachers give about 2 to 3 weeks of completion, then it’s also better to start it the day assigned and do little by little each day. At the end however, its the best feeling to lay in bed at night and think that you are keeping up with all your assignments on time, you are most likely passing all your classes because tutoring has been helping you a lot, and each day you are learning new things, both educational and how to become a responsible adult in college.

Contra Costa Lifestyle

Starting off college was very ruff due to family emergencies. College is a little bit of a challenge for me still. Having to find different buildings and the classrooms stressed me out the most. I’ve heard a quote a couple of times it’s “Don’t let your situation dictate your character.” That’s my motivation. I’m going to keep striving.

Community College

The months leading up to making what I thought was one of the biggest decisions of my life was anything but calm. I had to work on college apps while trying to manage my time for the AP classes I was taking. I would say it was very hard and also very stressful. I never considered not being accepted into any of the colleges I applied to. I figured I was a good enough student with a 3.8 cumulative GPA. When the time came to get acceptance letters back, I was excited. I thought by the end of September, I would be packing my bags for the drive down to UC San Diego.

But things did not work out in the way I planned them to. I was not accepted into UC San Diego and that really brought my spirits down. Even more so because my best friend got into the school I wanted to go to. I was devastated and bitter about it for a while.

I never thought I would be going to a community college first rather than going to a four-year university straight out of high school. It gradually became a thought after talking to multiple people, especially my high school counselors and college adviser. They helped me through the process and told me all of the good things about community college. I even had a couple of people tell me they would rather be going to a community college than a four-year university. From then on, I changed my perspective. I am now actually very happy that I am attending a community college instead of going straight to a four-year university. I am saving on the cost of completing my general ed at a JC. I am also working part time so I can save up some money before transferring. Hopefully, I will not have to take out any loans due to all the money I will be saving.

Being at a community college for almost a month, I can truly say that it is very diverse. You meet people from all walks of life. My classes have students who’s age ranges from being 17-73. There are also a lot of great people at community college and they all have their own original and interesting story to tell.

College 101 : Episode #1

My college experience has been something special, I learned to be more responsible for my future. I learned a lot of new skills and implemented them in the real world: academic writing, foreign language (Japanese) using math to solve certain problems/equations. I realized that going to college has helped me evolved myself. I established a better experience throughout this semester. I also learned that fortune doesn’t bring happiness, happiness cannot be bought. “You have to plan the run, then run the plan,” has been one of my motivation quotes that endure the way I think. In other words, plan on what you want to accomplish and then strive to accomplish it. I found out so many new things about myself that even in my head I consider myself a new person. I also made a few new friends but lost many of my old ones. I guess letting go has been one my task I learned to control without letting it take my dignity away. One thing a lot of people don’t understand is that, the only person that can put your self down is yourself. For example, there’s always a way around an obstacle, therefore, cheating the system is a skill you need to face and overcome. Everything depends on you and only you, jealousy and ignorance will be the hardest enemies throughout your life but what really matters is how you respond to them, for the fact that the conclusion is what everyone recalls. For a long time I thought my life was getting closer to the end, when in reality life has just began. I know for a fact that I will do big things, I just need to uncover what my destiny declares. Well, that’s all folks until next episode. ;D

PS: Thanks again EdFund !