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College Dreams Blog

College Dreams Blog

No matter who you are or how you’ve prepared for college, you’re bound to have a long list of questions. Our student ambassadors had college dreams just like you do and they worked hard to achieve them. Read their stories below and share your own with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Marlene - photo

Bees Pollinate Flowers: They Help Without Realizing

Posted by Marlene

The desire to help others is nice, but to physically act upon these desires is million times greater. As a teacher’s assistant, who works three times a week at an afterschool program, Learning Bee Center, I’ve realized how important it is to collaborate with a team of adults to create a fun environment, where children’s minds can be enriched.

 

One afternoon, I proceeded to help out my third grade student who was looking for information on the Internet for his research project on the African Lion. He struggled to find the correct information he needed. Surfing the web can be quite a challenge, especially for my third grade student. As he “googled” information, he placed in a whole sentence of words in the search engine and it got him nowhere. Later, I explained to him he needed to type specific phrases rather than a whole sentence to get more concrete results. He took my advice and tried it then said, “Ms. Marlene you are always so nice, thanks for helping me out.” While it is my obligation to help these children, my motives to help others come far beyond the interest of just receiving an income to survive in college.

 

The fact is, I always love helping out. It’s in my nature and something that my grandfather engraved in my chest. Helping another individual whether in work, or outside of class, I get the greatest feelings of satisfaction. Also, working and going to school as a full-time student can be arduous at times. Nonetheless, my special recipe is balance and passion, which have allowed me to live a healthy college experience. I enjoy working with this organization that inspires a child’s passion for life learning.


Xiomara - photo

Confidence

Posted by Xiomara

It is the first day of college, you’re ready for school, you just arrived on campus, but you realize you’re lost and don’t see any familiar faces. You don’t know whether to interrupt the professor talking on the phone or to walk up to the group of friends sitting together who will probably all look at you as you ask for directions. You are shy and can’t build the courage to ask so you keep walking and end up being 20 minutes late to your first class after a janitor helped you find your building. THIS is a problem and it is also how a freshman tends to stand out on campus. As a new adult, confidence is essential. You are in charge of your life, but sometimes we are in a situation where we rather not ask questions to avoid looking stupid. From personal experience, I believe, there are 3 easy ways to achieve confidence. It may take time, but it is easier than you think.

 

First, make sure you did everything possible to find the solution to your problem before asking for help. You are your first resource so look and listen attentively at all times and learn from other people’s mistakes. You become that much more knowledgeable when you are able to observe and give it a try on your own.

 

Second, mentally prepare yourself for negativity. Unfortunately, you meet people who can be rude or don’t have good social skills so you have to be able respond appropriately without making things worse. As angry or insulted as you may be, don’t be rude back, be assertive. If you know your comment or question was appropriate then hold your head up high and expect nothing, but an appropriate answer in return.

 

Lastly, treat others how you will like to be treated. If you respect others, others will respect you. Simple as that, but also realize, that while on campus, people are constantly stressing out for many reasons so try to keep an open mind and don’t take anything personally, especially from strangers.

 

College life is not easy, but with a positive attitude and the proper advice from peers, you’ll do great!


Arzoo - photo

How to Afford College

Posted by Arzoo

Unfortunately we have come into a new generation where when we think of college we immediately think of six-figure loans. As the tuition is rising the decision of whether college is worth it gets more difficult. Of course many students already have a college savings account from their parents, but some like myself do not. Affording college was not always a breeze for me and the same goes for other students. We all struggle in our own way. The best thing to do is to apply for financial aid, even if you think you won’t qualify. They offer loans to some students or work study jobs on campus. One benefit that I received was the Educational Opportunity Program, where if you are a first generation student with a low income then you can qualify for about $1300 per year and guidance from counselors. High school students can also apply for as many scholarships to get more aid. Once you start college you can always find jobs on campus to pay for your expenses if you continue to struggle. The important thing is that you are not alone and almost all students struggle with the same issue.


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