Even with the distractions of summer surrounding us, starting the semester off right is an established skill that can be just as important as studying or testing well. Taking on higher education can be quite a challenge, even when you’ve done it before.
I first attempted to attend college in the fall of 2013, right after I had graduated from a small, rural high school. When I attempted to go to college that first time, I found myself in a position I was ill-prepared for.
I took early morning classes that were lectures of more than 100 students at a state university where I felt lost in the sheer number of others. I also took on a major and several courses that I had no interest in so I was not prepared for the coursework involved. I ended up withdrawing and largely regretting that whole semester.
When I began at KCC, I made sure not to make those mistakes a second time. I set myself up for success rather than failure. A typical class at Kirkwood has 30 or fewer students, so it was definitely easier to make friends as well as understand my instructors and what was expected of me.
I made sure I was interested in the classes and their content. If I knew I would struggle, I made an effort to fully understand the material or got help from an advisor, counselor or the instructor.
Another choice I found of great importance was participation in campus clubs and arts. I found friends and a feeling of community that I didn’t had before and made the point to feel like I belonged and had a place here. Kirkwood has a wide range of sports, arts, clubs, and organizations for any student to choose from.
My last piece of advice is for students to understand their identity. Know your limits and what’s expected of you and you may discover that you can surpass them.
Know your interests and the best learning environment for you and find the best way to set yourself up for success. Build friendships, find a community and realize that those around you want to succeed and grow just as much as you do.