By Romi Anne Grepo
Winner of the LAHC Writing Contest
We might not know each other personally, but our paths must have crossed at least once on this campus. We might have sat next to each other in English class, or stood in line for the same cashier at the bookstore. I might have asked you if you were interested in joining our club or donating for our fundraiser. You might have asked me for directions to the science building, or if the chair next to me in the library is available. I am graduating this semester. Maybe you are, too. If not, since you are reading this, let me tell you something– staying in school is one of the best decisions you made in your life.
College can sometimes be a struggle. Most of the time, rather, it is. When the professor is not adding to a class, when you have to repeat a subject, when three essays are due the next day, when instructors seem to have a secret congregation where they decide to have all your exams on one day, the cost of books, waiting for financial aid disbursements… need I say more? Trust me. I have been there. I have done that. During my stay at Harbor College, I came up with three motivations on how to stay in school.
Keep yourself motivated. Ask yourself why you are in school. Is it to get a better job, earn more, or provide your child a better future? Whatever it may be, find a good reason behind everything you do. Time will come when you will be faced with many problems. Just when you are about to give up, remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place. Also, surround yourself with people who understand and motivate you. I almost gave up my major when I realized that after community college, I would still need four more years in the university to get my bachelor’s degree and two more years of working experience before I can take my licensure exam. However, I have friends whose goal is the same as mine. We are each other’s motivators; we are all in this crazy ride together.
Be responsible. Know what you have to do and do it. Ask people for help when you have to, especially when exams are near. Educate yourself about the services available on campus and take advantage of it; most of them are free for students. Most importantly, be responsible for your mistakes and failures. There were and will be times when we procrastinate, skip classes, drop subjects, write five pages of essay the night before it is due, and review ten minutes before the exam. I did all of these. Although that was not something I should be proud of, I learned that nothing good came out of it.
Lastly, breathe. You are, after all, a college student. You are not designed to absorb and do all the stressful work and still be fine. Enjoy Club Rush and campus fairs; socialize and get as much of the free goodies they give out. Take a break and party. You need all these to balance your college life.
You are in school because you have your purpose. Harbor College is doing its best to help you succeed. That’s not to say the ride will be easy or convenient. It might actually seem hard and impossible at the moment, but one day you will look back. You will see how much you have overcome and accomplished, and you will realize how much wiser and tougher you have become.
I wish you success.
Grepo is transferring to Cal Poly Pomona where she will major in architecture.