Monday, August 4, 2014

#SoCanU: CC grad speaker explains how getting involved helped at her CC & University

Featured below is an interview with another #SoCanU project rockstar, Maryann! Maryann graduated from Massasoit Community College in 2012 and is currently attending Bridgewater State University studying Elementary Education, Special Education, and History. 
Favorite thing to do on the weekends?
The beach!

Favorite food/meal?
I love making chicken broccoli alfredo.

What made you decide to choose community college?At my high school graduation party, towards the end of the night, I started worrying about where exactly I was going to commit to go to college.

 I applied to four schools and was accepted into all of them. What worried me the most was the financial burden attached with these colleges. 

At the time a community college was ideal for the time being. I wanted so bad to go to a prestigious college and it felt like I was letting myself down by attending a community college until my thoughts before attending completely changed.

Were there any obstacles in your life prior to attending community college that you had to overcome?
Attending college for the first time was challenging for me as a student. I was very much a shy student didn't open up to many people in high school. 

The first week attending my community college I told myself, "This is it. Your time is now."

I began the search to actively look for clubs to become involved with. I reunited with a former friend of mine from elementary school who happened to be in the drama club I was interested in.

I started recruiting new people to join and began to meet friends in my freshman classes. I was able to start a new journey.

What obstacles did you overcome in community college and/or in your transfer university to achieve your degree?
I overcame the fear of public speaking/being able to make presentations. I took an intro to speech class at my community college during my freshman year and was a little shaky and would get nervous. 

However, during my last two years at my community college I worked as a Presidential Student Ambassador, became Chapter Secretary of the Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Kappa Upsilon Chapter, and a Writer for the Student Voice Newspaper. 

These experiences along with the people I have met through these organizations and clubs on campus encouraged me and gave me confidence to become the leader I am today and achieve my Associates Degree. 

With this encouragement I applied to become the Commencement Speaker at Graduation and felt on top of the world that day. My chapter at my community college is one that I will never forget in my entire life.

But, another door had to open for me at Bridgewater State University. Starting the next fall at Bridgewater State University was challenging. It felt that I lost everything that I once had...confidence in myself. 

At times, I felt defeated but then I remembered that I just have to keep going not matter what. I became involved in BSU's Notewothy and began singing once again. I even joined the Ensemble Theater Group. 

As a student at BSU I began to check out all of the clubs and events. I even attended a Women's Leadership Conference which helped me spring-back my confidence that I once had. 

This past year at BSU I found myself becoming more involved within the community. I began working as a Peer Mentor on campus, member of BSU's Noteworthy and began to attend more events on campus. I even got a nomination for the Who's Who Award! 

Let's just say I began to feel comfortable once again and knew deep down that I shouldn't give up on what I want to accomplish in this life.

What is one of the most important things that helped you succeed in community college and beyond?
At my community college one of the most important things that helped me succeed to where I am today is the friends, mentors, and professors I have met along the way. Without them, I don't think I would have been able to accomplish what I had at my community college.

At Bridgewater State University one of the most important things that has helped me succeed towards my bachelors degree was meeting friends from other community colleges and knowing that I was not the only transfer students on campus. 

Also, it was important for me to become involved on campus as much as possible. This is how I was able to meet so many students and become familiar with campus life as much as possible.

What are you most excited about for your future right now?
I am excited to graduate and become a Teacher. I am currently taking my MTEL's which are exams for students who want to become educators. I am excited to begin my career and be able to inspire my future students everyday.

What is the best piece of advice you can give our readers who are currently attending community college?
I think the best piece of advice I could give is to not be shy (this is YOUR TIME to succeed), get involved on your campus (because it may open doors for you in the future) and no matter what do not give up on yourself and your educational goals. 

Believe that you can and will succeed throughout your college career.

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