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Planning Ahead for the Fall

Will Help Stay Atop Needs and Responsibilities

By Cheyenne Williams, Staff Writer
On April 24, 2019

Student Expressions WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

For those returning to Kirkwood Community College this fall, it’s not too early to prepare for it. Even with the distractions of summer surrounding us, starting 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. I was used to having classes of 15-30 students, and having the teachers know their students and students being able to know them in return. 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 a hundred 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 have thirty or less students, so it was definitely easier to make friends as well as understand my instructors and what was expected of me. 

I registered for classes I was prepared to take and well-suited for. I knew how well I could do in math, science or writing by taking the assessment tests or looking at what prerequisite classes I had already taken before. I also chose class times that were optimal for me and my schedule. 

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. Alongside the courses required for my two-year degree, I took on classes I knew I had a vested interest in.  

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 you to understand your 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.

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