Everyone ends up at City College for different reasons. Some of us planned to go to City College all along and ended up here happily from where ever we came from. Some of us didn’t make the grade to get into the school we wanted and others didn’t have the money to pay for it. I don’t think I really fall into any of these categories.
I was planning to attend UCSD where I was to go into pre-med. I was the typical overachiever ecstatic with what I had accomplished and just the idea of being pre-med made me smile. I couldn’t wait to have the ability to do surgeries and save people along with all that TV drama that we see on “Grey’s Anatomy” that has been idealized. I believed that after all my hard work, I had earned the right to dream, and dream big. As well as brag about my acceptance with college sweaters and shirts.
In my last month of high school, I volunteered as a hand holder at a blood drive at my school. My first good deed to start the rest of my medical career! On my first patient I watched the nurse’s movement intensely. The harder I looked at what they were doing, the less I focused on the girl and the hand I was holding. When the nurse pulled out the needle I saw lots of dark blood and then I got sleepy.
Just like my half conscious self, my dreams of being of doctor fell to the hard floor of reality and resounded with a thump. I went through that phase where your whole life flashes in a second, well instead of my life I saw all the times I had been at the doctor’s office and how I had felt. I felt weak, weary and scared. I couldn’t believe I had missed all the signs of my inability to stand needles.
I was devastated. I was going to college and I had been building up my experiences to prepare me for the medical field, which I would now never enter. How could I go to a school without a major? I refused. If I was to pay for a quality education, I better be learning something to help my career. I withdrew from my dream school and I came to Santa Barbara City College. I didn’t know what to do or what to study, but at least I wasn’t paying $20,000 a year to explore my career paths.
What is sad about my way of thinking is that instead of embracing all the amazing opportunities that were made available to me, I saw them as another thing off the “To Do” list to get me to a great school. I believe if I had not been stopped in my tracks that last month of high school, I would of continued in the fast track attempting to become a surgeon without appreciating the great goal I had for myself and all that I had accomplished.
I now realize that I had made many very wrong assumptions. The average college student changes their major three times. I was very mistaken to think City College didn’t offer a quality education just because the price tag was a few zeros shorter than a university. I now have a set major, journalism, and a kick-ass GPA with aspirations to get into USC. I know how lucky I am to be at this awesome school that has taught me so much.
I believe we all have more than enough time to get to our careers and the working world, and that it is important that we appreciate the experiences we have at and outside the college. Think about the networking skills you build in Isla Vista and the critical thinking skills you use trying to make your way home after the parties.
From someone who used to be a speeding blur on the road to long hours (and hopefully a nice name plate), I think I’ll take advantage of City College and my gold nameplate can wait for me.