Terrified. Excited. Apprehensive. Scared.
These are all words I would use to describe how I felt standing in front of Fox Valley Technical College on my first day at my new school. I’m commuting from another city; I won’t know anyone. I’ve never been here before; what if I get lost or can’t find my classrooms? I haven’t been in school for years; what if I don’t fit in? I’m coming from a 4-year college; what if I don’t “belong” here? I’m a female entering a male-dominated field; what if I feel uncomfortable?
It’s time to put my big girl pants on and push those questions aside. I made this decision to come back to school to enhance my career options, and I am going to stick to it! It is time to walk through those doors and start down the path towards a brighter future. Let’s get to it!
I’m restarting college again after a year-long break after completing two years at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. I was in the Environmental Education program there, and today I am starting my first day of the Natural Resource Technician program at Fox Valley Technical College.
Today is actually the day before my first day of classes; I am here to attend “Pop Start”, a new student orientation. I figure the more help I can get adjusting to a new environment, the better.
If I have one thing to tell you about new student orientation it’s this: go to it. Within less than 10 seconds of being inside the doors, I was greeted by smiling faces and people eager to help. Alright, so I guess with everyone being so friendly, what’s the big deal if I don’t know anyone? After they gave me free food and an array of helpful tools (a new backpack, a water bottle, pens, folders, you name it!) they gave me a tour and a map. Okay, so the school isn’t so hard to navigate and after a tour, my classes turn out to be super easy to find. We sit back down in the commons area to hear a welcome speech from the President of the school, and as she’s talking I take a look around the room. It turns out I’m not the only one here who isn’t straight out of high-school. Large amounts of the people who I am sitting among are mothers and fathers, they are people coming to school for the first time in decades, and they are students with an array of different backgrounds and stories. Yeah, so I guess I do fit in after all. We then are released to talk to a number of people sitting at a number of booths to tell us about the services the college has to offer. As if she read my mind, a woman comes to talk to me about transfer credits. She tells me that it is very common that students come to Fox Valley Technical College from Universities, and she can help me figure out what credits will transfer and will get me on track for my program. Well that was easy enough, and I know for fact that I “belong” here now. But still, I’m out-numbered by males. Oh, wait! Here comes another woman to tell me about minority counseling. That’s right; the school actually offers me counseling for being a minority in my program.
Okay, you win! I have absolutely no more reasons to be worried about getting an education. Looking back on it now, why should I have been worried to further my knowledge in my desired program? What’s intimidating about making me a more marketable candidate in the job market? Why is being more qualified and well-rounded scary?
I’m ready to jump into this commitment with both feet. I’m prepared to take on the challenges that this school will put on me. I have taken the first step towards graduation and it is a journey that I am excited to take! I know that college will bring ups and downs. It will bring achievements and rough roads. It’s a difficult, but very reachable goal. I hope you’ll be here alongside me and I continue down this new and intriguing road.