PeerForward alumna Kayla Rico on making the most of college

Kayla Rico is a PeerForward alumna from the Public Service Community School at Diego Rivera Learning Complex. Kayla is majoring in Biology at Cal State University, Northridge, with the goal of one day becoming an optometrist. Read on for Kayla’s reflections on how she has used her university network and resources to make her college experience meaningful despite pandemic disruptions.

My college experience so far is one to remember. The feeling of stepping on to my college campus was indescribable. It was a warm ecstatic feeling because I made it! This was a new beginning, a new chapter of my life that I had just begun.

My classes are online this year, but that doesn’t stop me from having the college experience. It’s both unfortunate but relieving to have classes online, but I’d say it’s pushed me more to be the best that I can be. It’s helped me push myself, because online learning is more difficult than communicating and collaborating with other people in person. I have had to reach out for help and find the resources to get that help. I have met the sweetest people in my classes who have made me feel so welcomed to be a part of this college experience. I found new working spaces around my house that make me feel comfortable learning and help me concentrate.

So far, learning online has been a success; even though I’m not on campus, it still feels good to be a college student and an adult. It’s a lot more work because you’re your own boss and you need to make sure that you’re on top of things, but then it’s a reward to see how much you’ve accomplished, both on your own and with help from classmates and professors. I’ve felt so welcomed to have study groups and group chats with other people, because it feels like we’ve known each other and we’re always there to ask for help. We can easily text or call each other, so it feels nice knowing that there’s always someone there to talk to for schoolwork, help or even just as a friend.

Overall, I love college and my personal experience has been a blast, even online. I’m trying to make the best out of everything because at the end of the day, I’m still a college student working towards my goals and dreams.

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