In its 8th year, College Day continues to celebrate, promote, and inspire a college-going culture in Santa Clara County. On Friday, October 19, 2018, 136 Community Engaged Learners completed 701 Service Learning Hours by reaching 1,194 Downtown Participants and 1,100 Participants outside of CommUniverCity’s service area. Other presenters on College Day included City of San Jose Council Staff and SJSU Alumni
– Elizabeth Figueroa, Special Programs Manager
College Day Fall 2018 Guest Blog by Gabriel Gutierrez, Communications Studies Major, Expected Graduation Date of Spring 2019
There is no single path that is laid out that everyone is expected to follow. Each person is different and each person has their own path to forge. But most importantly, college allows students to create their own ways in forging those roads. College allows people to create all new possibilities and identities for themselves that can ultimately carry them onto a career of their choice.
I started in community college with a completely different major from what I’m doing now. Even back then, I changed my mind at least three times, but I kept on going! Each class only helped me progress even further. Knowledge is knowledge, and it only helps make a person better than the way they were before. I knew from the very beginning that the mainstream path and popular major was not for me, but that’s ok. Not everyone is going to pursue the same avenues through college and not everyone should. Success is not measured by how much you compare your choices against the experiences of your peers, but is only measured by ourselves, through our own lens of accumulated experience and understanding.
I didn’t go to college right after high school and that’s okay because I gained valuable experience in the workforce. Because I’m in the workforce already, I know that your major does not necessarily dictate the career you’re going to have in the future. With that said, not having a college degree can impact your options on the careers that are available to you and how far you can get in those fields. I know people who studied X but ended up doing Y, and that’s fine! What matters is that we keep going. This counsel holds true for college. You don’t need to know right now where you want to be in 4 years–it’s uncertain where your roads will lead you–but it’s so important to just get on it and start walking your own path. You never know where it will lead or what amazing journeys that you will have.
College Day allowed me to see how far I’ve come since I was in grade school. The enthusiasm in the kids’ faces as they got to meet other people like myself who are going through the college path is re-affirming. But unlike myself when I was their age, they have a lot of resources and access to information that my generation did not have. I remember asking them if the majority of their close friends were in the room, or even in the school altogether, and some raised their hands. It’s obvious that kids these days are able to communicate with others through greater distances than before. And it is absolutely imperative that they do not take for granted the support groups at home or at their immediate school–that they do things for themselves and not necessarily be influenced by others. In some ways, children are much smarter now than they were before or at least have access to whatever knowledge they need for that immediate moment. This means that we need to make that connection with them early on. It needs to be cultivated within them that education is very important to their future and well being as future adults in society.
My advice is to find that common connection to the children of today and actually get to know it! If it’s a video game, try playing it! If it’s a book series, read it! If it’s a style of clothes or some sort of fashion fad, wear it! As a man-child myself, I know I connect to others that I have common bonds with. During my interaction, I used Fortnite to connect with the children, and by doing so; the majority of the kids gave me their undivided attention and listened. Kids will be kids. And who doesn’t remember just zoning out during lectures, presentations, or a movie when we were part of the audience as kids. But when we can connect to them on their level and show that we understand what interests them, it is then that we can truly foster in them the qualities of productivity and success, all which lead towards becoming a healthy and happy member of society.