BY: DR. DENNIS BONA, NCTC PRESIDENT
For a good many of you it’s actually “welcome back” as you continue on your path to securing your future! Whether you’re taking your first steps into a college classroom, or returning to campus for your last semester, fall is an amazing time of the year. There’s an optimistic energy that fills the hallways and a pace that reflects enthusiasm, hopefulness and perhaps a bit of constructive anxiety as students begin the semesters work. You even see it in the facial expressions of the faculty, who in spite of it being a yearly ritual, get caught up in the prospect of impacting an entire new class of students. All they can see is overwhelming potential marching into their classrooms. Yes, I’m not immune to the fall phenomenon either, nor are the rest of the non-teaching staff at the college as everyone works feverishly to assist students in navigating their way through academic advising, financial aid, registration, and our bookstore. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as witnessing it all coming together for a student, who perhaps just a few weeks ago didn’t believe that college would ever be a reality for them.
So now that you’re here, you’re excited and ready to get started but you’re a bit anxious because it‘s all feeling a little overwhelming. Well first of all, you’re not alone! It’s perfectly normal as you engage in this new world and new routine. New is a synonym for change, and even when the change is positive and healthy, it’s stressful. I have three suggestions that should help with the anxiety:
- Ask for help. Sounds simple, but it takes courage to admit when you’re not certain about something, yet there’s no quicker way to solving the issue than to get some help. We have plenty of folks that can help you directly or at least get you pointed in the right direction. Overcome your fear of asking a teacher for help, ask your fellow classmates, or spend some time interacting with all of the on-line resources we provide. We are here to help!
- Make college a priority in your life. We understand that many of you have families, jobs and other important commitments, but acknowledge that success in college requires focus and rigorous effort. You’ve made a great choice in furthering your education so make the most of it. You won’t regret it.
- Finally, don’t study to just pass the test, study to learn the material. First of all, that will make it much more likely you will actually pass the test and perhaps more importantly, it will increase your ability to transfer your newly acquired knowledge and skills to your chosen career. Doing the minimum will get you nowhere faster than you think. Remember that you will ultimately be judged (and compensated) for what you actually know, not what your credential states that you know.
Follow this simple advice and I have every confidence you will experience success at Northland Community & Technical College and beyond, whether that be furthering your education, beginning your career, or both. I look forward to witnessing your progress over the semester and please let us know if we can help you at any time during the semester. We have advisors, tutors, faculty and support staff looking to provide the assistance you need. You are not in this alone!