Think before it’s too late

By Careesa Campbell | News Editor

When the time came for me to apply to transfer to universities, I felt unprepared and disappointed in myself to say the least.
Yes, my 3.91 GPA was great.
But I did not have volunteer hours. I had only been involved in one extracurricular activity.
I had not attended any educational preparation programs. I was not satisfied with what I had accomplished at Citrus College.
In short, I did not feel like I had contributed enough to make me stand out from the rest of the students who had the same GPA as I did.
Why was I so irresponsible? Because I was relying on the misconception that someone would show me the way. That ignorance almost cost me the university education that I wanted so much.
While Citrus provides some guidance to its students when applying to transfer, it is up to the students to take the initiative to volunteer and participate in extracurricular activities.
I was lucky to be involved with the Clarion.
In the three semesters I have enrolled in the class, I was able to hold two editor positions and publish a variety of articles that I am proud to display. Because of this involvement, I thought I was doing enough.
I wasn’t. There were a lot of blank spaces when I began filling out the University of California application’s section for awards and activities.
I have always known the importance of volunteering for the community and for myself, but I never took the initiative to begin. I was too focused on earning good grades rather than try to balance a well-rounded student life.
Luckily with the short amount of time I had before transferring, I continued writing for the Clarion, signed up to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, became a member of Phi Theta Kappa and joined the honors program. These activities made the difference.
I was able to confidently fill out each section of the UC application and many others, knowing that I was contributing to the community, which is just as rewarding as earning good grades.
Learning to balance my time with school, work, volunteering and writing for the Clarion has improved my life as a student and as a person. Don’t be the student who thinks college is over when class ends. Being an academically successful student is not enough to get you through life.
It is the time spent outside of the classroom that is critical.
Opportunities to make a difference are everywhere. Start now. Volunteer with an organization, join a club, run for student government, write for the newspaper. Get involved with the community. Do something that will make a difference for your campus and for yourself.