Take a chance by ‘honoring’ yourself

By Lauren Bernal

We are all weird, quirky and different. Just being college students means we are motivated and enjoy pursuing challenges.

We stand out, but in a marvelous way. Students are leaders in academics and life. This power is not simply thrust upon us. We go out and get it. The question is, if we are all equally motivated to succeed, why is it that universities divide us as if we are not?

In each person, there is a bundle of potential begging to come out. That’s why we are here. We want to make a difference in the world, with other people and in our own lives. The challenge is finding the healthiest choices that will not only challenge our critical thinking but mold us into more organized, studious and confident leaders

I have the answer for you. A promising route would be to join the Honors Program. At first, I was intimidated by the suggested 3.5 GPA (since I had a 2.6 when I first came to Eastfield), and I wondered how hard I would have to work in order to be considered for the program. I decided to not let the 3.5 scare me off.

After taking five courses, I earned a GPA of 3.7. As you could imagine, I was jumping around like the Keebler Elf. When fall 2015 registration came around, I signed up for four honors courses: Speech communications, geology, psychology and philosophy.

On the first day of geology with Dr. Shizuko “Zu” Watanabe, she informed us about the Honors Program and how to fill out the application.

The application requires you to have at least two letters of recommendation from previous professors, a two-page essay on why you believe you should be accepted into the program and a completion of a questionnaire. Since I strive to be an overachiever, I submitted four letters of recommendation and a three-page essay.

Fortunately, I made it into the program and have enjoyed every second of it. It is a newly developed program by Dr. Kim Chandler. I am taking her psychology honors course and am impressed with her teaching abilities. She is organized, helpful, understanding and responds back to emails in a timely fashion, which I love. She knows the answers to everything, from classwork to Eastfield’s systems. Having her as the leader of the program is really satisfying.

Once you become a member of the Honors Program, you get absorbed into an environment full of other motivated students who are as serious about their education as you are. You are assigned a mentor from the honors faculty, and your college career becomes more positive.

My mentor is speech professor Nick Vera. He has helped me with knowing where I am in my classes, giving me advice on universities and inspiring me to write this column.

In addition to having a mentor by your side, you are also a part of a community. The Honors Program has parties for the students and faculty to come together. And even if you don’t have the chance to speak with your mentor, the other honors faculty will always have an answer for you. The support that is given for joining this program makes you feel more comfortable with your academic surroundings.

If being in a program sounds intimidating because it “takes a lot of your time” or “requires too much work,” don’t worry. It’s very relaxed, yet you are still contributing to the brilliance of Eastfield. Overall, the Honors Program has changed my life and can change yours too.

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