My life as a College Student

“When you get to the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin Roosevelt

I starting going to college in 2008 but have only been really serious about it since 2014. I feel like I have been going to school forever and for what? My first major was Early Childhood Education because I had worked with children all my life. I believed that was what I was meant to do. Wrong!

So I changed my major to Web Development. I thought this was it because I liked working with computers and figuring things out most people couldn’t, so I studied that for a few semesters, but I wasn’t really feeling it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the things I was going to school for, and I still do, but I just didn’t seem to get it. I took a lot of online classes since I was a young parent and trying to juggle work at the same time. Trying to study alone was weighing me down. My grades were up and down and I just didn’t think I was getting anywhere. So I took a break. A nice good one.

I started off strong when I came back to school in 2014, I had no choice. I was on academic probation and I had to pay for those classes. No way was I going to waste my money! I passed those classes and I was ready for the next semester. This time I was going to try on-campus classes and the major I declared was Digital Media. I had so much fun, I felt like I was on the right track. I had wonderful instructors and people around me that supported me. I even got straight A’s.

Since then, I am back to taking online classes, but I am still working just as hard! Sometimes I do procrastinate and even at times forget a due date for an assignment, but I am staying positive. My major is still the same and I can’t wait to finish.

No matter how long you have been going to school, or how many times you have changed your major, keep pushing! Your future self will thank you once you have reached your goal.

By NVC Student Traishelle Armstrong

College Life

Making Sacrifices for a Degree

Graduation HatsHave you ever tried to balance school and work? What sort of sacrifices have you had to make?

Here is my story…

I go to school part time, usually three classes a semester, year round. I live with my husband, who also goes to school. We have to work full time to pay for school and all of our other bills. I had to quit my previous job as a veterinary technician so that I can finish school. Now, I work at Domino’s making pizzas.

For me this has been a sacrifice. I used to work during the mornings, 7:30am until 5pm, and then I would go to school in the evenings. This worked for my first semester, but then the classes I needed started to get spread out. I would have a class at noon, a class at 3pm, a class at 8pm. The veterinary clinic paid me well, but couldn’t work with my school schedule any longer. I had to prioritize, so I quit my job.

I spent a month looking for another job and finally got hired by the great Domino’s Pizza. Domino’s has been wonderful, the work is easy, but the pay isn’t what I made at the veterinary clinic. They help me and work with my school schedule though. I can let them know the day before if I need more time to study, or need to switch my shifts with someone else.

As a college student I know that right now is the time where I must make sacrifices, because once I have my degree I will get the big bucks. I need to bide my time and work towards my goals. School is my highest priority, family is my second, work is my third.

For me this has been a huge transition.

By NVC Student Kiersten Tabish

What Would You Tell Your 8th Grade Self?

College can seem like a daunting place, but preparing yourself for it is half the battle. Here’s a video created by Digital Video & Cinema Production students to help students prepare for the road ahead.

They asked NVC students “What would you tell your 8th grade self,” and “What would you tell your 8th grade teacher?”

The project was the brainchild of NVC faculty member Richard Chamblin. He came up with the idea in support of the Pathways project, with the purpose of holding conversations with students to help them transition into high school and college.


What Would you Tell your 8th Grade Self

Male Success Initiative Helping Men to Succeed

H. Stillwater; J. Rosas; K. Washington; E. Alvear; M.Uresti
H. Stillwater; J. Rosas; K. Washington; E. Alvear; M.Uresti

Juan Rosas knows what it takes to make it. He knows what he is up against and he knows how to arm himself with the best possible weapon to fight what confronts him. What confronts him is failure.

Society and statistics say that Juan, as a man of color in college, will fail. Men of color earn community college degrees and certificates at disproportionately lower rates. Ironically, community colleges enroll more men of color than any other type of higher learning institution. Mr. Rosas has a plan though. His plan is being there for other men of color who are, statistically, going to fail through the Male Success Initiatve or MSI. His goal is to support men who are in community colleges and want positive influences to help guide them through the mind field of life.

PrintIn San Antonio, only 9.3 percent of the population has an associate’s degree while only 24.6 percent has a bachelor’s degree. These stats only show what both genders have earned but men are not going to be the ones that boosted those meager numbers up by a lot. This is where MSI comes in to assist those on the edge, if only those on the edge would reach out instead of taking what is voluntarily given to them.

All you have to do is sign up, go to a meeting and see for yourself what positivity is. That positivity will translate on the road to success and towards earning a degree, which will translate so much more in a man’s life. This is the focus of the Male Success Initiative – how to be a better man.

Most men in community colleges need guidance and, believe it or n

Recent MSI event where male students talked with faculty, staff, community leaders
Recent MSI event where male students talked with faculty, staff, community leaders

ot, high expectations. Mr. Rosas and the MSI members cannot help with high expectations but they can help with guidance and positive influence. Juan exudes positivity and it’s genuine. His enthusiasm is derived from actually caring and knowing that he, and those around him, need each other to guide them onto that path of success and that path starts at Northwest Vista.

That path also starts with a man’s outlook on life and how focused they are towards their goals and achieving those goals. Those things are not easy. Yet, surrounding yourself with positive people who want to see you succeed, who want to see you grasp your goals and surmount your aspirations will give young men that extra push to make it.

While both men and women could always use a little motivation, men of color are the ones that have the most to lose and the most to gain when they succeed. The Male Success Initiative is a great starting point to make that difference. To learn more about MSI, visit this link.

By NVC Student Emiliano Saldana

New Psychology Honor Society

Northwest Vista College has a newly created chapter of a Psi Beta Honor Society – a national honor society for psychology students.

On Thursday, April 16th, the charter members of this honor society were inducted in a candlelight ceremony which featured guest speaker – Don “Dr. Don” Lucas, Ph.D, professor of Psychology and coordinator of NVC’s Psychology department. Inductees were presented with certificates, pins, and honor cords to be worn at graduation.

Jennifer Fox and Cynthia Jacox are the faculty advisors for this new organization which recognizes the academic achievements of NVC psychology majors.

New Psychology Honor Society

A Little Thanks

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Dear Northwest Vista College,

Another semester has begun, and with it responsibilities, both old and new will, come to partially define it. You see, I have decided to take the advice of people wiser and more experienced than me, and take advantage of something things you have to offer. I am currently a College Ambassador, a Peer Mentor, and the Vice President of Fellowship for Phi Theta Kappa.

It may seem like a lot, especially with the 13 hours of classes and a part time job on the weekends, but let’s be honest, this is where it all starts for me. Five years from now I’ll be in the midst of finishing a Master’s Degree in Economics at UT Austin, and five years after that I’ll be teaching. Hopefully I get to keep writing and publish some of my books along the way, but it is the work I am putting in on your grounds now that will make it all possible going forward.

I remember when I first got here, confused as to where to go when it came to classes, let alone how to get to the second floor of Live Oak Hall, but it all came together over time. You have given me every opportunity to be successful and to get to where I want and need to go. The only regret I have is that our relationship is only temporary, at least as a student, but that’s kind of the point isn’t it?

I will miss you when I’m gone, but just maybe I’ll return one day and walk through your halls with lessons of my own to teach. Thank you Northwest Vista, and I look forward to what should be another great semester.


Bryan McCluggage

Earning a Degree to be More Competitive

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Discover the Power of a Degree:

In 2010, I was hired as a case manager for a local home health agency. I had no medical experience, but I knew medical terminology. I had a caseload of 70+ Medicare patients with a variety of medical needs. In 2011 and 2012, Medicare regulations changed which affected the home health agencies nationwide.

Unfortunately, I lost my job in the summer of 2012. I thought it would be fairly easy to find a job as a case manager, especially here in San Antonio. As I looked through job postings, I noticed all the case manager positions available required some kind of degree— and I didn’t have one.

After talking with my husband, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to go back to school. I wanted to become more marketable for higher-paying jobs. I knew if I didn’t go to school to get a degree, I could get stuck in some measly dead-end job. I knew I didn’t want that.

It took me almost a year to decide what my major was going to be. With the help and advising of an instructor, I was able to narrow down my possible degree paths.

Gerona Nylander
NVC Student & Public Relations Administrative Assistant