What's Your Story: Student grateful for skills taught at Victoria College

James Smith

Finally, it is time for college!

Just by being a local college and helping me get started, Victoria College has changed my life tremendously. Victoria College helped me gain the confidence and study skills that I lacked through their now required Education 1301 class. Greatest of all, Victoria College and its professors believed in me when I did not believe in myself and gave me the extra attention I needed to get me on course to a successful college experience. Victoria College has changed my life by helping me get started in college, helping me gain essential skills needed to be successful in college and believing in me when I was on the verge of failure.

Getting started in college was by far the most difficult obstacle in my life to overcome. Two years went by after high school before I finally made the decision that it was time to start college. I was able to acquire the help of my brother to help me get started in college. If Victoria College had not been local, I would have been even more discouraged about starting college. I also had no idea how I could afford college; I did not come from a wealthy family, and I did not make enough where I worked to pay for school. With help from the Victoria College financial aid staff, I was guided through the financial aid process, and the very next semester, I was taking my first two classes: Education 1301 and trigonometry.

Education 1301 was a developmental class that had just become a requirement the semester that I started school. I feel very lucky that Education 1301 was required when I started college. If I would have started college right after high school, I would not have been required to take the Education 1301 class, which very well could have led to the failure of my college experience. In Education 1301, I learned extremely useful studying skills and ways to better manage my time. With these two skills, I was able to evolve out of the procrastinator I used to be in high school. I then used these skills in my first math class, trigonometry. I was greatly intimidated in this class because it seemed as if everyone knew more than me. I put all the intimidation aside, used my new studying skills and successfully passed the class. Passing trigonometry was the greatest feeling, which gave me the confidence that I could be successful in college.

The biggest way Victoria College has changed my life is through the extra attention the professors have given me when I was struggling. In my pre-calculus class, I was really struggling - I even failed my first exam. After class that day, I received my grade for my first exam, and the professor asked me to stay for a moment after class. I knew what it was about and expected to be told that I needed to study harder, but instead I was told that I had so much potential and should be at the top of my class by my professor. Just those few words from my professor encouraged me to raise my grades. I went into the professor's office once a week for extra help after that incident. I ended up passing pre-calculus, but I felt as if I let my professor down by not being at the top of my class. The following semester in calculus, I continued to seek help from my new professor and studied extremely hard just so I could redeem myself from the previous semester. I accomplished my goal and was among the top students in my class.

If Victoria College was not available for me, I would probably still be stuck at a job that I did not like and still barely making it through life. Since Victoria College was here for me locally and made it easy for me to acquire financial aid to pay for college, it has allowed me to better myself through education. Victoria College has also given me the essential skills I need to be successful through the many years and countless classes to come through its now required Education 1301 course. Most importantly, Victoria College has given me confidence with all the professors who believed in me when I did not believe in myself. With these acquired skills from my life changing time at Victoria College, I truly will "go far."

James Smith lives in Placedo and is studying engineering.