Take advantage of time at LMC

From the moment I arrived at LMC in the fall of 2011 I was determined to leave. I was determined to fulfill my two years at the community college level as quickly as possible and transfer to a four-year university, without ever looking back.

I wasn’t interested in joining clubs or getting involved in the campus community. I wasn’t really even interested in meeting new people or making new friends. I kept my head down, pushing forward — passing classes and earning credits. All I wanted for most of my time here was simply to transfer and move on.

Now I am headed to UC Berkeley this fall as an incoming transfer, and as I take a look back on my two years at LMC all I can think is that I wish I had done things a bit differently.

Last spring semester was one of my most active and enjoyable, as I became more involved in campus life. I attended my first Mustang’s sports game, became involved with the campus newspaper — The Experience — attended one of my first school plays, and even took my first steps into the CORE and the Transfer Center, resources I wish I had used from the beginning.

Now I am left wondering: why did I wait until my last semester here to discover all the wonderful programs and activities LMC has to offer?

The answer for me, and I believe may be for some others, is that I had a hard time seeing LMC as anything more than a stepping stone to a “real” university. I knew that there were clubs, fundraisers, events, and student resources, but I never felt the need to get involved. I didn’t understand what LMC had to offer me other than transferable units.

I wish I had, because the fact is that LMC has several programs and institutions that cannot only aid the average student, but also make going to school here a lot more fun.

There is a club here for almost any interest. The staff and faculty are always friendly and actually seem to care how you are doing. Sports games are competitive and exciting to attend. And there is always somewhere to go if you need help in literally any subject.

I once talked to a student working in the Student Life Center, and he described to me how frustrating it was that more students did not take advantage of the many resources it has available.

And according to statistics gathered by the California Community College Task Force, only about half of “degree-seeking students ever achieve a certificate, degree, or transfer preparation” at a California community college, and of those students “seeking to transfer to a four-year institution, only 41% are successful.”

These statistics are shocking, but how many students could have done a lot better if only they would have asked for help from one of the numerous resources available on campus?

How many times have our history and English teachers bombarded us with the familiar, “if you need help with your papers, go to the Reading and Writing Center or the CORE!”

I know, personally, that my experience navigating through the muddy waters of transferring would have been a lot simpler, if I had only taken a step into the Transfer Center before my last semester.

Students need to stop “not taking advantage” of all LMC has to offer.

So my recommendation for an incoming LMC student, fresh out of high school and ready to speed through these halls rushing to transfer is to slow down, look up, and get involved. Not only will you find your community college experience more rewarding with memories you can always look back upon, but you might even have something to add to your resume or transfer applications. I wish someone would have told me that two years ago.