Student Voice

As the fall semester begins students share their goals and advice

Ariana+Romano%2C+a+nursing+student%2C+and+her+friend+pose+for+a+photo+during+the+first+week+of+classes.+%28Joseph+Vergilis+%2F+Student+Voice%29
Ariana Romano, a nursing student, and her friend pose for a photo during the first week of classes. (Joseph Vergilis / Student Voice)

Ariana Romano, a nursing student, and her friend pose for a photo during the first week of classes. (Joseph Vergilis / Student Voice)

Ariana Romano, a nursing student, and her friend pose for a photo during the first week of classes. (Joseph Vergilis / Student Voice)

By Jesse Gonzalez

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Fall 2018 semester has officially kicked off here at Moorpark College on August 20. There is excitement and apprehension in the air as new and returning students frantically fill the halls and walkways in pursuit of their educational goals.

There are a wide variety of educational pathways offered at Moorpark College. Students are motivated by different factors in their pursuit of their educational goals and have learned from experience how to achieve them.

Sonny Medina is 19 years old and lives in Moorpark. He is a Sociology major and this is his second year at Moorpark College.

His goal at the end of the year is to graduate and transfer to a four-year university. He is currently working at the Admission and Records office.

“Go see a counselor, make a plan and don’t waste time taking classes you won’t need,” said Medina.

Sonny Medina, 19, a sociology student. (Shariliz Poveda / Student Voice)

Cindy Tanaka is 23 years old and was born and raised in Ventura. She is enrolled in Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management (EATM) program. The EATM program houses more than 200 animals in a five-acre facility and is also known as America’s Teaching Zoo.

“The program seems like it’s going to be really hard but worth it,” said Tanaka. “I would love to work at a zoo one day and be a mammal curator.”

She attended the EATM orientation the week prior to school because of the vast amount of information needed to prepare her for the semester. Tanaka has been attending Moorpark for quite some time now and stated students shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.

“They are incredibly helpful in the EATM office,” said Tanaka. “They encourage any student to drop in and ask any questions.”

Chance Crawford is one of two brothers attending Moorpark College this year. Chance is 19 years old and leads the way for his brother Jack as an Aerospace Engineering major. After two years he hopes to transfer to California State University, Northridge, but before he goes he imparts his brother with what three semesters at community college has taught him thus far.

“It’s important not to judge others, help people who are looking lost, to feel that sense of community,” said Crawford. When it comes to class, Chance emphasizes to show up. “It’s not about friends, or how you like the book, if you show up it shows the teacher(s) that you care.”

Chance Crawford, left, and his brother Jack. (Robert Gonzales / Student Voice)

Olivia Morales, 21, a Newbury Park native and first-time student at Moorpark College was well-prepared for her first day of school, but still managed to run into some challenges.

“I was well-prepared for my first day, but I did not know how to get around campus,” said Morales.

Morales is a Business major and hopes to get a double major here at Moorpark College, although she is still undecided what her other major will be.

Neftali Perez is 20 years old living in Thousand Oaks. He is a Biology major and this is his last semester here at Moorpark Community College. He found his first day pretty easy since he has been through it many times before. His main goal is to pass all his classes this semester so he can earn his Associates degree. The only class that has Neftali worried is his Chemistry class in which he has found difficult in the past. He found parking very easy since he arrived early, which would be his recommendation to new students at Moorpark.

Amanda Misquez, a Biology major at Moorpark College, returned to Moorpark with minimal challenges, but suggests for new students to seek help and build relationships that will better the experience of college student life.

“Build relationships with peers of the same major,” said Miszquez. “Your peers are the biggest influence that you can have.”

Biology student Amanda Misquez. (Ulises Koyoc / Student Voice)

Courtney Williams, a Criminal Justice major from North Hollywood, is more comfortable on campus now entering her second year at Moorpark College. She has a plan of attack to help her be successful this fall.

“I highlight everything in different colors and take lots of notes. Also I signed up for the easiest classes possible for now,” said Williams.

Martin De la Torre, a 20-year-old from Simi Valley, is attending Moorpark College in the hopes to combine the experience he’s accumulated over the years working at Paradise Cove with a degree in business.

A saving grace for him his last four semesters at Moorpark College is scouting the local used book store for his textbooks.

De la Torre said that because many students are from the surrounding area when the semester is over they will sell back their books to stores like Simi Valley’s 5 Dollar or Less Bookstore. Used book stores can sometimes beat some of the most common retailers for college books.

He also encourages students to reach out to their professors and to take advantage of their office hours. De la Torre shared past experiences of not knowing where to go and being too shy to reach out and ask for guidance.

“I want to ask, but I don’t want to ask because I don’t want to feel like I don’t know what I’m doing”, said De la Torre.

English major and Thousand Oaks resident Annie Atkerson dreams to work with children one day but would also like to become a professor as well.

Atkerson has been able to avoid the chaos in the parking lots by getting to campus early and parking at a distance. The Observatory parking lot provides a walk, but is also an escape from the cars snaking up and down the aisles of adjacent parking lots.

Another saving grace for her has been the professors and the school’s health clinic.

“The school clinic in the (administration) office has definitely been very helpful and knowing they are there especially for someone that doesn’t have a lot of money like a college student,” said Atkerson.

Ariana Romano, a Nursing major from Simi Valley, says she plans to transfer to UC San Diego or Long Beach State after she earns enough credits here at Moorpark, but says her biggest challenge is staying motivated.

“My friends help keep me on task. I believe having friends who support you is super helpful,” said Romano.

Chase Sanders, an 18-year-old Criminal Justice major living in Simi Valley, realized finding his classes for the first time was the most challenging part of his day. Chase is a new student here at Moorpark College and although it took some time to figure out where he needed to go, he really enjoyed his first day here. His advice to others would be to “Finish your work early”, something we all can agree on.

Staff writers Michelle de Leon, Nikolas Gigena, Robert Gonzales, Ulises Koyoc, Luis Miron, Shariliz Poveda, Joseph Vergilis contributed to this report

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