Dashae’s farewell advice

Dashae Engler

1. Be assertive in the classroom. If there is something you don’t like, whether it’s your grade, how a professor treats you, or a concept, this is a perfect time to practice standing up for yourself professionally. It might be scary initially, but it teaches you how to navigate the world. Most of the time, it is a misunderstanding, and a simple talk can fix it. A new skill set like assertion also teaches you not to take things personally and see a problem that needs to be solved versus a person treating you unfairly.

2. Tailor your education experience. Have you ever wanted to learn more about an issue but didn’t have the time? Now is your chance! Instead of finding easy topics you know about, challenge yourself with a new topic. The nice thing about DMACC is most classes let you pick your writing assignment topics. I have learned so much about the intersectionality of feminism because I have picked topics that align with that.

3. Try to go to class every day. Going to class every day is a hard sell. However, I have this theory that I can’t fail a class if I go every day. School isn’t an instant gratification, so it is hard to stay motivated. School is rewarding, though, and you will only do as well as the effort you put into it. Sometimes, missing school is your only option, and that is not what I am talking about. If you can, make an active effort not to miss school.

4. Your grades do matter. There is an old saying, “Cs get degrees,” but Cs do not get you scholarships. I was fortunate enough to have had the Pell Grant pay for my whole DMACC education. If it didn’t, I could have fallen back on my GI Bill from my service in the National Guard, so I would still have been fine. DMACC is also relatively cheap compared to other schools. If you plan on going to another institution, eventually, your grade could make it financially challenging. At the end of the day, passing is passing, but you can set yourself up for a better opportunity.

5. Take advantage of the extra credit. I am a fan of extra credit. If given the opportunity, I will take the extra credit. There is only one class I don’t do the extra credit for every week, and that is because I already have an A. There were classes I wasn’t doing so well in, and the extra credit sometimes saved me by a letter grade. The teacher will also work with you if you are close to passing and you do all the extra credit. Another tip is to do the extra credit question on the test. The worst that can happen is you get it wrong.

6. Utilize your professor. Sometimes students find their professors intimidating. In reality, they want to see you succeed. Students get wrapped up in whether their professor likes them or not. It is good to network and make those connections, but it really boils down to your performance in the class.

It is more important to focus on how the professor will aid in your success. Every semester I talk to my professors and ask them what I need to work on. Even if I am already doing well in that class. I prefer to not get comments that are generic like “You are doing great! I have no comment” because that doesn’t help improvement. Having this mindset will also prepare you for high-level classes eventually. Asking for help can be the hardest thing to do because a lot of us want to do it alone.

The truth of the matter is sometimes a helping hand can be a savior. It is important to talk to your Professors about issues you are having so they have adequate time to help you. If you’re having issues with attendance and classwork they can help you with an action plan.

7. Make friends. Class is more enjoyable when you like the people you are around. In my first year, I would get coffee with a couple of the girls from my Anthropology class every week. They can keep you motivated and be there for support. They also understand unique experiences with certain professors or assignments. Networking is really good and you never know who can help you in the future with your career. I do much better in classes when I am friendly with my classmates.

8. Weigh your options with 8 a.m. classes. I am a morning person, and being anywhere at 8 a.m. is a hard sell for me. It is really hard to have a motivated class early in the morning. You probably won’t be able to avoid nev

-er having an 8 a.m. class, but just try to have your more difficult classes after nine.        

Doing this might help with some of the frustration of morning classes.

9. You don’t have to take summer classes or take 14+ credit hours. Summer classes are not a requirement to graduate. Most people take them so they can graduate early, this is the same reason people take extra credit hours. Graduating early can be a great and a fast way to finish a degree but it can also cause burnout. It is more important to take your time so you can enjoy life. There is an old saying that school will always be there. That is true, and most importantly you don’t want to overwork yourself.

10. Enjoy your time, it goes fast. It is not realistic to always enjoy your time doing something. School is a full-time commitment, and financially it can be draining. You might as well have some fun. Join a club, hang out with your classmates, or go to an event (most are free or relatively cheap). The time you spend in college is a fraction of your life. I personally will miss DMACC. The time went so fast and I wish I appreciated the moments I had there a little more.

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