In my quest to find out if college is worth the effort, I interviewed my friend, Silvia, about her pursuit of a college education and life after she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. Silvia is a college graduate of California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) and she graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts.
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Favorite Color: Royal Blue
Dream Job: School Counselor or ESL specialist in a migrant school/community
1. What were your top college picks & why?
CSUB (close to home and strong teaching programs), and UCSB (first campus I ever visited, plus it’s Santa Barbara).
2. Why did you choose CSUB?
I went to CSUB since it was cheaper. I could live at home (no paying rent or room and board) and I could work at my old high school, where I could get experience working with students.
3. When you applied to CSUB, did you think you’d get in?
I though I was going to get in since it is the university in my hometown but there was some doubt however, I am glad I got in.
4. What did you do in high school to prepare for college?
In high school I took many honors/AP classes, I was also a part of the AVID program and really talked to my counselor who helped me get everything I needed to get to college.
5. What drew you to your current career goal or field instead of others?
I guess ever since I was a little girl I wanted to teach so I took the teaching route at CSUB. Ones I was done with my BA and went on to the credential program I got more experience working with students of different age groups and realized I wanted to focus more in counseling students in order to help them get to college the same way my councilors helped me. Also, since I was an ELA student I know I can relate to other students in that same position therefore I am currently looking into a masters program for English as a second language, which I can use to teach and help students of any age group.
6. How important is happiness in your future career?
For me happiness is the main goal of my career because if you are happy doing what you love work will never seem like work. As Confucius ones said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
7. What do you expect to get out of college?
I expected to get the knowledge/tools needed to get me into the job of my dreams. I expected to come out wiser and ready to conquer any job that I was presented with.
8. Before you started college, what was your vision of life after attaining a college degree and how has that vision changed?
Before starting college my vision was to be done with BA in 4 years and credentials in 1 and start teaching a 2nd grade classroom after only 5 years of college. After college I realized that I wanted to take a different route (which most of us frequently do ones in college), I wanted to do more than teaching I wanted to impact the lives of more students and be there to guide them trough academics and be their support and encouragement to get into college and to do more with their lives. Even though my goals changed I know for a fact that thanks to my BA in Liberal Arts I can continue my studies in the areas I want and I will have some background knowledge into what college is and what it means to work with students.
9. What is the greatest challenge that you’ve faced in your efforts to gain an education?
Transition between high school and college.
As a first generation college student I did not have a family member to tell me exactly what to expect in college and many things were different than in high school; however, I was able to find many helpful professors and advisors along the way who helped me get to where I am now.
10. If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I’d tell myself to work harder and to not be afraid of a harder class or to take a class that does not belong in my major, specially if that class seems interesting, since it might spark a different passion/goal in life that can lead to something better. I’d also tell my self to do all the assign readings!! Since you never know what you can find that might make even a hard/boring class into the best class you’d ever take.
11. Has your pursuit of a higher education been worth it?
12. Do you think you would have been better off just getting a job or skipping college altogether?
No, I do know there are good jobs out there that do not require a college degree but the experience/knowledge you get in a college degree is unique, no one can take that away from you, and it’s an opportunity to know who you really are and who you are going to become in life.
13. Are you optimistic about finding a job after college?
I am very optimistic about finding a job after college since I know that a college degree opens many doors and there will always be room for one more college graduate in any job. As for me thanks to my BA I was able to find a great job relating to my field of study where I get to interact with students K-12 on a daily basis and it brings me closer to my ultimate career goal.
As always, I hope you all enjoyed this interview and gained something from it. Stay tuned for my next interview!
I’ll keep you posted.