My Last Post

“Impossible is just big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”                                                                                                                                         -Anonymous-

Impossible is a word that has been thrown around carelessly since it was invented. I say that it was invented because humans created this phrase to dictate their current physical and mental limits. Over the past century we have dared to challenge the authenticity of this word and have proved it to be a fallacy over and over again. 150 years ago nobody would have dreamed the possibility of men on the moon, photographs of atoms, African American presidents, cloning of humans or the World Wide Web that allows us to keep in touch with loved ones over great distances. I stand now assured that the word “Impossible” is nothing more than just a word.

We sometimes create limits for ourselves based on the failure of another. The difference between winners and losers is the capacity to perceive this failure as a barricade or as a challenge that must be overcome. Looking at the world today, what do you believe is impossible? You might say time travel, teleportation or even life on other planets. This, of course, is incorrect. These things are not invented yet because the discoveries that lead up to it has not been made.

My grandfather once said “Don’t let anyone tell you that anything is out of reach.”

This thought stayed with me throughout my high school years. Because of many hardships, my grades where not as good as they could be and my dream of being a International Attorney felt shattered. When I went to speak with my guidance counselor she asked what I planned to do.

“I want to attend UF…” I said.

“It is very unlikely that you will get in.” she replied.

“Then I will attend FSU?” I tried to be optimistic.

“The system is very selective, I would recommend going to MCC and applying somewhere within your reach.” Her words echoed in my thoughts.

This was two years ago. I am now proud to say that I have been accepted to UF and FSU and it is now my choice which one I will accept.  I may not have had what it takes back then, but with enough perseverance I was able to dismiss words such as “unlikely” or “impossible” as mere perceptions of other people. It is up to this generation to determine what is possible for the next.

It has been my honor to serve as a blogger for MCC. I have had wonderful teachers who make you think outside the box and give you the tools necessary to push the limits of what is possible. I would like to thank the Advisors, the Ambassadors of MCC and everyone who helped me become involved in such a fun and diverse group of people. I hope that prospective students see and feel what I have experienced at MCC and choose it as their passage towards higher education. I know that if I can inspire one person to challenge the impossible, it would have all been worth it.

Changes

I have personally witnessed the excitement of the student body concerning the transition of MCC from a Community College to the State College of Florida. You can go anywhere on campus; whether it’s the ARC Building, the Library, the Lancer Café (whose

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name will soon change) hallways, or even the book store, and everyone will be talking about the exact same topic: the new name of the school.

With the news of the transition that will occur, there a loads of questions that arise concerning the changes that will take place. “How soon will the diplomas reflect the new school name?” A student asked me. Although I do not have an answer, I am hoping that my graduating class of spring 2009 will be the first to bear the new name and emblem on their diploma.

The elevation in status that will take place will be humongous. This is due to the fact that MCC will stay with its Open Door Policy, and attract a larger group of students than ever before: students who wanted to go directly into a four-year school (which we are now). Despite these changes, incoming students can expect the same college education and atmosphere that so many others have experienced. We are moving up in the ranks and if we continue with this level of focus, The State College of Florida will be famous for its quality of education, diversity and ability to produce competent professionals for all areas of the workforce.

Until next time,

Erik Arroyo

Student Blogger

studentblog@scf.edu

Nostalgia (Part 1)

Dear Students,

As the approaching end of the spring term is less than a month away I can’t help but feel nostalgic already. At MCC there is no great division between your

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class status. It is as simple as this: one day you’re a freshman, the next day a senior. Perhaps it was the smell of the food at the Lancer Cafe when arriving at school early in the morning, maybe the fact that MCC has the craziest squirrels known to humanity or even the atmospheric view around campus which makes it perfect to study…all I know is that once I leave this campus I will be longing to return. I have so many memories from my time at MCC. If you are graduating in May, would you please write me an e-mail at studentblog@scf.edu telling me what your most memorable moment at MCC has been. Those who submit their experience will greatly help in the creation of the upcoming blog. If you are planning to be a student at MCC, I would like to read about what you have heard from MCC students or what you have experienced first hand. I am very interested in any aspect of student life, please forward me your most memorable moments.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger,

Erik

Top 3 Reasons to Attend Graduation

Spring break officially ended on Sunday March 24th at 11:59PM. Since then, I have literally received over 20 text messages and e-mails regarding the student body’s excitement for graduation. I must admit, I’m excited too, especially since there are 5 weeks left in this spring semester. Despite it being a threshold in your education and a ceremony that 4-year-college-goers miss out on, I have devised the top 3 reasons why students really attend the graduation ceremony [as a graduate].

3. It’s a way to get gifts and presents
This reason is kind of selfish but… it’s true. We know that we can invite our friends and family to this event and they will not show up empty handed. A few “I’m proud of you” comments and maybe a nice dinner somewhere will bring a smile to your face… but the majority of the people will not be able to make it and give you monetary compensation instead.

2. It’s an opportunity to add yet another diploma on the wall
Imagine, having a community college diploma right next to your high school one. You would be waking up everyday feeling more accomplished and ready for the world than ever before. Soon enough, people will think you’re collecting those things. Everyone who sees you will say “You need to stop being so smart and getting so many diplomas!”

1. It’s an excuse to have fun and party
We all love the way that Pomp and Circumstance is stuck in our heads for days after the ceremony. Do you know what else will get stuck in your head? The answer is all memories of your graduation that you will keep for the rest of your life. It is one final opportunity to truly see your graduating class in one place together, perfect time to take pictures and go out with friends.

You only graduate from a community college once. It is a symbol of your perseverance, a symbol of being half-way to completing a Bachelors degree or a symbol of completion of school before moving into the work force. Everyone should be proud to be a Manatee Alumni therefore they should share their joys in this final reunion together before they disperse.

Carpe Diem

We all know that rare feeling of accomplishment; that feeling of completeness, triumph and anticipation for the time ahead. When you have time to sleep all day, work as much as you want and even gain a few pounds. I am talking of course about spring break, it is just too bad it only lasts a week.

While most people use spring break as a means to stay in town and work or relax, I use

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spring break as a means to broaden my horizons. I try to experience new and exotic things such as sushi, travels, books or meditation. I have plans of going to Fort Lauderdale and staying with family, then departing on a ferry to the Bahamas.

Through the school work and studying, most of us forget to live life to the fullest. Your college years only come once in your life, therefore, you must use it efficiently. Once you have a professional career it will be much harder to obtain leisure time. Things to do during spring break include [but not limited to]: skydiving, new foods, IMAX movies, road trips, college visits, new restaurants, resorts, get in contact with old friends, internships and new foods. Just remember to “seize the day” as it is translated from the Latin term “Carpe Diem”, because as Mae West once said “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

The Oldest Habit

Weird Word of the Week: Pusillanimous: adj. lacking courage; cowardly; faint-hearted.

Wow, we are half-way through the semester and one week away from Spring Break, so I would guess the new phrase is “Time flies when you’re in college”? I don’t know about you, but I can practically smell Spring Break around the corner.

There is a pattern that occurs right before a mini break like this one: First you will receive tests in all of your classes the week before the break. Second, your procrastination level will be at an all-time high unless you do something about it.

Let’s do simple math:

Procrastination + Multiple Tests = Bad

I know how you feel… I personally have plans of traveling around Florida and possibly taking a ferry from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas… but all of this has to wait.

A teacher once told me “The hardest part of a task is starting it.” In order to focus on spring break for an entire week, you must focus on school for an entire week also. I do not feel that Spring Break would feel rightfully earned if I do not do well on my tests. My

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suggestion is studying one subject at a time until you have mastered what you will need.

There are however, many other methods of studying for multiple tests. I have friends who divide the subject in the categories of “Left Brained” and “Right Brained” and manage to study two subjects a day, back to back, for an hour or two each.

Perhaps the most famous procrastinator was Leonardo da Vinci. He delayed finishing the Mona Lisa for 20 years and finished The Last Supper after his patron threatened to cut off his funds. Most of his work was half-completed at the time of his death, and he felt that he could have accomplished more if he had not procrastinated. What I am trying to say is: time is all we have, use it wisely.

“Procrastination is for the pusillanimous”
-Anonymous-

The Erik Method

Dear [soon-to-be] College Student,

I am sitting on the couch watching Fresh Prince of Bell-Air episodes for the 137th time, when suddenly I remember that I have homework due. As I drag myself with excitement for this imminent task, I have a brilliant idea:

“Why don’t I just do my homework during the commercials? Therefore I do not have to choose between television and my homework.” I thought.The plan worked so flawlessly (I’ll tap myself on the back), that I decided to name it. So I called it “The Erik Method”.

Studies show that for every hour that a student spends in the classroom, they should be reviewing three hours at home. These are the habits of highly-successful college students. Even just a glance at the notes you took at school will help… anything to simply refresh your memory with the information that you have written down. Now every time commercials come on TV, I’m not so discouraged because I can be efficient and do homework while all the silly advertisements are muted.

There is, however, a drawback to the “Erik Method”. You should not try this form of efficient time-management for studying for exams. This is due to the fact that studying requires intense retention of the materials which will be very difficult to accomplish in 3 minute intervals of time (between commercials). Other than that, doing

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small tasks and reviewing for your own personal benefit is fair game. Hope all of this helps.

Your friend,

Erik J. Arroyo

Two Birds

Perhaps the biggest mistake I have made during my stay at MCC is not having a plan. As most of us do, I started attending MCC with plans to earn my Associates. Once I accomplished this, I would transfer to a four year university and life would be great… I soon learned that I was wrong.

All I was concerned with was meeting the requirements for my degree at MCC; being completely oblivious to the fact that the university that I planned to transfer to also had its own set of prerequisite classes. Due to my lack of planning skills I now have to

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take extra classes during the summer in order to transfer into the business program at the university I plan to attend. The reason for posting this is so you can learn from my mistakes.

Each college will have a set of classes they want you to take so that you can transfer into their program. My suggestion is this: take those classes

required by the university that also fit into the requirements for MCC. When you synchronize like this, you will kill two birds with one stone and have an extra summer vacation to travel or relax…guess I’ll have to wait till next year.

Welcome

If you approached me in the middle of my senior year in High School and asked what college I would have liked to attend, I would not have been able to give you an answer. In the midst of SATs, exams, transcripts, homecoming, prom, scholarships, college applications and community service we realize “wow… everything is not spoon-fed to me now”. Once you have made this realization, you are in the real world… welcome to the club.

I chose Manatee Community College because it offers a smooth transition into college life. It is admirable how diverse the population who attends MCC is. There are multitudes of religions, races, ages, languages, interests and talents all brought together into one place with one common goal: to be educated.There are many reasons why you may want to attend MCC… maybe you want a more affordable education or maybe you’d prefer to stay home for a couple of years while attending college. Whatever the reason I have devised a few simple steps to prepare you for the road ahead.

Step 1—Apply to MCC – You will find it really hard to get accepted if you don’t apply first. All that is required to apply is a High School Diploma (or equivalent) and you can submit an application. You can reach the application page from the main website (www.scf.edu)

Step 2—Apply for the Financial Aid—Everyone could use financial aid when attending college. The price for a semester of books could very easily exceed 500$, so be smart and plan ahead. You can apply for the Bright Futures scholarship(www.Floridastudentfinancialaid.org) or to the FAFSA (Federal Financial Aid– www.fafsa.ed.gov). It is never too early to start applying and once you receive the aid it will all be worth it.

Step 3—Schedule a Campus Tour— Contact the school and ask for a campus tour. It is a great way to get to know the campus and experience a typical day at MCC. You will make new friends and I guarantee you will

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find something you like.

Bottom line is this: It is never too early to visit a school campus and get a feel for the college. It is also never too early to start planning and applying for financial aid. Once you experience the transition into college from high school,you will feel much more mature and aware of the tasks ahead… welcome to the club.

Second Chance

If you’re like me and the other 99% of the world population there are often times when you get hungry. My high school graduation was a great moment

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since I told myself I would never try High School food again. Needless to say, High School left me with a negative outlook on school food. However, once I discovered the Lancer Café at MCC, my perspective on the matter changed drastically. I can actually remember the first time I approached the cafe lady.

“Well hello there, young man! How can I assist you today?” She asked.

“W-well, I’m sort of new and I don’t know where the line starts…” I spat out nervously, realizing how novice I sounded.

“Well you order here, and then get rung up over there. Our specials are: this, this, and this. I would recommend…..THIS, made by yours truly.” she said with a big warm smile.

“Then I’ll have that!” I said.

She was very helpful and made me feel right at home. Moments later, after being rung up an the register, I took my first bite of what was then “The Meal of the Day”. All of a sudden, I could taste a gallimaufry of flavors, seasonings and spices that I had never experienced in school… maybe Carrabba’s, but never school. So if you feel that school food deserves a second chance, I would highly recommend trying the Lancer Café located in Buildings 14 and 500, The Student Union. Since then, I have become a frequent client there. If you’re lucky, you might even meet my favorite lunch lady (who’s name I cannot disclose for privacy issues), but one thing is for sure, it’s hard to eat only once.