How Grossmont College helped me ignore my doubts and chase my dream.
How my dream started to come true
It was January in San Diego. I was enjoying a walk on a beautiful and peaceful trail close to my house. The air was pleasingly cool, it was 45 degrees that early morning. Rabbits were still around, and they were enjoying the last piece of tranquility before humans began to crowd their place. Everywhere the birds’ chirping resounded. The dewdrops on some leaves the night before had turned into ice, making bushes shiny and bright. The river’s water was rolling in slowly and relaxing. The nature around me had made my thoughts deep. Suddenly something interrupted them and brought me back to reality.
My friend Rosy and my aunt were walking with me, but I had almost forgotten. They were discussing a deep argument … at least my thoughts were not being interrupted by something less interesting. “I always tell my daughter she should choose something that she likes for real, something that pulls her out of the bed in the morning, not just a job that lets her earn money!” Rosy said. “I agree,” I replied. “This is my policy, this is what I teach to my kids!” “My dream job was working as a forensic technician,” I affirmed, sharing my dream. “But maybe is not time for dreaming anymore, I am 43, and I believe is too late!”
That was the last day I thought about that dream, a dream I held followed for 30 long years. Yes, my dear friends, that was the last day I thought about that dream … that was the day when my dream started to become true!
My terrific experience at an American college
That day my friend Rosy pushed me to meet a tutor at Grossmont College, and I registered at the college a couple of days later after that amazing and clarifying walk. I started my major in forensic technology in February 2022, and now I want to let you know about this terrific experience at an American college.
Starting from the method of teaching and finishing with the professor/student relationship, this experience was completely different from the ones I had in Italy. As I said, I studied in Italy, where I was born. There I used to study in the textbook and take oral exams. No homework was due, just studying. If this might seem easier, think of answering at least five questions that can touch a topic everywhere in the textbook and do that for 27 classes. Here, in the United States, the method of study is different.
Professors want your success!
I started to do a lot of homework and written assignments. I really enjoyed that method, I prefer writing to talking, especially in English (until now, sometimes I struggle to talk and understand people speaking English!). Second, I used to see the teacher as an unreachable “god of knowledge.” Well, I have no idea which country you come from, but probably, someone of you understand what I’m talking about. When I enrolled in Grossmont College, I expected something like that. For this reason, I was nicely surprised that here teachers act in somewhat other ways. They are friendly and helpful, ready to make sure that students understand and can reach their goals. They want your success! Beyond these technical differences, the hugest difference that I have noticed is that no one cares about age.
“Believe in yourself and never give up!”
Let me explain. Here, in U.S., everyone is still on time to follow dreams, to realize something important in life. No one judges you if you begin to study at 43 or even at 60. This is the land of freedom and opportunities, where almost everything depends on you, on your effort … it is amazing, isn’t it? I grew up in a place where at a certain age people are too old for doing something, and no one will hear supportive words from anyone.
My experience here has been different, people are supportive and are always ready to tell you something positive. Of course, colleges and universities are organized to help people to reach their goals. For example, you can choose online classes, in-person classes, and everything that fits with your schedule. That is because almost everyone here has a job while studying and/or have family and children to take care of.
I feel like I had a second chance as if life gave to me a new opportunity, and I don’t want to waste it. Coming back to school at 43 is not easy, but I know that I can do it. The key words are “believe in yourself and never give up!”
As you can imagine, it is not easy to study in a language that is not your first language but is not as complicated as you think! The secret is focusing on your goals and step by step moving forward to achieve every one of those, putting in your best effort.
My suggestion for you is to always follow your dreams and make them became true; it is never too late!
|Rossana Di Grande from Italy moved to San Diego four years ago with her family. She started studying towards a degree in Forensic Technology at Grossmont College in February 2022, and her dream is to become a blood patterns expert.|
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