Fall Semester started today. The halls of Marion Technical College were flooded with students – many of them new and eager to start a new chapter in their lives. MTC faculty and staff, including MTC’s president, Dr. Ryan McCall (a community college graduate, by the way), were there to greet them.
I had the pleasure of talking with several new students as they searched for classrooms and caffeine. While it was fun to see different styles – from the man bun to bow ties – I also saw these timeless qualities:
Courage: One student’s hands shook while he held up his class schedule to ask where to find a classroom. Still, he spoke with determination and pride about how he was working in the medical field and was majoring in radiography (which is an excellent field paying an average of $55,000 a year – check out the career forecast here.)
To paraphrase the great Nelson Mandela, courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
Whether a College Credit Plus student still in high school but taking college classes, or a new high school graduate, or a working adult coming back to college, walking in the doors on the first day can put you out of your comfort zone. Hang in there! MTC is your college. You belong here.
Planning: Many students were mapping out their classrooms well in advance of the start. Their mental preparation is likely as sharp as their dedication to getting to the right class at the right time.
One strength of MTC students is that many start with the end goal in mind. Whether it’s to get a certificate, an associate’s degree and start a professional career, or follow a transfer pathway to a bachelor’s degree – many MTC students know where these classes will take them. If you are one of the students still unsure of your major, MTC has the career services to help you figure it out.
Resolve: Whether it was a new professor struggling with some faulty laptops in a new classroom or a student in a wheelchair doggedly making progress in a crowded hallway, they did not stop trying to find a solution to a problem.
One student was embarrassed to have to ask for directions to the library building on her first day. There is no need to be shy about asking for directions! Many new staff members need at least a week (or more) to find their way around buildings on the Marion Campus. It can be humbling to admit you need help. Don’t be afraid!
MTC faculty and staff are ready and willing to help and support you! The most crucial mistake is not asking for help when you need it. The Student Resource Center is a great place to start. MTC has two new AmeriCorps Success Coaches ready to help you overcome challenges. Free tutoring is available for many MTC classes.
While MTC is here to provide higher education, we hope you build great relationships with our quality professors and have some fun as well. If you missed the Victor Floyd Trio on the library steps, there are many new and exciting events planned for welcome week. Enjoy!
By: Wendy Weichenthal, Public Relations Specialist