We made it!

Written  by Hiba Jama–Peer Mentor

LCC students, this is it; we are done with this quarter. For some of you, this might have been a very long stressful quarter, and I know you must be ready for a little break as much as I am. You made it through another quarter, which means you are one step closer to achieving your goals. Finals week is the most stressful week of the entire quarter, because in most classes, finals are worth a big percentage of your grade. So depending on how well you did on your finals, it could affect your grades dramatically. I went through that same stress in my classes too, but I kept telling myself I could do this by putting extra hours in studying. I hope you all did well! 

A lot of you probably have vacation plans; I was up late studying for finals last week, so I’m planning to spend my spring break making up for those sleepless nights. Let’s make the best out of it so we can enjoy our Spring Break with stress free minds. Spring Break is a great way to refresh ourselves and prepare for the following quarter, and for some people, a good chance to prepare for transferring to a new college. For all the students that graduate this quarter, including my friends, I want to tell you how proud of you I am. It wasn’t an easy road, but you guys made it, and your life from here gets even better. I can’t wait to be in your place! Well done and good luck in whatever you do next. 

The Benefits of Volunteering

Written by Amina Jama-Warsama–Peer Mentor

Volunteering is very important; there are many benefits for the community and also for each individual who volunteers. A lot of people might think that those who volunteer are people with a lot of excess time on their hands. This could be the reality in some cases; however, it is not always the case. Volunteering can add and build skills for your future career, and it also adds to your personal growth.

The feeling that you get from helping your community is rewarding.  If you volunteer in any field that you are interested in as a future career, this would give you an advantage. This step would help you gain knowledge about the career and gain skills that will put you in a better position for applying for a job.  The experience you gain from volunteering is valuable, especially if the hiring committee for the job sees that a person has previous knowledge and experience in the field. This could give the person who volunteered an upper hand over the other candidates.

Volunteering also helps you gain social skills, because you meet people from different areas in the community. However it’s not only you who reaps the benefit, but also your community. There are many opportunities in Longview, for example at the hospital, the Humane Society, and library. Here at LCC with Student Support Services, there is the quarterly Community Enrichment Project. Also, campus clubs always need help with their events, so you can find various opportunities right here at LCC.

There is always the chance to learn problem solving skills, team work, and communication skills when you volunteer. When applying for scholarships, many donors look for students who are active community members who volunteer their time for the benefit of their society. So, overall, volunteering is a great opportunity that will not only benefit your local community, but you as a citizen.

I-BEST

Written by Jaime Cox–Peer Mentor

I-BEST is a great program at LCC! If you need help with reading, writing, math, speaking and listening skills this may be the place for you. Some students learn in different ways and need extra help studying for an exam or the extra support and help to understand a certain class. There are several teachers that are available to help in these classes called study sessions that meet 2-5 hours each week. The neat thing about this class is that before you sign up for the class (this is a must do if you plan on attending regularly) you can attend ONE class to see if this class is something that would benefit you in your success here at college.

The classes that are offered in I-BEST are limited to certain instructors, so not every one may fully understand how each class works, or the concept for it may not be in their field of study; however they can direct you to the instructor that has the information you need and can best provide you with help.

Times that I-BEST classes are offered varies each quarter due to different schedules. Some places you can receive more information about I-BEST is in the LCC Course Catalog on page 10, and on the Lower Columbia College Website: http://www.lowercolumbia.edu/programs/transitional-studies/i-best.aspx

Listed below are several different areas of study that I-BEST helps with. If you’re interested, check it out and see if it is for you.

 Examples of areas that I-BEST helps with are:

Business Technology Programs

Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology

Early Childhood Education

Health Occupations

Nursing Assistant

Manufacturing Occupations

The Power of Positive Thinking

Written by Ivy Bates–Peer Mentor

Life is full of hurdles and struggles that come along with all the joys of living. Some people struggle to grasp the idea of hope. I feel that hope is one of the most important things in life and a key factor in being able to think positively even in tough situations. That being said, sometimes thinking positively can feel completely impossible and you don’t even want to bother to try to see the bright side. I feel this way some of the time but I tell myself that I have to stay positive, because if I say it enough or think it enough then I can do it, or see the brighter side of things instead of allowing myself to be swallowed by negativity.

I have heard many times that nothing worth it in life comes easy. It is easy to think negatively and believe you cannot do something, but it’s hard to think positively when things get rough. I believe that positive thinking is another of life’s achievements that everyone has to make an effort to be able to accomplish. When thinking positive or looking on the bright side, stay realistic. If you are in a position that seems dark and dreary and there seems to be no hope of a remedy, set a realistic goal and take steps towards finding that bright side. You can accept a situation you’re in without allowing yourself to be defeated.

A good first step to finding the positive in a situation is to accept what you cannot change and decide what you can do about moving forward. Allowing yourself to become engulfed in negativity can be detrimental to your mental well-being by never allowing yourself to hope for a better outcome. If you can accept what has already happened and take steps to move forward, you will be too busy to let yourself wallow in a negative state of mind. After practicing this for a while, it will become natural and you will automatically look for the bright side or what you can do to make a situation better, which is more productive and better for mental well-being. Being a powerful positive thinker can really change how you see and approach different situations in life.

Taking Steps Toward Your Future

Written by Amina Jama-Warsame–Peer Mentor

College is a vital step toward reaching your dreams and goals. Some people might view the step of getting a degree as useless and a waste of money and time. With all due respect, I couldn’t disagree more with this view. First of all, college is a learning opportunity where students not only learn their course material and attain skills related to their desired careers, but also learn life skills. It’s a good starting point where students experience how to deal with so many different things. We learn to deal with stress, how to balance different aspects of life, form long-lasting friendships, independency, and how to deal with the financial side of life and money which are forever lasting skills.

Graduating from college opens a lot of windows job wise. Many corporations require that candidates for their jobs have some sort of college education, because they know that this is the time when many students learned about communication, teamwork, critical thinking, leadership, and obviously had to improve their writing skills.

College isn’t something for everyone, however, for those who choose this journey they won’t be disappointed at the end. Getting a degree raises the hope of an amazing future; it is very inspirational and motivational. Getting a degree doesn’t guarantee a job straightaway; however it is a push towards your goals. The money used for tuition and the time spent on getting a degree is a well spent investment.

Programs for Young Children at LCC

Written by Jaime Cox–Peer Mentor

I currently wrote about HOFL (Home and Family Life) I am writing now to tell you all about early childhood education. This is an amazing program for mothers to be to infants to toddlers at the age of three, right before they go into head start. The neat thing about this program is the benefits that come out of it. Personally I had my daughter enrolled in this program since she was two months old. It has done wonders for her. Also for me, I never knew how beneficial other people’s input and professional opinions could be to me as a first time mom. I too learned a bunch.

The way this program works is you have an early head start teacher and they come to your house once a month when pregnant, and once a week when the baby is born. The teacher brings fun crafts and informational handouts that correspond to your baby’s age. They bring age-appropriate activities for your child. This really helps your child grow.

With infants it helps your child grow with you, so you both grow together. It is a beautiful program. For one hour a week it is worth the experience and the growth of not only your child but yourself. Another neat thing is they offer play dates for your children that you can attend as the parent. They’re an hour long and they paint, play, or brush teeth with other children of the same ages. This program is so educational for young children. 

Social Networking

Written by Hiba Jama–Peer Mentor

Almost everyone in this world has at least one type of social network, or has at least heard of one. It could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Hi5, Flicker, YouTube, Tumbler, etc., and the list goes on since they come up with new ones every single day.

For a long time I did not have a Facebook account because I did not know what Facebook was. My friends said: “Hiba you do not have a Facebook, are you kidding me? You must be from another planet.” They said all the cool people had Facebook and I was missing out, so I had to make an account to be as cool as them.

Before I knew it, it became addictive—I was playing games for hours, made new friends, and even found old friends that I’d lost contact with. It was my mission to update my status every two seconds. Soon after, I heard of Twitter and I had to make an account there too. I made sure I was keeping up with any new social network. It took over my life. I was not doing anything else but sitting on the computer for hours doing nothing but Facebooking.

When I started going to college and classes became harder, I had to cut the hours I spent using social networking sites. It is such a distraction and a time waster if used just to kill time. But, it can be a great tool for studying. A girl was in Anatomy class, she formed a page on Facebook, and she added all her classmates. They shared links and so much helpful material to aid with studying. Also it’s a great place to promote events, or get help. I still use all my social accounts, but I do not over use them. Instead, it’s a better use of time to study, or do homework.

Taking on Too Much

Written by Ivy Bates–Peer Mentor

Trying to take on more than you can handle in college can be a big problem especially if you do it repeatedly. Doing this and overwhelming yourself all the time can cause you to lose motivation and self-confidence and could even lead to eventually giving up. At times we have all bitten off more than we can chew, whether it’s with work, family, school or just day-to-day life. We should be aware of the stress among other things this induces.

If you are like me and do not do very well in the patience category, then taking on too much can be a serious problem. Having this lack of patience, which is likely something that for a lot of us will be an area that we continue working on throughout our life, and wanting to try to reach my degree faster, I have taken on too much not just once but twice now. In doing this I have learned how detrimental this can be to oneself and college success.

Two extremely stressful quarters later and after a LOT of struggling, I have come to understand some things better. I learned that though you should push yourself to achieve, and challenge yourself, you need also to understand yourself and your limitations and set some good boundaries. There are students out there that are able to take on a large amount of credits—one person I know is taking 25 and they are able to handle this and succeed—but even though some of us, like me, really want to be able to do this, it isn’t right for everyone.

I know more information now about withdrawing from classes than I wanted to know because I had hoped to never have to do this. However, I have been told that having a couple W’s on your transcript is not the end of the world and won’t close every door in your face, or be the only noticeable thing on your transcript. You should try to avoid this if you can and not make a habit out of getting W’s, but if you have to withdraw, don’t let yourself fixate on that point or allow it to get in the way of moving forward.

It has taken me overwhelming myself twice now to realize that I would rather take on less and excel in my studies than try and finish my degree faster and get caught up in the whirlwind of stress and confusion, not getting the most out of my studies.

I hope that this helps even one person considering taking on too much stop and really consider all aspects of that choice and if it is really right for you. Know your boundaries and your abilities so you can save yourself a lot of headaches and really allow yourself the time you need to excel in your college career.

Student Government

Written by Amina Jama-Warsame

Student government, also known as The Associated Students of Lower Columbia College (ASLCC), is a successful entity that helps represent the student body’s voice to faculty and administration.

ASLCC represent students on many different committees like the Academic Standards and Instructional Support Services. All students can take the Leadership/Student Government class which varies from 1-3 credits. Executive Council which occurs on Tuesday’s class from 11:10-1:00 is open to all LCC students and facility members. The agenda and the minutes for the meetings are sent to everyone at LCC, or they can be found on the LCC website.

Student Government hosts many events to entertain and educate the campus. One of the last events that ASLCC hosted was the successful comedy night which was free for students, faculty, and community members. The most recent event was the Cultural Family night. It was a whole night dedicated to a specific number of Middle Eastern countries. The event was on February 20th in the Student Center.

The office for ASLCC officers is located on the second level of the Student Center. Anyone is welcome to visit the office and meet with officers for inquires or any ideas they have in mind.  As part of the Student Government myself (Diversity Chair), I would advise everyone to attend at least one of the many events that ASLCC hosts, because they are mostly free for students and they do hold the aspect of entertainment, but also, the audience will have something to add to their knowledge at the end of the event.

To find out about upcoming ASLCC hosted events, check the sandwich boards around campus, LCC emails, flyers, and many other advertising channels. We have punch cards that students can get punched or signed by an ASLCC representative after attending each event. After attending five different events you are guaranteed a prize.

In order to encourage students to workout, ASLCC is sponsoring the cross-fit challenge. There are eight spots left, and if anyone is interested they can come to the ASLCC office and take the form. If anyone would like to get back into shape or start the journey of becoming healthier, I would encourage you to try this type of workout because it is it challenging but in a fun way, every day is a different workout, and it is at a discounted price for students.

If you would like to know your student representatives, there is a link on LCC website that explains who is who and our work description. Also, if someone wants to be part of next year’s ASLCC there is a section on the website that explains the process.

Career and Employment Services

Written by Jaime Cox–Peer Mentor

I hope to be very informative about a few of the resources that Career and Employment Services provides here at Lower Columbia College. First of all, resumes are vital when trying to score a job. Here at LCC, our Career and Employment Services staff provide the best help, going as far as giving resume feedback! Through the Career and Employment Services page on the LCC website, you can create a resume in a portal that you set up and send it in to get critical feedback. It is pretty awesome.

You may want to take a class about the work place and current trends in the job market. They offer Workforce 101 which includes resources available to help job seekers plan, prepare, and find and succeed in a job or career. Another awesome career program they offer is a virtual class for college women seeking to speak with power and impact in their careers. This is a workshop that is provided online for those who were unable to attend when the class was offered in person. You can view their workshop schedule here: Career and Employment Services workshops.

Also, some of you may want to take a career planning course. This can be very beneficial to anyone who wants to find a career. Some of the classes available are: Transitions (HDEV 80)–“Explores and develops the coping skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed to deal with job loss or underemployment and move forward with career and life planning,” Career Planning (HDEV 101)–“Launches students into an investigation of interests, values, and careers, followed by decision-making and goal setting.” 

These are just a few of the resources available through Career and Employment Services. I encourage you to check out their page on the LCC website, as well as stop by in person.

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