After four challenging years, my time at Orange Coast College has come to an end. Tomorrow I will be completing my AA and receiving my degree. Next year I will be continuing my education at CalState Fullerton and working towards completing a BA in psychology.
When I began college, I had many reservations about my academic potential but my experience has taught me that I was quite wrong. Many of my elementary and high school instructors were very discouraging and it had a profound effect on me but, as many of us come to realise, high school is just awful.
Over the last four years I have learned a lot, not only in an academic sense but in a personal way as well. Perhaps that comes naturally to psychology majors. The again, I have met some psych majors who seem to absorb little or fail to understand how what they learn has practical application in their own lives.
I’m very grateful for the education I received from OCC. My instructors, with few exception, were thoroughly committed and competent in their work. Not only have I come to better understand human psychology in its many complexities but I have learned to think scientifically and to overcome my once debilitating social anxiety.
My elementary school educators misunderstood my anxiety, misidentified it a Attention Deficit Disorder, and placed in a remedial class. My experience was eerily similar to Bart Simpson’s in You Only Move Twice. The stated purpose was to help me catch up academically with the other students but by going slower than everyone else. In actuality, I never did. It wasn’t until I entered high school, when I could no longer be covered by the program, did I managed to develop academically. Unfortunately, the transition was intense humiliating and traumatic. I consistently underperformed other students, not because I was stupid but unprepared by my previous years in remedial classes, and came to see myself stupid and undesirable.
Thankfully, at that is now in the past. I graduated high school with an average GPA and have gone on to perform very well in college. Well enough that I can count myself a member of Psi Beta, the National Honors Society in Psychology for COmmunity and Junior Colleges. By graduating, I’m not only moving on to fulfilling my next educational goal but moving beyond my old fears of failure and living up to the unreasonably low expectations my past educators had for me. I am happier now than I have ever been in my life and I owe much of it to my experience at Orange Coast College.