Oh my CCBC. My stay at CCBC has been both overwhelming and exciting to say the least. Where do I start from? Do I talk about my first day on campus when I didn’t know anybody, and I felt so lonely or about my first class where I didn’t understand a word that was spoken because I had just come from Africa months prior? It was one of the most confusing weeks of my entire life and I just smiled and nodded when people said anything to me that I didn’t understand. Do I talk about how awkward my first speech in Communications class was? Or that I basically read the whole chapter out to the class when I was supposed to summarize it. This just shows that me, that carefree boy that seems to know a lot of people and smiles all the time, had major transition problems at CCBC.

Let’s talk about my first-year work load. I can’t remember who encouraged me to take thirty-six credits in my first two semesters, but I have to say, it was one of the worst decisions of my college life. Fresh off the boat straight from Lagos in Nigeria, I already analyzed my future at CCBC. I was going to take eighteen credits every semester and graduate in two years. I would get a 4.0 GPA and be the commencement speaker for my graduating class. Then I’ll transfer to University of Maryland College Park to study Electrical Engineering and graduate in another two years.

I had that Hollywood college life planned in my head and nothing could go wrong. Unfortunately, expectations most times differ from reality.

My first semester was a testament to that. It was horrible.

My storybook ending was crashing down so fast I didn’t have enough time to analyze how my next semester was going to look like but it was a worse disaster than the first. I took a combination of Engineering, Physics, Programming and Calculus classes which wasn’t the wisest thing to do. You all guessed how the end of my semester was. It was so bad my parents didn’t think my GPA would have any coming back at all. I combined the worse grades I ever had in my life that I sat in my room for a whole week thinking I should drop out of school. My story book ending had finally crashed and there was nothing I could do to redeem it. This was what I thought until I joined the student life body.

The combination of the Ambassador, Mentor and Student Government Program forms the student Life Program. Joining and meeting people who were smart, fun and got involved on campus made me find a new purpose in school. I learnt that mistakes happen to the most of us a lot more than we imagine and that it is okay to make mistakes. What matters is what we learn from our mistakes how we handle it and how we move forward. I may not be graduating in two years and I may not be the commencement speaker for my class anymore, I may not be able to go to University of Maryland College Park anymore, but I know that the future holds nice things for me.

College is not an easy place and I have not seen anyone who has found the transition easy at all.

That is why the Community College of Baltimore County, CCBC, has put some resources in place to help new and returning students. You ever heard of the Success Center, the Writing Center, Homework Lab, Honors Program, First Year Experience Mentors, Student life Ambassadors or the Student Government Association members? All these resources are there to help students. The advisors are there to tell you not to be like me and take as many credits you are comfortable with. My name is Daniel but call me DhanToby.