The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students discuss last semester’s trials and triumphs @firmbee Scrabble tiles and smartphone.
Scrabble tiles and smartphone.

campus editor

The hardest adjustment NE student Lauren Maenza-Oliver faced with the first full online semester of college was easily getting distracted.

Some things that helped her navigate online learning included using a focus app, blasting music through noise canceling headphones and using a color coding system inside of a planner.

Through this past semester, Maenza-Oliver realized how much she missed having an organized routine to produce her best work.

In addition to a lack of focus, she struggled with being tech savvy.

“Before TCC, I had not used a computer for five plus years,” Maenza-Oliver said. “I had gotten better technologically by the time we went fully online, but it has tested my knowledge, patience and also made me more creative in working things out and in reaching out to my people.”

Maenza-Oliver had her hands full with student organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa, Psi Beta and Students in Recovery.

Guiding incoming campus students in New Student Orientations in addition to serving in her community challenged Maenza-Oliver creatively and socially. She worked hard to ensure that student activities could carry on successfully with a new set of students to support.

“I was so ready to finally be a student when I got to TCC that nothing and no one can stop me,” Maenza-Oliver said. “I am driven to finish what I started.”

Like Maenza-Oliver, South student Valerie Vallejo ended the semester feeling stronger than ever.

Vallejo reflected on the fall semester by recognizing how much balance she needed to manage her priorities.

“I got overwhelmed at one point because I didn’t plan out parts of my schedule for the day and I had some meetings that overlapped each other and still had work to do,” Vallejo said.

She struggled the most with understanding how to use all the platforms, completing assignments

and sticking to a schedule of courses and extracurriculars while simultaneously being stuck at home.

I prepared myself for a full online semester by remembering to take time for myself and reach out to my professors with any questions, Vallejo said.

TR student Katie Beard feels the same as she looks back, wishing she spent less time crying and more time being productive alongside taking breaks and spending time outside.

Beard’s biggest academic struggle was her learning style getting in the way of fully being able to understand her coursework.

“Being a kinesthetic learner whilst also learning a visual language online was a massive struggle,” Beard said. “I still feel as though it stunted the progression of my growth in my field.”

As an American Sign Language student and club officer, Beard and her fellow collaborators have also been challenged with the task of finding a platform for events and meetings that offers captions or an option to enlarge a screen in order to fully be inclusive to its members.

Through the downfalls the semester carried, Beard learned more about herself in the midst of it all.

“This year has been a true testimony of growth for me,” Beard said. “Every possible fear I have ever had came to fruition, forcing me to push forward through every personal scar and trail in r to be the human I am today.”

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