It’s never too late to continue your education

Dr. David Young, a career counselor, leads the conversation during the Return to School Workshop. Feb. 1, 2024.
Dr. David Young, a career counselor, leads the conversation during the Return to School Workshop. Feb. 1, 2024.
Laura Bernal

On Feb. 1, re-entry students were invited to the “returning to school workshop” hosted by the Career Services Center.

The workshop was an open-conversation opportunity for students who were returning to school after stepping away for some time or first time students who took a break after high school.

It was a small group of only two students but that didn’t take away from the impact.

Sara Rosenbolt, a 26-year-old economics major said “I felt lost. I felt like I had no sense of direction. But I’m here for me. I feel like I’m in the right place. I need to just finish what I started.”

Jaime Ouch, 21, is yet to choose a major. He said, “This is my first semester. I just got tired of working. I just wanted something new.”

The event is part of a series of workshops being hosted by the career services center to help students achieve success and get the most out of the resources provided by the school.

The conversation was led by career counselor, Dr. David Young.

Dr. Young continuously stressed the benefits of school and keeping your mind active in order to retain intellectual well-being.

“Americans are notoriously guilty of underestimating how long they’re gonna live,” Young explained.

He continued, “You’re gonna live a long time and two things contribute to the quality of how you’re going to live; physical well-being and intellectual well-being. Both of those involve being active. You don’t get to sit on your butt and not interact with other people, not interact with information, not get into dialogues.”

The workshop quickly became a safe space for students to express and unpack their fears and anxieties about choosing to come back as well as their plans for continuing their education.

Rosenbolt expressed the anxieties and negative thoughts she faced during her initial return to school.

She said, “Throughout the years I was facing anxiety. It definitely has been a battlefield in my mind. But everything good and bad has to happen in our lives to mold who we are today. Acceptance is big.”

Shannon Estrada, the re-entry resource specialist, explained that most of the time, those negative thoughts are not true.

She said “I’ve had re-entry students tell me they thought they would come in and nobody would want to talk to them because they were the oldest person but it wasn’t true. They ended up finding their study groups and their friends and having a good experience and then later saying ‘What was I so afraid of?’”

Rosenbolt offered advice to other students considering returning to school. She said, “Just do it. Execute your vision. Stop caring about people’s judgment. Stop caring about all this negativity that’s keeping you from doing it. Just conquer your fear.”

Estrada added, “It is a journey and journeys are not always straight forward down the road. There are twists and turns and that’s okay.”

Dr. Young ended the workshop by saying, “You’re the agent in your life. It’s not up to somebody else to make your life better.”

“Do you care enough about yourself to do something that’s not required? Just because you always wanted to take that class?” he prompted. “That’s what really being a human being is. It’s not the plan a, b, or c. It’s the art, the dance, the music, the volleyball class that can be where you’re gonna meet somebody that’s gonna change your life.”

Career Counselors are available to offer guidance in choosing your major as well as career exploration.

The Career Service Center is located on the second floor of the multipurpose room. Appointments are made through Navigate and walk-ins are welcome.

 

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About the Contributor
Laura Bernal, Staff Writer
Laura Bernal is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering arts & entertainment and news. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music and attending concerts. She plans to transfer to Cal State Fullerton and work at an independent magazine.
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