Hello! My name is Christiana Kerrs, and I am a first-year student here at Mount Saint Mary College. Since it is my first year at the Mount, I am technically a freshman, but academically I am a sophomore because college credits I received from my high school through Dutchess Community College.
My major of History and pursuit of Education and Special Education certification comes from my family’s legacy. Thirty years ago, my grandma opened up a nursery school in Hyde Park, NY. My mom and two aunts began to work at the nursery school as well, and soon enough it became a family business. Growing up, I was constantly at the nursery school, and as soon as I turned 14, I began working during the summer and eventually every day after school. Fast forward a few years, and I’m still working there during college after my classes each day. This experience is where I began to have a love for kids and the desire to become a teacher.
In all honesty, working every day after school has not been easy. I work so I can save to pay off my loans, my car, and for other necessities. In addition to working and going to school, I also coach a CYO basketball team at a school in Poughkeepsie, NY. On top of all this, however, I have classes and schoolwork. In high school, I had a lot of homework to do after work, but it wasn’t as much as I do now, and some of this work has been harder. Thus, I have really had to learn how to manage my time and make availability for studying and homework.
Surprising, one of the ways I’ve overcome these academic pressures and difficulties is through commuting. I commute to school every day. At first, I didn’t think that I was going to like it, but I have found that it can be helpful. I have a lot of time in between classes, so one of the ways I can manage my time is by doing work in between classes. I typically won’t start a paper in this time, just because I find it hard to start and then stop and later have to pick up where I left off. But in this time, I read my textbook assignments or review what we did in class. I also take some time to make index cards for any upcoming tests. Taking this time to make the index cards allows me to have more study time when I get home and less time just writing the cards off of which to study.
Some other things that I do to avoid all of the academic pressure is do the work as it is assigned, rather than putting it off for days. I know this is hard for a lot of students, and trust me, it’s hard for me as well. But not procrastinating and doing the work when it is given to you can help relieve the pressure of getting it done the night before. This tactic has helped me a lot during my first year because I don’t like to have any burdens on my back.
Being a first year college student hasn’t been easy, along with all of the work that comes with it, but it is manageable! I email my teachers at the Mount often to keep myself on track with my work. They are always very nice and ready to do whatever it takes to help. So far at the Mount, my experience has been great, and I can’t wait for the rest of my years here.